Home
Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie
Composer: Traditional / Elizabeth Cotten

Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie was performed by the Grateful Dead in acoustic sets in 1980 and 1981. It was also performed in acoustic settings by various Jerry Garcia groups.

This song is sometimes credited as traditional and sometimes to Elizabeth Cotton. In interviews Elizabeth Cotton said that she learned the song from country blues singers around Chapel Hill, NC. On other occasions whilst introducing the song on stage she said that she wrote the song.

Some recordings of the song use the title This Life I'm Living.

The notes that accompany the 1989 reissue, Freight Train and Other North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes, simply state that it is "An unusual blues sung around the Chapel Hill area." and quotes the verses and chorus used by Cotten;

One old woman Lord in this town
Keeps a-telling her lies on me
Wish to my soul that old woman would die
Keep a-telling her lies on me

Oh babe it ain't no lie
Oh babe it ain't no lie
Oh babe it ain't no lie
Know this life I'm living is very high

Been all around this whole round world
Lord I just got back today
Work all the week, hon, and I give it all to you
Honey baby what more can I do

Oh babe it ain't no lie
Oh babe it ain't no lie
Oh babe it ain't no lie
Know this life I'm living is very high

 
Grateful Dead recordings

info Reckoning, Grateful Dead, 1981
info Beyond Description, Grateful Dead, 2004
info Reckoning, Grateful Dead, 2006 (bonus on exp. CD)

Jerry Garcia

info Almost Acoustic, Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band, 1988
info All Good Things: Jerry Garcia Studio Sessions, 2004
info Pure Jerry: Lunt-Fontanne, NYC, 10/31/87, JGAB/JGB, 2004
info Reflections, Jerry Garcia, 2005 (bonus on exp. CD)
info Pure Jerry: Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Feb 28, 1986, Jerry Garcia & John Kahn, 2009

Other recordings

As Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie or similar
info Folk Songs and Instrumentals With Guitar, Elizabeth Cotten, 1958
info Jackie Washington, Jackie Washington, 1962
info Allen-Ward Trio, Allen-Ward Trio, 1965
info Jackie Washington At Club 47, Jackie Washington, 1965
info How to Play Blues Guitar, Stefan Grossman, 1966
info Large As Life and Twice As Natural, Davy Graham, 1968
info Live!, Elizabeth Cotton, 1984
info Freight Train and Other North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes, Elizabeth Cotten, 1989
info Anakin, Various Artists (His Name Is Alive), 1998
info Ragtime Millionaire, Lightnin' Wells, 1998
info Fire in the Soul, Davy Graham, 1999
info There Is No Eye: Music For Photographs, Various Artists (Elizabeth Cotten), 2001
info Ad Astra Per Aspera, Bingo, 2001
info 3 and 4, OCS, 2005
no info Plays the Music of Newport, Rosebud, 2009

As This Life I'm Living
info This Life I'm Living, Carolyn Hester, 1963
info Folk Songs. Sweet and Bittersweet, Len & Judy, 1964
info Anita and Helen Carter, Anita and Helen Carter, 1964
info Ring of Fire, Anita Carter, 1989
info Prestige/Folklore Years, Vol. 1, Various Artists (Len & Judy), 1994
info Dear Companion, Carolyn Hester, 1995
info Appalachian Angel: Her Recordings 1950-1972, Anita Carter, 2004

  album cover

album cover

album cover

album cover

album cover

album cover

album cover