Sweet Sunny South

Song composer(s)


Grateful Dead Recordings

Not recorded by the Dead

Dead Related Recordings

Shady Grove : Jerry Garcia & David Grisman (1997)

Other Recordings

Da Costa Woltz's Southern Broadcasters (1927)
New Lost City Ramblers, Vol. 4 : New Lost City Ramblers (1962)
Old Time Songs : Charlie Poole & The North Carolina Ramblers (196?)
One Day At A Time : Joan Baez (1970)
Bluegrass Guitar : Dan Crary (1970)
Kyle Creed with Bobby Patterson & The Camp Creek (1973)
Second Annual Farewell Reunion : Mike Seeger (1973)
38th Annual Galax Old Fiddlers Convention 1973 : Various Artists (Larry McPeak) (1973)
Come And Go With Me : Tommy Jarrell (1974)
Sweet Sunny South : John Graves, Bobby Smith & The Boys From Shiloh (1976)
Kitty Puss : Buddy Thomas (1976)
Ballads & Butterflies : Joan Sprung (1976)
Kitty Puss : Buddy Thomas (1976)
Joan Baez Country Music Album : Joan Baez (1979)
Eight Miles Apart : The Kimble Family (1979)
Legendary Dock Boggs : Dock Boggs (197?)
49th Annual Galax Old Fiddlers Convention : Various Artists (Space City String Band) (1985)
Take Me Back : Tim & Mollie O'Brien (1988)
Bluegrass Album, Vol. 5 - Sweet Sunny South : Bluegrass Album Band (1989)
American Banjo - Three Finger & Scruggs Style : Various Artists (Snuffy Jenkins) (1990)
American Banjo - Three Finger & Scruggs Style : Various Artists (Larry Richardson) (1990)
Hartford & Hartford : John & Jamie Hartford (1991)
My Carolina Home : Laura Boosinger (1991)
When The Roses Bloom In Dixieland : The Osborne Brothers (1994)
When A Woman Gets The Blues : Rory Block (1995)
Old Time Songs : Charlie Poole (19??)
Collection of Mountain Ballads : Various Artists (Piedmont Log Rollers) (19??)
Sacred Songs of Mother & Home : Wade Mainer (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.


Early versions of this song generally have the title as Take Me Back To The Sweet Sunny South? Also occurs as Bright Sunny South. Possibly dates from the Civil War.

Here's the full lyrics of the version performed by the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers

Take me back to the place where I first saw the light,
To the sweet sunny south, take me home,
Where the mocking birds sing me to rest every night,
Oh why was I tempted to roam.

I think with regret of the dear home I left,
Of the warm hearts that sheltered me there,
Of wife and of dear ones of whom I'm bereft,
For the old place again I do sigh.

Take me back to the place where the orange trees grow,
To my (plot/cot?) in the evergreen shade,
Where the flowers from the river's green margin do (grow/blow?),
And spread their sweet scent through the glade.

Oh the path to our cottage they say has grown green,
And the place is quite lonely around,
I know that the smiles and the forms that I've seen,
Now lie in the dark mossy ground.

Take me back, let me see, what is left that I knew,
Can it be that the old house is gone,
Dear friends of my childhood indeed (must be few?)
And I must (face death all alone?).

But yet I'll return to the place of my birth,
Where the children have played round the door,
And they gathered wild blossoms that grew round the path
That'll echo our footsteps no more.

Take me back to the place where my little one sleeps,
For (old massa?) lies buried close by,
Oh the graves of my loved ones I long for to weep,
And among them to rest when I die.