Roving Gambler

Song composer(s)


Grateful Dead Recordings

Not recorded by the Dead

Dead Related Recordings

No Dead related recordings entered

Other Recordings

Welby Toomey (192?)
Sin Songs : Ed McCurdy (1955)
New Lost City Ramblers, Vol. 1 : New Lost City Ramblers (1958)
Songs Our Daddy Taught Us : Everly Brothers (1958)
Country Songs Old & New : The Country Gentlemen (1960)
Rusty York & the Kentucky Mountain Boys (1961)
Brothers Four Greatest Hits : Brothers Four (1962)
Folk Songs : Everly Brothers (1962)
Folk Music of Washington Square : Various Artists (Alice L. McKillen) (1962)
Old Times and Hard Times : Hedy West (1967)
Ballads and Songs of the Blue Ridge Mountains - Persistence and Change : Various Artists (Hobart Delp, Larry Delp, Joe Kyles) (1968)
At the hungry I : Gateway Singers (196?)
Essentail : Ramblin' Jack Elliott (1970)
Immortal Carson Robison : Carson Robison & his Pioneers (1978)
Mountain Fiddler : Robert Byrd (1978)
Old Time Music from Fancy Gap : Abe Horton (1978)
All I Want To Do In Life : Jack Clement (1978)
Walls Of Time : Peter Rowan (1981)
Grinning In Your Face : Martin Simpson (1983)
Marty Robbins Files, Vol. 5 - 1958, 1959, 1962 : Marty Robbins (1984)
Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Been : Spider John Koerner (1986)
Been Riding with Old Mosby : Frank Bode (1986)
Bristol Sessions. Vol 1 : Blue Ridge Corn Shuckers (1987)
Songs For Rounders : Hank Thompson (1987)
Country Best : Dave Dudley (1988)
Classic Bluegrass : Larry Sparks (1989)
Kenny Hall and the Long Haul String Band : Kenny Hall and the Long Haul String Band (198?)
Mountain Dulcimer - Galax Style : Phyllis Gaskin (1991)
Music from the Mountain : Iron Mountain String Band (1992)
On The Trail Again : Frankie Laine (1992)
Classic Everly Brothers : Everly Brothers (1992)
Hei-wa Hoedown : Wat Koken (1995)
Family Songs & Stories From The North Carolina Mountains : Doug & Jack Wallin (1995)
Classic Bluegrass : Larry Sparks & the Lonesome Ramblers (199?)
The Complete Kelly Harrell, Vol. 1 : Kelly Harrell (19??)
The First Singing Cowboy On Records : Vernon Dalhart (19??)

Performance History

Played by the Hart Valley Drifters 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.


Here are the lyrics from the version played by the Hart Valley Drifters;

I am a roving gambler,
I've gambled all around,
Wherever I meet with a deck of cards,
I lay my money down.

Lay my money down, lay my money down.

Had not been in (?),
Many more weeks but three,
When I fell in love with a pretty girl,
And she fell in love with me.

Fell in love with me, fell in love with me.

She took me to her parlor,
Cooled me with a fan,
Whispered low in her mother's ear,
I love that gambling man.

Love that gambling man, love that gambling man.

Oh, daughter, oh, dear daughter,
How can you treat me so,
To leave your dear old mother,
And with a gambling man go.

With a gambling man go, with a gambling man go.

Oh, mother, oh, mother,
I'll tell you if I can,
If you ever see me coming back,
It'll be with a gambling man.

With a gambling man, with a gambling man.

I hear a train a-coming,
Coming round the curve,
Whistling and a-blowing,
And straining every nerve.

Straining every nerve, straining every nerve.

I am a roving gambler,
I've gambled all around,
Wherever I meet with a deck of cards,
I lay my money down.

Lay my money down, lay my money down.

May Also be known as Roving Journeyman ; Gambler's Dying Words ; Mary Phagin ; Roving Moonshiner