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Grateful Dead — Cumberland Blues
Album: Workingman's Dead
Avg rating:
6.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 199









Released: 1970
Length: 3:12
Plays (last 30 days): 0
I can't stay much longer, Melinda
The sun is getting high
I can't help you with your troubles
If you won't help with mine

I gotta get down, I gotta get down
Gotta get down to, to the mine

You keep me up just one more night
I can't sleep here no more
Little Ben clock says quarter to eight
You kept me up till four

I gotta get down, I gotta get down
Or I can't work there no more

A lotta poor man make a five dollar bill
But keep him happy all the time
Some other fella's makin' nothin' at all
And you can hear him cry
"Can I go, buddy, can I go down
Take your shift at the mine?"

Gotta get down to the Cumberland Mine
Gotta get down to the Cumberland Mine
That's where I mainly spend my time
Make good money, five dollars a day
Made any more, I might move away

Lotta poor man got the Cumberland Blues
He can't win for losin'
Lotta poor man got to walk the line
Just to pay his union dues

I don't know now, I just don't know
If I'm goin' back again
I don't know now, I just don't know
If I'm goin' back again
I don't know now, I just don't know
If I'm goin' back again
Comments (30)add comment
 toterola wrote:


Being as Jerry was a huge bluegrass enthusiast, this song is about a coal miner, and the Cumberland plateau is a coal-bearing geographic feature of Kentucky and Tennessee, I always figured this song was about these topics.

But I could be wrong. {#Wave}
 
No you called it, bro.  

"Lotta poor man got to walk the line
Just to pay his union dues"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
Haha, love the dead, but i've been agreeing with you on this point since about 1969!
 
jhorton wrote:
Wow, lot of voices there, not a one of them singing on pitch. Worst, " Harmony," I ever heard.
 


 Captn_Pea wrote:
Raw... perfect... 
 
Dead On!

I must add to the growing cadre of listeners wondering why RP persist in playing the rather weak studio versions of songs that the Dead developed more fully in concert. I realize that the radio format is considered more suited to succinct and brief works, but this is another song that deserves to be heard in a live version.
For those of you who feel some deep need to express your dislike for the Dead and Deadheads, this post is not for you. 
{#Dancingbanana}{#Bananajam}{#Dancingbanana_2}{#Bananajumprope}{#Bananapiano}{#Bananasplit}

this song is so good, bananas like it
Wow, lot of voices there, not a one of them singing on pitch. Worst, " Harmony," I ever heard.
 macadavy wrote:
The town of Cumberland on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada was a coal mining community.
Wonder if this song was about this town or some other Cumberland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumberland,_British_Columbia

 

Being as Jerry was a huge bluegrass enthusiast, this song is about a coal miner, and the Cumberland plateau is a coal-bearing geographic feature of Kentucky and Tennessee, I always figured this song was about these topics.

But I could be wrong. {#Wave}
 copymonkey wrote:


It was.
 
I really like this song and generally like the Dead. But this cracked me up.

Bunch a whiners of questionable sexual preference posting in this thread... Countering Mr. Negative with a healthy 10.


The town of Cumberland on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada was a coal mining community.
Wonder if this song was about this town or some other Cumberland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cumberland,_British_Columbia

Raw... perfect...  Last day before the Holiday break... going to make a break for it early for sure now.
Don't get them, never have.  Liked American Beauty (with the exception of Truckin) but thye just sound too fiddly and light most of the time. 

There is nothing good about this, nothing!


 alph wrote:
 This version sounds like it was sung by a drunken jug band in a moonlit back woods.
 

It was.
musikalia wrote:
Always pleased to hear GD on Radio Paradise. :good-vibes: But I'd really love to hear more live Dead, like from Without a Net. ...gotta go to the cellar and dig out my old CDs so I can upload.....
Hear! Hear! Disc Two of Eternally Grateful is entirely 'in concert' as well. The Internet Archive has an incredible Grateful Dead 'live' collection for non-commercial use, so if RP won't play live Dead you can 'roll yer own'! :wink: (click here)
Thank you, Bill!!!!!!!!!!
Dirty hillbilly music. I love it. A band called Hot Buttered Rum does a cool cover of this, but it's way too crisp and clean. This version sounds like it was sung by a drunken jug band in a moonlit back woods.
Im not a GD hater but this one is so discordant. yuck
Although this composition is great and enduring, there are numerous live versions of this that really soar, whereas this studio version lacks the impact of others. Surely, with as much live Dead material as is now accessible, RP can do better.
Always pleased to hear GD on Radio Paradise. :good-vibes: But I'd really love to hear more live Dead, like from Without a Net. ...gotta go to the cellar and dig out my old CDs so I can upload.....
GREAT TUNE...AND ABOUT TIME SOMEONE SUNG ABOUT A SAUSAGE
Good stuff! Thanks Bill! :cheers:
I love this song but not this version...
Wow 4 years since this last played. Great song!
Ah! Some old home. Always great to hear the like of GD and Phish, PinkFloyd and other masters of the music, etc.
Originally Posted by KevDog: My favorite Dead album. Europe '72 comes in a close second.
KevDog, there is a new (remastered) version of Europe '72 that's due for release later this year. There will be a bunch of songs included that were NOT ON the original album. Check out Official Grateful Dead home page
great song, but I think the live version that was on What Long Strange Trip compilation(don\'t remember which live release it was originally on) is much better.