Top 10 Songs by the Grateful Dead

I am by no means a faithful Deadhead, but I do love the Grateful Dead’s music. They were an American psychedelic rock band that began in the mid 1960’s, 1965 to be exact. Fittingly the Grateful Dead started in San Francisco during the height of the experimental 60’s. The stars must have aligned over San Francisco to create a sound like this.

The Grateful Dead infused a variety of influences to create their unique brand of feel good rock and roll. Blues, bluegrass, country, jazz, gospel, and even folk music were major influences for the band members. The Grateful Dead had a large number of members throughout the years, but Jerry Garcia never changed. He was their “leader” although a reluctant one.

While Jerry Garcia was the most well known member of the Grateful Dead he was humble. He did not ever proclaim to be their leader and did not ever proclaim to be the reason they had such a huge following. In fact, in good hippie nature, he always said the band mates were all equally vital parts of the group. Jerry Garcia was the lead guitarist and was even known to play the banjo on occasion. He is infamous for a little flavor of ice cream that was named after him.

Other band members included Phil Lesh, a classically trained trumpeter who plaid the bass guitar. Ron McKerman was on harmonica, keyboard, and vocals for the Grateful Dead until 1973. Bob Weir played rhythm guitar for the Grateful Dead.

Lovers of their music often refer them to as The Dead.

Here is my Top 10 Pick of Grateful Dead Songs:

1. Sugar Magnolia
2. Uncle John’s Band
3. Mixicalli Blues
4. One More Saturday Night
5. Friend of the Devil
6. Truckin
7. Golden Road
8. Rosemary
9. St. Stephen
10. Casey Jones

I first started listening to the Grateful Dead in college. A friend of mine lent me the CD and I was forever hooked. Songs like “Sugar Magnolia” are such a good feeling song that they are perfect for hanging out with friends or even just chilling out while you drive to campus. Te song reads like a poem and even sounds like one.

Sugar Magnolia blossom’s blooming
Head’s all empty and I don’t care
Saw my baby down by the river
Knew she’d have to come up soon for air

Sweet blossom come on under the willow
We can have high times if you’ll abide
We can discover the wonders of nature
Rolling in the rushes down by the riverside

She’s got everything delightful
She’s got everything I need
Takes the wheel when I’m seeing double
Pays my ticket when I speed

She come skimming through rays of violet
She can wade in a drop of dew
She don’t come and I don’t follow
Waits backstage while I sing to you

She can dance a Cajun rhythm
Jump like a Willys in four wheel drive
She’s a summer love in the spring, fall and winter
She can make happy any man alive

Sugar magnolia
Ringin’ that blue bell
Caught up in sunlight
Come on out singing
I’ll walk you in the sunshine
Come on honey, come along with me

She’s got everything delightful
She’s got everything I need
A breeze in the pines in the summer night moonlight
Crazy in the sunlight yes indeed

Sometimes when the cuckoo’s crying
When the moon is halfway down
Sometimes when the night is dying
I take me out and I wander round
I wander round

Sunshine daydream
Walk you the tall trees
Going where the wind goes
Blooming like a red rose
Breathing more freely
Light out singing
I’ll walk you in the morning sunshine
Sunshine daydream
Walk you in the sunshine

It seems impossible to get tired of the mellow vibe that all the Grateful Dead songs have. One song blends easily into the next.

I have always been curious where the name Grateful Dead came from, so I did a little research. For the most part accounts from the band seem to say Jerry Garcia himself chose the name out of then dictionary. Apparently he was inspired the definition of the word. It meant a song or lyric meant to carry a lost soul to the other side. Very fitting. Songs carried Jerry Garcia and the other members of the Grateful Dead through life. And finally did escort Garcia to the other side.

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