Little Birdie

Song composer(s)


Grateful Dead Recordings

Not recorded by the Dead

Dead Related Recordings

No Dead related recordings entered

Other Recordings

Al Craver (192?)
Coon Creek Girls (193?)
Perry Westland & the Blue Mountain Boys (1950)
Sauceman Brothers (1950)
Stanley Brothers (1952)
Wade Mainer & the Sons of the Mountaineers (1952)
Bowling Green : Kossoy Sisters with Erik Darling (1956)
Banjo Tunes and Songs : Pete Steele (1958)
Mountain Music Of Kentucky : Willie Chapman (1960)
The Music of Roscoe Holcomb & Wade Ward : Roscoe Holcomb & Wade Ward (1962)
Down State Ramblers (1962)
Folk Concert : Stanley Brothers (1963)
Red Allen & Frank Wakefield (1963)
Old Reliable String Band : Old Reliable String Band (1963)
Children's Concert At Carnegie Hall : Pete Seeger (1963)
Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs & the Foggy Mountain Boys (1964)
Friends Of Old Time Music : Various Artists (Stanley Brothers) (1964)
Better Late Than Never : Greenbrier Boys (1966)
Jack Lynch & the Lee Brothers (1967)
Memorial Album : Frank Proffitt (1968)
More Clawhammer Banjo : Gaither Carlton (1969)
Banjo Music Of The Southern Appalachians : Various Artists (Robin Roberts) (196?)
The Man & His Music : Ralph Stanley (1974)
Art Of The Mountain Banjo : Art Rosenbaum (1975)
Walkin' in the Parlor - Old Time Music of the Southern Mountains : Iron Mountain String Band (1975)
The Virginia Mountain Boys, Vol. 2: Bluegrass String Band : The Virginia Mountain Boys (1977)
Clawhammer Banjo, Vol. 3 : Various Artists (Glen Smith) (1978)
Ballads & Railroad Songs : Vernon Dalhart (1980)
Early Radio Favorites : Coon Creek Girls (1982)
Making The Air Resound : Sara Grey & Ellie Ellis (1985)
Stanley Series, Vol. 2 #1 : The Stanley Brothers (1989)
Rock Dust : Morgan Sexton (1989)
Bound To Ride : Ralph Stanley (1991)
1959-1963 Box Set : Flatt & Scruggs (1992)
Sanders Theater Sing-A-Long, 1980 : Pete Seeger (1992)
Country Music For Kids : Various Artists (1992)
Early Years 1958-61 : The Stanley Brothers (1994)
Old Time Music : New Lost City Ramblers & Friends (1994)
Clinch Mountain Bluegrass - Newport Folk Festival 1959 & 1964 : The Stanley Brothers (1994)
Mountain Music of Kentucky : Various Artists (Willie Chapman) (1996) (Expanded version of 1960 LP)
Beyond The City : The Cox Family (1995)
Music Of Kentucky - The Early American Rural Classics 1927-1937 : Various Artists (1995)
Stanley Series, Vol 3 #4 : Stanley Brothers (19??)
Prairie Bluegrass : Various Artists (The Bray Brothers with Red Cravens) (19??)
Hammered Dulcimer Reunion : Cathy Ron Penix (19??)
Holland Puckett (19??)
Sauceman Brothers (19??)

Performance History

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

Played by Garcia, solo, at the College of San Mateo in San Mateo on November 10th 1962.

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


Another song that shares elements with the Dark Hollow family of songs - it occurs with many variations in the verse and chorus. Two elements of the song that would reappear in the Dead's music at a later date occur in the version performed by the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers;

Little birdie, little birdie,
Come sing to me a song,
A short time to stay here,
And a long time to be gone.

Rather be in some dark holler,
Where the sun don't never shine,
Than to see you (?)
And to know you'll never be mine.

Little birdie, little birdie,
What makes you fly so high,
It's because my own true lover,
Is waiting in the sky.

Little birdie, little birdie,
Come sing to me a song,
A short time to stay here,
And a long time to be gone.

Neither the dark holler chorus nor the phrases which echo in Box Of Rain occur in all versions of Little Birdie.

The lyrics of the version performed solo by Garcia on 11/10/62 are virtually the same.

On the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers tape Garcia introduces the song as first recorded by the Coon Creek Girls.

Al Craver is one of the pseudonyms used by Marion Try Slaughter on recordings. Slaughter also recorded as Vernon Dalhart.