Billy Grimes The Rover

Song composer(s)


Grateful Dead Recordings

Not recorded by the Dead

Dead Related Recordings

No Dead related recordings entered

Other Recordings

The Grail Singers Sing Folk Songs from... : The Grail Singers (1959)
New Lost City Ramblers, Vol. 4 : New Lost City Ramblers (1962)
Goin' Down the Valley - Vocal & Instrumental Music From the South : Various Artists (The Shelor Family) (1977)
Mothers & Daughters : Bridget Ball (1989)
The Bristol Sessions : Various Artists (The Shelor Family) (1991)
Old Timey Music : New Lost City Ramblers (19??)

Performance History

Played by the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers in San Carlos on June 11th 1962.

Not performed by the Grateful Dead. Occurs only on pre-Dead tapes featuring future members of the dead.


Earliest reference from 1852.

Full lyrics of the version performed by the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers;

Tomorrow morn I'll be sixteen,
And Billy Grimes the rover,
Has popped the question to me, ma,
Wants to be my lover.

And he'll be here in the morning, ma,
He'll be here quite early,
Take a pleasant walk with him,
Across the fields of barley.

Oh daughter dear you shall not go,
There is no use a'talkin',
You shall not go with Billy Grimes,
Across the fields a'walkin'.

Imagine such presumption too,
The dirty, ugly rover,
I wonder where your pride has gone,
To think of such a lover.

Oh mama dear I must confess,
That Billy is quite clever,
With an ounce of gold we'd not be found,
In this wide world all over.

Oh daughter dear I am surprised,
At this infatuation,
Think of having Billy Grimes,
It would be ruination.

Oh mama dear old Grimes is dead,
And Billy is the only
Surviving heir of all that's left,
About six thousand yearly.

Oh daughter dear I did not hear,
Your last remark quite clearly,
Billy is a nice young lad,
And no doubt loves you dearly.