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Grateful Dead Me And My Uncle Lyrics

Last updated: 10/19/2012 02:38:05 PM

Me and my uncle went ridin' down,
South Colorado, West Texas bound.
We stopped over in Santa Fe,
That bein' the point just about half way,
And you know it was the hottest part of the day.

I took the horses up to the stall,
Went to the barroom, ordered drinks for all.
Three days in the saddle, you know my body hurt,
It being summer, I took off my shirt,
And I tried to wash off some of that dusty dirt.

West Texas cowboys, they's all around,
With liquor and money, they're loaded down.
So soon after payday, know it seemed a shame;
You know my uncle, he starts playing the game,
High-low jack and the winner take the hand.

My uncle starts winnin'; cowboys got sore.
One of them called him, and then two more,
Accused him of cheatin'; Oh no, it couldn't be.
I know my uncle, he's as honest as me,
And I'm as honest as a Denver man can be.

One of them cowboys, he starts to draw,
And I shot him down, Lord he never saw.
Shot me another, hot damn he won't grow old.
In the confusion, my uncle grabbed the gold,
And we high-tailed it down to Mexico.

I love those cowboys, I love their gold,
I loved my uncle, God rest his soul,
Taught me good, Lord, Taught me all I know
Taught me so well, I grabbed that gold
And I left his dead ass there by the side of the road.

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re;phileo | Reviewer: bob onnitt | 10/18/12

yea phil & leo own the deli in the neighborhood,jeez!!either version works it's an art form,and the artist was shit-hammered when he wrote it after all,if you remember the '60s you weren't there

The KID DID DO IT | Reviewer: Ben | 7/23/12

His uncle cheated and grabbed the gold (even if he didn't cheat in the end he stole the gold). Later in the song Jerry (or the kid) says "he tought me so well, I took the gold" as in his uncle taught him so well about stealing and taking money robbing people etc. that in the end the kid did the same thing his uncle did to other people because he possessed the same morals as his uncle. So he killed his uncle and took the gold for himself.

High, low, jack, & game | Reviewer: John Conolley | 6/3/11

I saw some questions as to the game they played; was it "winner stakes the game?" No. Before the time of poker, the most popular gambling game out west was high, low, jack, and game. It was a trick taking game, and the points were for highest trump card taken, lowest trump card taken, jack of trumps, and game. Game was calculated by counting the pips on the trump cards. Whoever had the most got one point for game. Sometimes game point was given to whoever had the most points otherwise, to save the counting of pips. In other words, "winner takes game." ("The" was thrown in the song for the meter). Much later, it became the convention to consider the ten of trumps game. The modern version of the game is called setback, and the points are high, low, jack, jick, joker, joker, and game. Jick is the jack of the other suit the same color as trump, and the jokers are big joker and little joker. Rank of cards is different from standard, also, but I don't remember how, anymore.

Re: Did the kid do it? (Kirk Noah) | Reviewer: Tanyard Branch | 3/17/11

I have been wondering the same thing. I'm leaning more toward the uncle taking a bullet during the card game's violent conclusion and dying halfway down the road to Mexico. The significance of leaving "his dead ass there by the side of the road" being that the kid neglected to bury his uncle in order to escape with the gold (as the rest of the cowboys were undoubtedly chasing them).

Really could go either way...but isn't that such an endearing quality? I'm just glad find someone else with the same question.

Did the kid do it? | Reviewer: Kirk Noah | 2/27/11

I've always wondered about the last part of the song. I go back and forth. Did the kid kill his uncle and take the gold? Or did the uncle take some lead in the confusion at the bar and mad dash the two make for Mexico, uncle dies miles out of town, and the kid has been taught well enough by him to let the dead die and get his ass back on his horse before the posse catches up with him and gets him too? Hmmmmmm.

The Dead's Phileo Love | Reviewer: Pad Thai | 2/2/10

Well,OK, blorzoga, "Phileo" is not in your English dictionary, but it is in your Greek one. In the Greek, Phileo is "brotherly love." Other words in America are the Greek "Agape" meaning Divine love and "Eros" where we get erotic, or physical love. That "Me and My Uncle" is "the story of avarice trumping Phileo love" may admittedly be Greek to some. Google Phileo Love and see what you come up with.

Hey Now Pad Thai | Reviewer: blorzoga | 1/30/10

"Phileo" is not a word, unless you made it up (like "blorzoga") but likely you meant "filial" dude, as in genetics:
"Of or relating to a generation or the sequence of generations following the parental generation."

An eternal favorite | Reviewer: Jeff Curry | 11/12/09

The Skull and Roses album was my first exposure to the Grateful Dead, back in 1983. I was in the Navy, stationed in the Bay Area. I was not a country fan, but had some exposure while I was growing up.

Me and My Uncle is a very special song. At first listen, it seems very country, but after a few more times through, and a little thought, it is actually something more.

For a new fan of the band, it is one of their many songs that seems like a traditional song at first listen, but becomes something much more in a very short time, a great introductory song for prospective deadheads. Bless my two great friends for feeling that I was worthy to be initiated into the club. ;)

"Accidental" genius | Reviewer: Pad Thai | 10/25/08

The classic cut on the Dead's 1971 "Skull and Roses" album (album artwork from the Rubiayat of Omar Khayyam)was one of many cover recordings, but this is a special one. Embedded perfectly in a series of songs that are at once country-rock-folk-fusion-blues-acid rock with an edge, the deceptively simple "Me and My Uncle" tells the cowboy tale of avarice trumping phileo love. Written by a drunken John Phillips (Mamas and Papas)one night at a party, in the hands of the Dead (or their brains more accurately) the song transcends cowboy philosophy and taps into something bigger, more universal and even eternal. Not bad for a tequila inspired tune. I've listened to it for 37 years and can't get over it (10-25-08

me and my uncle | Reviewer: me | 10/30/06

a superb song by a superb band
the theme is so true greed and being a sore loser

btw i love the last line