"Tennessee Jed" as written by Jerome J. Garcia and Robert C. Hunter....
Cold iron shackles, ball and chain
Listen to the whistle of the evenin' train
You know you bound to wind up dead
If you don't head back to Tennessee Jed

Rich man step on my poor head
When you get back you better butter my bread
Well, do you know it's like I said
You better head back to Tennessee Jed

Tennessee, Tennessee, there ain't no place I'd rather be
Baby won't you carry me back to Tennessee

Drink all day and rock all night
The law come to get you if you don't walk right
Got a letter this morning, baby all it read
You better head back to Tennessee Jed

I dropped four flights and cracked my spine
Honey, come quick with the iodine
Catch a few winks, baby, under the bed
Then you head back to Tennessee Jed

Tennessee, Tennessee, there ain't no place I'd rather be
Baby won't you carry me back to Tennessee

I run into Charlie Fog
Blacked my eye and he kicked my dog
My doggie turned to me and he said
Let's head back to Tennessee Jed
I woke up a felin' mean
Went down to play the slot machine
The wheels turned around, and the letters read
You better head back to Tennessee Jed

Tennessee, Tennessee, there ain't no place I'd rather be
Baby won't you carry me back to Tennessee


Lyrics submitted by itsmyownmind

"Tennessee Jed" as written by Robert C. Hunter Jerome J. Garcia

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Tennessee Jed song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentSo deadheads who have been with the band since the 60's cant understand it if they werent at bonaroo? that might be the dumbest thing ive ever heard. have fun in homeroom tomorrow yeahyouknowme
    myoungcon April 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentso many things happen to him that its so obvious he only fits in at one place in the whole world.
    bimOliciouson May 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAhhh bonnaroo was insane man. 04' and 03' over here biitch.
    Atemporalon January 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI wouldn't say you don't understand the song unless you were at Bonnaroo, but this was the most "appropriate" song at the whole venue.
    DAS JETSon April 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthahaha nice
    I love this song
    lukewagoneeron March 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentto me, this song defines the dead, maybe just because it's my favorite, but, a song about drinking, working, gambling, and most importantly not fitting in is totally 100% GRATEFUL DEAD... i think hunter wrote this about how all of the authority and upperclass citizens feel about the dead's rebelious carefree attitude toawrds life esp. jerry garcia
    dylanandeadiskilleron October 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOn the morning I left New England to move to Tennessee in 1980 I called the local rock station to request this song. Just after I got on the road I turned on the radio and heard, "Baby won't you carry me... back to Tennessee" Nice.
    myfriendvladon June 09, 2008   Link
  • -2
    General Commentyou don't understand this song unless you were at bonnaroo
    yeahyouknowmeon October 03, 2004   Link

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