“Althea” was first performed on August 4, 1979, and last played July 8, 1995. The Grateful Dead performed the song 272 times, and it was in heavy rotation in 1980 (fifty-nine performances) and 1981 (forty-four performances). It was released on their studio album “Go to Heaven”, which was released April 28, 1979.


Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

I told Althea I was feeling lost
Lacking in some direction
Althea told me upon scrutiny
That my back might need protection
I told Althea that treachery
Was tearing me limb from limb
Althea told me, now cool down boy
Settle back easy, Jim

You may be Saturday's child all grown
Moving with a pinch of grace
You may be a clown in the burying ground
Or just another pretty face
You may be the fate of Ophelia
Sleeping and perchance to dream
Honest to the point of recklessness Self-centred to the extreme

Ain't nobody messin' with you but you
Your friends are getting most concerned
Loose with the truth, maybe its your fire
Baby, I hope you don't get burned
When the smoke has cleared, she said
That's what she said to me
You're gonna want a bed to lay your head
And a little sympathy

There are things you can replace
And others you cannot
The time has come to weigh those things
This space is gettin' hot
You know this space is gettin' hot

I told Althea, I'm a roving sign
That I was born to be a bachelor
Althea told me, OK that's fine
So now I'm trying to catch her
Can't talk to you without talking to me
We're guilty of the same old thing
Thinking a lot about less and less
And forgetting the love we bring

Jerry Garcia Rhythm Guitar Lesson

Jerry Garcia Rhythm Guitar Transcription

Jerry Garcia Solo Lesson (5/16/80) – Nassau

Jerry Garcia Solo Transcription (5/16/80) – Nassau

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