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In The Pines

Composer: Traditional

Grateful Dead

info The Golden Road, 1965-1973, Grateful Dead, 2001
info The Birth Of The Dead, Grateful Dead, 2003
info Birth Of The Dead, Vol. 2 (The Live Sides), 2014

Others

no info Tenneva Ramblers, 192?
no info Single, Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys, 1941
no info Single, Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys, 1952
info This Lusty Land, Tennessee Ernie Ford, 1955
info Folksongs and Ballads of Virginia, Paul Clayton, 1956
no info Tragic Songs Of Life, The Louvin Brothers, 1956
info Bowling Green, Kossoy Sisters with Erik Darling, 1956
info American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 2, Pete Seeger, 1958
info Ballads, Blues & A Spiritual, Dave Van Ronk, 1959
info Folk Songs From The Blue Grass, Earl Taylor & the Stoney Mountain Boys, 1959
no info Good Night, Irene, Leadbelly, 195?
no info Duane Eddy Plays Songs of Our Heritage, Duane Eddy, 1960
info Sam Hinton Sings the Song of Men, Sam Hinton, 1961
no info Joan Baez, Vol. 2, Joan Baez, 1961
info The Journeymen, The Journeymen, 1961
info Father of Bluegrass Music, Bill Monroe, 1962
info Greatest Bluegrass Hits, Tommy Jackson, 1962
no info Will Holt Concert, Will Holt, 1963
no info Music From The Ozarks, Various Artists (John D Mounce and Lee Mounce), 1964
no info Cisco Houston: A Legacy, Cisco Houston, 1964
info High Lonesome Sound, Roscoe Holcomb, 1965
info Sunny Side of the Mountain, Jimmy Martin & the Sunny Mountain Boys, 1965
no info Take This Hammer, Leadbelly, 1965
no info Plays Leadbelly, Clifford Jordan, 1965
info Gamblers Blues, Dave Van Ronk, 1965
info The Flat-Picker's Guitar Guide: An Advanced Instruction Record, Jerry Silverman, 1966
info Black Mountain Blues, Dave Van Ronk, 1968
info Bill Monroe's Greatest Hits, Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys, 1968
no info Gambler's Blues, Dave Van Ronk, 196?
no info Charlotte Daniels and Pat Webb, Charlotte Daniels and Pat Webb, 196?
no info In The Pines, The Possum Hunters, 196?
no info It Ain't Easy, Long John Baldry, 1971
no info Fiddle Breakdown - 20 Instrumental Favorites, Don Reno and Red Smiley, featuring Fiddlin' Buck Ryan, 1971
info Strange Creek Singers, Strange Creek Singers, 1972
info Pickin And Singin, Jim McCall, 1972
info Vassar Clements, Vassar Clements, 1975
no info Together Again, The Blue Sky Boys, 1975
no info Art Of The Mountain Banjo, Art Rosenbaum, 1975
no info Stanley Brothers On Air, The Stanley Brothers, 1976
no info Father Of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys, 1977
info Blue Grass Sring Band, Vol. 2, The Virginia Mountain Boys, 1977
info In Person: At Randy Wood's Old Time Pickin' Parlor, Buck White & Down Home Folks, 1977
no info One Way Track, Boone Creek, 1977
no info Rusty Tracks, Mickey Newbury, 1977
no info Legendary Performer, Chet Atkins, 1978
no info Fiddlin' Arthur Smith and His Dixieliners, Vol. 2, Fiddlin' Arthur Smith and His Dixieliners, 1978
info Ramblin', Richard Greene, 1979
no info Hoe Down! Vol. 6. Country Blues Instrumentals, Mutt Poston and The Farm Hands, 197?
no info Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out, The Scragg Family, 197?
no info The Wonderful World Of Country Music, The Blue Sky Boys, 197?
no info Single, Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys, 1980
no info Out In The Country, Doc Watson, 1982
info Very Early Joan Baez, Joan Baez, 1982
info Live at the Opry: Celebrating 50 Years on the Grand Ole Opry, Bill Monroe, 1989
info Bluegrass 1950-1958, Bill Monroe, 1990
no info Winding Sheet, Mark Lanegan, 1990
no info Bristol Sessions, Various Artists (Tenneva Ramblers), 1991
no info Late Last Night, Skip Gorman and Rick Starkey, 1991
no info Long Journey Home, Kentucky Colonels, 1991
no info One Way Track, Boone Creek, 1991
info The Folkways Years 1959-1961, Dave Van Ronk, 1991
no info Scene 20 - 20th Anniversary Concert, Seldom Scene, 1991
info Close Harmony, Louvin Brothers, 1992
no info Tribute To Leadbelly, Various Artists, 1992
info In The Pines, Bill Monroe & his Blue Grass Boys, 1993
info Relix Sampler 5, Various Artists (Sandy Rothman / Steven Pottier), 1993
no info Great American Train Songs, Various Artists (Merle Travis and Mac Wiseman), 1993
info The Music Of Bill Monroe, Bill Monroe, 1994
info Jimmy Martin & The Sunny Mountain Boys, Jimmy Martin & The Sunny Mountain Boys, 1994
no info Twangin' From Phoenix To LA, Duane Eddy, 1994
no info Bluegrass Guitar Duets, Sandy Rothman and Steve Pottier, 1994
no info Unplugged, Nirvana, 1994
info 1956-1968, The Osborne Brothers, 1995
no info In The Pines, Todd Phillips, 1995
no info Where Did You Sleep Last Night, Lead Belly Legacy, Vol. 1, Leadbelly, 1996
no info Hats Off! A Tribute To Bill Monroe, Various Artists (Mac Wiseman), 1996
no info Ballads, Banjo Tunes and Sacred Songs of Western North Carolina, Bascom Lamar Lunsford, 1996
no info Longest Train, Charlie Louvin, 1996
no info Uncle Henry's Favorites, Marvin Gaster, 1996
no info Old Time On The Air, Vol. 2, Various Artists (The Rhythm Rats), 1996
info Rebel Records: 35 Years of the Best in Bluegrass (1960-1995), Various Artists (Pete Pike), 1996
no info Smithsonian/Folkways American Roots Collection Sampler, Various Artists (Leadbelly), 1996
no info Get Acquainted Waltz, The Strange Creek Singers, 1997
info Last Forever: New and Old Songs out of the American Tradition, Sonya Cohen, 1997
no info Lord I'm Coming Home, Jimmy Martin and The Sunny Mountain Boys, 1997
no info Essential, Bill Monroe / Monroe Brothers, 1997
info 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Bill Monroe, 1999
no info I Guess It Never Hurts To Hurt Sometimes, The Oak Ridge Boys, 19??
no info On Radio Vol. 1, Blue Sky Boys, 19??
no info EP, Stanley brothers, 19??
no info Single, Bill & Wilma Millsaps & the Snowbird Mountain Boys, 19??
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no info Great Original Recordings 1927-28, The Tenneva Ramblers, 19??
no info The Railroad in Folk Song, Various Artists (J. E Mainer's Mountaineers), 19??
no info Neiman-Marcus First Edition, Various Artists (J. E Mainer's Mountaineers), 19??
no info Bill and Wilma Millsaps and the Snowbird Mountain Boys, 19??
info 33 Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals, Clarence White, 2000
info Blind Dog Thumpin' on the Porch, The Homegrown String Band, 2000
info Bluegrass Bonanza, Various Artists (Bill Monroe), 2001
info Bluegrass Bonanza: The Monroe Legacy 1936-45, Various Artists (Bill Monroe), 2001
info Edgar's Blues, Eric Lewis & Andy Ratliff, 2001
info Blue Moon of Kentucky 1936-1949, Bill Monroe, 2002
info The Very Best of Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys, Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys, 2002
info At Home and on the Range: The Duo Live, Mike Marshall & Darol Anger, 2002
info American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 1, Pete Seeger, 2002
info Anthology, Bill Monroe, 2003
info All the Classic Releases 1937-1949, Bill Monroe, 2003
info Mo' Joe, Joe Craven, 2003
info Treasury of Bluegrass: America's Music, Various Artists (Bill Monroe), 2003
info The King and the Father, Bill Monroe & The Bluegrass Boys Featuring Jimmy Martin, 2004
info Far Across the Blue Water, Bill Monroe, 2004
info New Horizons, Jesse McReynolds, 2004
info On the Road, Monroe Crossing, 2004
info Buffalo Skinners, Rob McNurlin, 2004
info The Definitive Collection, Bill Monroe, 2005
info The Road Is Rocky: Complete Studio Masters 1956-1971, Gene Vincent, 2005
info Best Of Red Smiley & The Bluegrass Cut-Ups, Vol. 2, Red Smiley & The Bluegrass Cut-Ups, 2006
info 36 Bluegrass Hits, Various Artists (Mac Wiseman), 2006
info Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle With Chet Atkins: 1949, Carter Sisters and Mother Maybelle With Chet Atkins, 2007
info Tragic Songs of Life / Satan Is Real, The Louvin Brothers, 2007
info Bluegrass 1981-1994: My Last Days on Earth, Bill Monroe, 2007
info Wow Baby, Hunter Berry, 2007
info Classic Bluegrass Collection, Vols. 1-4, Various Artists (Bill Monroe), 2007
info Songs from the Invisible Republic, Various Artists (Leadbelly), 2008
info Hello Cruel World, Mars Arizona, 2008
info In the Pines: Tar Heel Folks Songs & Fiddle Tunes 1926-1936, Various Artists (Dock Walsh), 2008
info 1950-1958 (JSP box set), Bill Monroe And His Bluegrass Boys, 2009
info Flatpicking Bluegrass, Various Artists (Chris Jones), 2009
info Happy Birthday Bill Monroe: Dawg Plays Big Mon, David Grisman and various artists, 2011
info Live At Hodi's, Halden Wofford & The Hi-Beams, 2012
info They All Played For Us: Arhoolie Records 50th Anniversary Celebration, Various Artists (Eric & Suzy Thompson), 2013
info Peter Rowan's Twang An' Groove, Vol. 1, Peter Rowan's Twang An' Groove, 2014

Notes

In The Pines can also be heard on two of the pre-Dead tapes that feature Jerry Garcia. It was played by the Black Mountain Boys on the 7th March 1964. It also occurs on the "Unident Thing" tape that features Garcia and Pigpen. Date and venue are unknown.

The Golden Road box set gives the writing credits for this song as Clayton McMichen/Slim Bryant. But it's history of the song certainly pre-dates their involvement with it.

According to Southern Mountain Folksongs by W. K. McNeil there is an unpublished study of In The Pines, running to 650 pages, by Judith McCulloh. This study analyses the lyrics and music of 160 variations of the song and identifies one musical and three textual elements that must be present for a song to be In The Pines. The textual elements are;

the phrase "In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines"

the phrase, "The longest train I ever saw"

and one or more verses describing an accident in which someone is decapitated.

Many variations of the song occur. Variations also occur with different titles, such as; Where Did You Sleep Last Night, Black Girl and The Longest Train.

The Black Mountain Boys version is fairly rudimentary and unrehearsed, it sounds in places (lines marked with an asterisk) that different members of the group sing different words for some lines.

The longest train that ever I saw,
Went down the Georgia line,
The engine passed at six o'clock,
And the (cab it passed at nine?).*

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun never shines,
And you shiver when the cold wind blows.

I asked my captain for the time of day,
He (said?) throwed his watch away,
It's a long (?) and a short (cross tie?),*
I'm on my way back home.

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun never shines,
And you shiver when the cold wind blows.

Little girl, little girl, what have I done,
That makes you treat me so,
You caused me to weep, and caused me to mourn,
You caused me to leave my home.

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun never shines,
And you shiver when the cold wind blows.

This is a bluegrass style version of the song based perhaps on versions recorded by Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers.

The version of the song that occurs on the "Unident Thing" tape with Pigpen on harmonica and Garcia on guitar and vocals is much different. It segues directly from an abandoned version of Careless Love on the tape. After a verse of Careless Love the singer (Mike Sector?) gives up on the song and requests Garcia's presence on stage, "Jerry I need some funk up here." Garcia calls for Black Girl, which is the name used by Leadbelly for In The Pines. They then move directly into the song. Here the music is blues based, two guitars and Pigpen's harmonica. The original singer, not Garcia, takes the vocals. The lyrics are repeated phrases rather than a full version of the song;

Black girl, black girl, don't you lie to me,
Tell me where did you stay last night.

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun never shines,
And I shiver the whole night through.

You caused me to weep and you caused me to mourn,
And you caused me to leave my happy home.

Black girl, black girl, don't you lie to me,
Tell me where did you stay last night.

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun never shines,
And I shiver the whole night through.

Black girl, black girl, don't you lie to me,
Tell me where did you stay last night.

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun never shines,
And I shiver the whole night through.

You caused me to weep and you caused me to mourn,
And you caused me to leave my happy home.

The only version that survives on tape by the Grateful Dead is from July 17th 1966 (now released on The Golden Road). This is a much more finished work than either of the earlier recorded versions, and unlike those versions, captures the strange and eerie nature of the song.

It's a good example of the synthesis of styles that formed the Dead's early music. There are elements of the bluegrass version and elements of the blues version but this is now a rock version of the song. The lyrics are an expanded form of those performed in the Black Mountain Boys version but the delivery is more assured and greatly enhanced by the arrangement, especially the menacing organ figures. Here's the lyrics from the Dead's version;

Little girl, little girl, what have I done,
To make you treat me so,
You have caused me to weep, you have caused me to mourn,
You have caused me to lose my home.

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun never shines,
You shiver as the cold wind blows.

My daddy was a railroad man,
Drove a mile when the (?) go down,
His head was found beneath the driving wheel,
And his body has never been found.

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun never shines,
You shiver as the cold wind blows.

The longest train I ever saw,
Was down the Georgia line,
The engine passed at ten o'clock,
The cab passed by at nine.

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun never shines,
You shiver as the cold wind blows.

Little girl, little girl, what have I done,
To make you treat me so,
You have caused me to weep, and caused me to mourn,
You have caused me to lose my home.

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun never shines,
You shiver as the cold wind blows.

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun never shines,
You shiver as the cold wind blows.

In the pines, in the pines,
Where the sun never shines,
You shiver as the cold wind blows.

Lyrics from In The Pines occur in other songs. For example Rolling Mill Blues recorded by Peg Leg Howell in the late 1920's comprises a series of couplets many of which come from In The Pines.

A song recorded by Odum (1926), and given the title Goin' Down That Lonesome Road, includes lyrics familiar to us from the Dead's repetoire in both In The Pines and Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad;

Goin' down dat lonesome road,
Oh, goin' down dat lonesome road,
An' I won't be treated this-a way.
Springs on my bed done broken down,
An' I ain't got nowhere to lay my head.

Now my mamma's dead an' my pappa, too
An' it left me alone with you.
An' you cause me to weep an' you cause me to moan,
An' you cause me to leave my happy home.

Longest train I ever saw
Was nineteen coaches long
Darlin' what have I done to you?
What makes you treat me so?
An' I won't be treated this way.