Careless Love

Song composer(s)


Grateful Dead Recordings

Not recorded by the Dead

Dead Related Recordings

No Dead related recordings entered

Other Recordings

Jazz, Vol. 2: The Blues : Various Artists (Original Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra) (1950)
Footnotes to Jazz, Vol. 1: Baby Dodds Talking and Drum Solos : Baby Dodds (1951)
Brownie McGhee Blues : Brownie McGhee Blues (1955)
Lonesome Road : Lonnie Johnson (1956)
American Folksongs For Men - To You With Love : Bob Ross (1957)
One Man Band : Paul Blackman (1957)
American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 2 : Pete Seeger (1958)
Music of New Orleans, Vol. 3: Music of the Dance Halls : Various Artists (Billy Pierce & Dee Dee Pierce) (1958)
St. Louis Blues : Pearl Bailey (1958)
Slim Whitman Sings : Slim Whitman (1959)
Folksingers 'Round Harvard Square : Joan Baez, Ted Alevizos, Bill Wood (1959)
The Country Blues : Various Artists (Lonnie Johnson) (1959)
New Orleans Street Singer : Snooks Eaglin (1959)
Ballads, Blues and a Spritual : Dave Van Ronk (1959)
T. Texas Tyler : T. Texas Tyler (1961)
Arbee's Blues : Arbee Stidham (1961)
Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music : Ray Charles (1962)
Jim and Art Sing and Play a Folk Song : Jim Helms & Art Podell (1962)
12 String Story, Volume 1 : Various Artists (Jim Helms) (1963)
Music Down Home: An Introduction to Negro Folk Music, U.S.A. : Various Artists (Brownie McGhee) (1965)
Gambler's Blues : Dave Van Ronk (1965)
The Asch Recordings, 1939 to 1947, Vol. 1: Blues, Gospel,and Jazz : Various Artists (Josh White) (1966)
Devil Got My Woman : Skip James (1968)
Hardy Brendle & the Virginia Partners (1969)
Tomorrow Night : Lonnie Johnson (1970)
Dock Boggs, Vol. 3 : Dock Boggs (1970)
Country Bluegrass from Southwest Virginia : Glen Neaves and the Virginia Mountain Boys (1974)
Immortal Carson Robison : Carson Robison & his Pioneers (1978)
Trouble In Mind : Archie Shepp & Horace Parlan (1981)
Ida Cox & Bertha Chippie Hill : Ida Cox & Bertha Chippie Hill (1981)
Have No Fear Big Joe Is Here : Big Joe Turner (1982)
Early Recordings, Vol. 1 (1951) Dauphine Street Jam Session : Emile Barnes (1982)
The Perennial : George Lewis (1982)
Bad Penny Blues : Humphrey Lyttleton (1983)
Buck Johnson & Lu Watters : Buck Johnson & Lu Watters (1983)
Crossfire : Spencer Davis (1984)
Boogoe Woogie Baby : Fats Domino (1985)
Collection : Memphis Slim (1986)
Bessie Smith Songbook : Dinah Washington (1986)
Banjo Man - Tribute To Earl Scruggs : Carl Jackson (1988)
Tomorrow Night : Lonnie Johnson (1988)
Greatest Country & Western Hits : Ray Charles (1989)
Bosses Of The Blues : Big Joe Turner (1989)
American Banjo - Three Finger & Scruggs Style : Various Artists (Snuffy Jenkins) (1990)
Tuff Sax/Moaning Sax : Ace Cannon (1991)
The Folkways Years 1945-1959 : Bownie McGhee (1991)
Complete Recordings, Vol. 2 (1924-1925) : Bessie Smith (1991)
Folkways Years (1959-61) : Dave Van Ronk (1991)
Son of Rounder Banjo : Various Artists (1992)
Goin' Back To New Orleans : Dr John (1992)
Complete Folkways Recordings : Lonnie Johnson (1993)
Rare, Live and Classic : Joan Baez (1993)
Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band : Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band (1994)
Lead Belly's Last Sessions : Leadbelly (1994)
Bourgeois Blues, Leadbelly Legacy, Vol. 2 : Leadbelly (1997)
Mountain Blues : Various Artists (Jimmy Tarlton) (19??)

Performance History

Occurs on the "Unident Thing" tape that features Garcia and Pigpen. Date and venue are unknown.

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


This song dates back to at least the early 1900s. It became very popular in the 1920's following W. C. Handy's adaptation 'Loveless Love' and was widely recorded.

The first field collection of the song was made in 1911 by Howard Odum as Kelly's Love.

Possibly derives in part from Britsih songs I Wish I Wish and What A Voice.

The version on the "Unident thing" tape is only a brief opening to the song. It quickly breaks down, with the singer calling "Jerry I need some funk up here", and segues into In The Pines.

For what it's worth here are the lyrics that occur;

Oh love, oh love, oh careless love,
Love, oh love, oh careless love,
Oh love, oh love, oh careless love,
You see what careless love will do.

Recorded by Dylan with Johnny Cash during the Nashville Skyline sessions on February 18, 1969, but not released.