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Tennessee Jed is a classic composition by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia and was part of the Grateful Dead's repertoire for most of their career. The "post-Dead" bands such as Bob Weir's RatDog and Phil Lesh and Friends have also made this a regular song.

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Cold iron shackles and ball and chain
Listen to the whistle of the evenin' train
You know you bound to wind up dead
If you don't head back to Tennessee Jed

Levon Helm - Tennessee Jed Lyrics


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  • I'd like to think that Garcia and Hunter would have approved
  • This is even better than the Grateful Dead original, which is pretty good.
  • This is what real folk music evolved to. I'm so glad I was around when they were playing.
  • god bless and r.i.p. levon helm
  • Allways wonder'd who elton john was singing about.Levon
  • Yes It's hardest thing I ever done.Was leaving Tennessee.
  • It sounds that those that are spiritualy called unto Tennesse whit out it being a prayer for them to do so, should hurry on back to Tennesse! Reguardless if their name be Jed!
  • God bless you, Levon. You are a national treasure.
  • you can't beat the dead version with jerry on vocals, but levon's voice is perfect for this song. great cover!
  • Gotta love Levon!

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