Sweet Sunny South
Composer: Traditional

Sweet Sunny South was performed by Jerry Garcia and David Grisman in the 1990's. Also performed by Jerry Garcia with the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers in San Carlos on June 11th 1962, a performance that circulates on tape. The lyrics of this early performance are given at the bottom of this page.

Early versions of this song generally have the title as Take Me Back To The Sweet Sunny South. It also occurs on recordings as Bright Sunny South.

The song possibly dates from the American Civil War. Writing credits are sometimes given as W.L. Bloomfield.

Jerry Garcia recordings

info Shady Grove, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, 1996
info Grateful Dawg Soundtrack, David Grisman / Jerry Garcia / Various Artists, 2001
info Before The Dead, Jerry Garcia, 2018
info Shady Grove: Deluxe Edition, Garcia/Grisman, 2020

Other recordings

no info Da Costa Woltz's Southern Broadcasters, 1927
info The New Lost City Ramblers, Vol. 4, The New Lost City Ramblers, 1962
info Dock Boggs, Dock Boggs, 1964
no info Old Time Songs, Charlie Poole and The North Carolina Ramblers, 196?
info Bluegrass Alliance, Bluegrass Alliance, 1969
info One Day At A Time, Joan Baez, 1970
info Bluegrass Guitar , Dan Crary, 1970
no info The Hickory Hollow Ramblers, The Hickory Hollow Ramblers, 1971
no info Da Costa Woltz's Southern Broadcasters, Da Costa Woltz's Southern Broadcasters, 1972
no info Kyle Creed with Bobby Patterson and The Camp Creek, 1973
info Second Annual Farewell Reunion, Mike Seeger, 1973
no info 38th Annual Galax Old Fiddlers Convention 1973, Various Artists (Larry McPeak), 1973
no info Kenny Hall and the Sweets Mill String Band, Vol. 2, Kenny Hall and the Sweets Mill String Band, 1973
no info Come And Go With Me, Tommy Jarrell, 1974
no info Sweet Sunny South, Josn Graves, Bobby Smith and The Boys From Shiloh, 1976
no info Kitty Puss, Buddy Thomas, 1976
no info Ballads and Butterflies, Joan Sprung, 1976
info Good Ol' Persons, Good Ol' Persons, 1977
info The Joan Baez Country Music Album, Joan Baez, 1979
no info Eight Miles Apart, The Kimble Family, 1979
info Aspen Skyline, Wayne Stewart & Friends, 1979
info Down South, Doc Watson, 1984
no info Sweet Sunny South, Harold and Abe, 1984
no info 49th Annual Galax Old Fiddlers Convention, Various Artists (Space City String Band), 1985
no info Sweet Sunny South, Goins Brothers, 1985
info Take Me Back, Tim & Mollie O'Brien, 1988
info The Bluegrass Album, Vol. 5: Sweet Sunny South, Bluegrass Album Band, 1989
no info In Touch with the Earth, Walt Richards, 198?
no info Round One, Round Town Girls, 198?
info American Banjo: Three Finger and Scruggs Style, Various Artists (Snuffy Jenkins), 1990
info American Banjo: Three Finger and Scruggs Style, Various Artists (Larry Richardson), 1990
no info Hartford and Hartford, John and Jamie Hartford, 1991
no info My Carolina Home, Laura Boosinger, 1991
no info Light Years Away, Debby McClatchy, 1992
no info Come All You Tenderhearted, Ginny Hawker and Kay Justice, 1993
no info Tribute to Fred Cockerham, Greg Hooven, 1993
no info When The Roses Bloom In Dixieland, The Osborne Brothers, 1994
no info W. C. Henderson & Company, W. C. Henderson & Company, 1994
no info Rural String Bands of Virginia, Various Artists (Patterson's Piedmont Log Rollers), 1994
info Come All You Tenderhearted, Ginny Hawker and Kay Justice, 1995
no info When A Woman Gets The Blues, Rory Block, 1995
info Rounder Bluegrass Guitar, Various Artists (Bluegrass Album Band), 1996
no info If I Go Ten Thousand Miles, Dirk Powell, 1996
no info One More Song: An Album for Club Passim, Various Artists (Bill Staines and Jeanie Stahl), 1996
no info Distant Faces, Steve Spurgin, 1996
no info Road Before Me, Black Rose, 1996
info Bridging The Gap, Mark Johnson & Clawgrass, 1997
no info Pickin' On The Rock, Crooked Stovepipe, 1997
no info Sprout Wings and Fly, John McCutcheon, 1997
no info Hoof and Mouth, Kevin Burke, 1997
info Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order: 1927-1929, Da Costa Woltz's Southern Broadcasters, 1998
info His Folkways Years: 1963-1968, Dock Boggs, 1998
info Southern Banjo Sounds, Mike Seeger, 1998
no info Dear Friends & Gentle Hearts, Suzanne Thomas, 1998
no info The First Million Miles, Vol. 2, Bill Staines, 1998
no info Resurrect, Eric Taylor, 1998
info Sounds Like Bluegrass to Me, Tony Ellis, 1999
info Legacy of Tommy Jarrell, Vol. 3: Come and Go with Me, Tommy Jarrell, 1999
no info Webco Classics, Vol. 5, Larry Stephenson, 1999
no info Song of the Hills: Instrumental Impressions of America's Heartland, Various Artists (Stacy Phillips and John Sholle), 1999
no info Collection of Mountain Ballads, Various Artists (Piedmont Log Rollers), 19??
no info Sacred Songs of Mother and Home, Wade Mainer, 19??
info Aged To Perfection, George Shuffler, 2000
info The Mysterious Redbirds, 1992-1998, The Mysterious Redbirds, 2000
info Blackest Crow, James Reams, 2000
no info Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1: 1926-1927, Roy Harvey, 2001
no info Broken Moon, John Lilly, 2001
no info New Favorite, Alison Krauss & Union Station, 2001
no info From Within, Emily Singleton, 2001
no info Americana Roots Songbook: Man of Constant Sorrow, Various Artists (Stacy Phillips and John Sholle), 2002
no info Bluegrass, The Little Grasscals: Nashville's Superpickers, 2002
no info Live, Alison Krauss & Union Station, 2002
no info Further Beyond Nashville, Various Artists (Alison Krauss & Union Station), 2002
info Buried Land: A Collection of Folk Song and Poetry, Jim Clark, 2003
info Mo' Joe, Joe Craven, 2003
no info The Haint of the Budded Rose, Martin Stephenson, 2003
no info The Kerrville Tapes, Eric Taylor, 2003
no info Old Time Banjo, ine Tree String Band, 2003
no info American Roots Songbook, Various Artists (Stacy Phillips and John Sholle), 2003
no info Americana: The Genuine Original, Various Artists (Stacy Phillips and John Sholle), 2003
info Friends Across The Pond, Various Artists (Kate Lissauer), 2004
no info Back Roads to Cold Mountain, Various Artists (Dock Boggs), 2004
info Charlie Poole with the North Carolina Ramblers and the Highlanders, Charlie Poole, 2005
info You Ain't Talkin' to Me: Charlie Poole and the Roots of Country Music, Charlie Poole / Various Artists, 2005
info Mountain Journey: Stars of Old Time Music, Various Artists (Buddy Thomas), 2005
no info The Good Ol' Persons, The Good Ol' Persons, 2005
no info Old Time Songs & Square Dance, Arkie the Arkansas Woodchopper, 2005
no info Kenny Hall and the Sweets Mill String Band, Kenny Hall and the Sweets Mill String Band, 2005
info Live From Smiley Mountain, Smiley Mountain Band, 2005
info Leaving Home, Runaway String Band, 2006
info Blockbuster Bluegrass, Various Artists (Tony Ellis), 2006
info Masters of Old-time Country Autoharp, Various Artists (Ernest Stoneman), 2006
no info Howard Fishman Quartet, Vol. 2, Howard Fishman, 2006
info Old Time Mountain Music / More Old Time Mountain Music, J.E. Mainer & His Mountaineers, 2007
no info Along the Crooked Road, Stevie Barr with Friends, 2007
no info Swampblood, Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, 2007
no info It's About Time, John Hoffmann & Mac Benford, 2007
no info 2:10 Train, Jimmy Gaudreau, 2008
info Is It True?, The Dwyers, 2008
info Bowling Green, Alice Gerrard and Mike Seeger, 2008
info Gennett Old Time Music: Classic Country Recordings 1927-1934, Various Artists (Da Costa Woltz's Southern Broadcasters), 2010
info Take Me On Home, The Moonshine Rooster Band, 2011

Jerry Garcia lyrics

The lyrics used by Garcia with the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers in 1962 are as follows;

Take me back to the place where I first saw the light,
To the sweet sunny south, take me home,
Where the mocking birds sing me to rest every night,
Oh why was I tempted to roam.

I think with regret of the dear home I left,
Of the warm hearts that sheltered me there,
Of wife and of dear ones of whom I'm bereft,
For the old place again I do sigh.

Take me back to the place where the orange trees grow,
To my (plot/cot?) in the evergreen shade,
Where the flowers from the river's green margin do (grow/blow?),
And spread their sweet scent through the glade.

Oh the path to our cottage they say has grown green,
And the place is quite lonely around,
I know that the smiles and the forms that I've seen,
Now lie in the dark mossy ground.

Take me back, let me see, what is left that I knew,
Can it be that the old house is gone,
Dear friends of my childhood indeed (must be few?)
And I must (face death all alone?).

But yet I'll return to the place of my birth,
Where the children have played round the door,
And they gathered wild blossoms that grew round the path
That'll echo our footsteps no more.

Take me back to the place where my little one sleeps,
For (old massa?) lies buried close by,
Oh the graves of my loved ones I long for to weep,
And among them to rest when I die.

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