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Man Of Constant Sorrow
Composer: Traditional

Man Of Constant Sorrow was performed three times by Jerry Garcia and David Grisman in the early 1990's. It was also played by Garcia during a Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers gig in San Carlos on June 11th 1962 and with David Nelson at the College of San Mateo in San Mateo on November 10th 1962. Both performances circulate on tape. On the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers tape the song is sung unaccompanied by Garcia. He introduces it by saying that he has heard it performed this way by Roscoe Holcomb.

The first known occurrence of the song, as The Farewell Song, is in a song book produced by Richard Burnett around 1913 (Songs Sung By R.D. Burnett: The Blind Man: Monticello, Kentucky). It is possible that Burnett wrote the song but more likely that he adapted it from an earlier song.

The first known audio recording of the song was made in January 1928 by Emry Arthur. This was released as I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow. Some later recordings use this longer title but the majority are as Man Of Constant Sorrow. The song also sometime occurs as Maid Of Constant Sorrow.

Man Of Constant Sorrow was rewitten by Sarah Ogan Gunning in the 1930s as I Am A Girl Of Constant Sorrow.



Jerry Garcia recordings

info The Pizza Tapes, Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, Tony Rice, 2000
info Acoustic Disc 100% Handmade Music, Vol. 6, Various Artists (Jerry Garcia and David Grisman), 2002
info The Pizza Tapes: Extra Large Edition, Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, Tony Rice, 2010
info Acoustic Oasis Sampler, Vol 1, Various Artists, 2010

Other recordings

As Man of Constant Sorrow or I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow

no info Emry Arthur, 1928 (Vocalion)
no info Single (Lonesome River / I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow), Stanley Brothers, 1951
no info Single (How Mountain Girls Can Love / I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow), Stanley Brothers, 1959
info Sing Everybody's Country Favorites, Stanley Brothers, 1960
info The Newport Folk Festival: 1960, Vol. 1, Various Artists (Mike Seeger), 1960
no info EP, Stanley Brothers, 1961
info Sings Folk Songs From The Three Laurels, Obray Ramsey, 1961?
info The Music of Roscoe Holcomb and Wade Ward, Roscoe Holcomb and Wade Ward , 1962
info Old Time Country Music, Mike Seeger, 1962
info Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan, 1962
info Folk Music of Washington Square, Various Artists (Roger Lubin), 1962
no info We Shall Overcome, Freedom Singers, 1963
no info I'm on My Own Way, Josh White, Jr., 1964
info Constant Sorrow, Bobby Bare, 1965
info Jackie Washington At Club 47, Jackie Washington, 1965
info Angels Are Singing, The Stanley Brothers, 1966
info The Flat-Picker's Guitar Guide: An Advanced Instruction Record, Jerry Silverman, 1966
info Folk-Country, Waylon Jennings, 1966
no info Peter, Paul & Mary Songbook, Alan Lorber Orchestra, 1966
info Don Reno and Bill Harrell with the Tennesse Cutups, Don Reno and Bill Harrell with the Tennesse Cutups, 1967
no info Folksy, George Hamilton, 1967
no info The Metropolitan Pops Orchestra Play Instrumental Versions of Peter, Paul and Mary Favorites, Metropolitan Pops Orchestra, 1967
no info Memorial Album, Frank Proffitt, 1968
info The Rod Stewart Album, Rod Stewart, 1969
info Bob Dylan/Times They Are A-Changin', Bob Dylan, 196?
no info Ginger Baker's Air Force, Ginger Baker's Air Force, 1970
info An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down, Rod Stewart, 1970
no info Pop History, Ginger Baker, 1971
no info Roots and Branches, The Dillards, 1972
no info Play requests, Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, 1972
no info Ballads and Hymns Of The Ozarks, Almeda Riddle, 1972
info Yesterday & Today, Vol. 2, The Country Gentlemen, 1973
no info My Old Kentucky Home, Red Allen & the Allen Brothers, 1973
info Country Bluegrass from Southwest Virginia, Glen Neaves and the Virginia Mountain Boys, 1974
no info Stanley Brothers On Air, Stanley Brothers, 1976
no info Parksburg Landing, Ed Haley, 1976
no info The Best of Rod Stewart, Vol. 2, Rod Stewart, 1977
info When Scopes Collide, Kaleidoscope, 1977
info Stanley Series, Vol. 1 #1, Stanley Brothers, 1982
info Stanley Series, Vol. 1 #2, Stanley Brothers, 1982
info Very Early Joan Baez, Joan Baez, 1982
info Stanley Series, Vol. 2 #1, Stanley Brothers, 1984
no info Gettin' Up the Stairs: Traditional Music from the Cumberland Plateau, Various Artists (Retta Spradlin), 1986
info Stanley Series, Vol. 3 #1, Stanley Brothers, 1987
info The Stanley Brothers & The Clinch Mountain Boys 1949-1952, TheStanley Brothers, 1991
no info 20 Bluegrass Originals, Stanley Brothers, 1987
no info Bound To Ride, Ralph Stanley, 1991
no info The Mercury Anthology, Rod Stewart, 1992
info Bluegrass Breakdown, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 1992
no info Vintage, Rod Stewart, 1993
no info Man with the Wooden Flute, Chris Norman, 1993
no info Full Circle, Tony Furtado, 1994
info Tree On A Hill, Peter Rowan and the Rowan Brothers, 1994
info All American Boy, Bobby Bare, 1994
info Clinch Mountain Bluegrass, Stanley Brothers, 1994
info Early Starday-King Years 1958-1961, The Stanley Brothers, 1994
no info All-Time Legends of Country Music, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 1994
info 1971-1973, Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys, 1995
no info The Tradition Album, Carolyn Hester, 1995 (bonus track)
no info Great Britons, Vol. 2, Various Artists (Ginger Baker's Air Force), 1995
info The Music Of Kentucky: Early American Rural Classics 1927-1937, Vol. 2, Various Artists (Emry Arthur), 1995
info Complete Columbia Recordings, Stanley Brothers, 1996
info Stanley Series, Vol. 3 #4, Stanley Brothers, 1996
no info Roots and Branches/Tribute to the American Duck, The Dillards, 1996
no info Handbags & Gladrags, Rod Stewart, 1996
no info Say Old Man, Brad Leftwich, 1996
info Rebel Records: 35 Years of the Best in Bluegrass (1960-1995), Various Artists (Ralph Stanley), 1996
info Songs of the Stanley Brothers, Various Artists (Tony Furtado and Tim O'Brien), 1997
info Live in Japan, Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, 1997
info 20 Bluegrass Favorites, Don Reno and Bill Harrell, 1997
no info 16 Greatest Hits, The Stanley Brothers, 1997
no info Forked Deer, Volume 1, Ed Haley, 1997
info Vanguard Collector's Edition, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 1997
no info Do What You Like, Ginger Baker's Air Force, 1998
no info Very Best of Rod Stewart, Rod Stewart, 1998
no info Best of the Best of the Stanley Brothers, The Stanley Brothers, 1998
no info The Journey: Destiny's Child, Waylon Jennings, 1999
no info Greenland No More, Peter Stanley and Judy Weston, 1999
no info Coming Home, Peter Stanley & Victoria Young, 1999
no info Blue Highway, Blue Highway, 1999
info Flatt On Victor Plus More, Lester Flatt, 1999
info Riding That Midnight Train: Starday King Recordings 1958-1961, The Stanley Brothers, 1999
info Sounds Like Bluegrass to Me, Tony Ellis, 1999
no info WPAQ: Voice of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Various Artists (Juanita and Lee Moore), 1999
no info Song of the Hills: Instrumental Impressions of America's Heartland, Various Artists (Eric Weissberg), 1999
no info Positive Friction, Donna The Buffalo, 2000
no info Jack of Fools, Ben Demerath, 2000
no info Good Woman Blues, Delia Bell & Bill Grant, 2000
no info The Diamond Mountain Sessions, Sharon Shannon, 2000
no info American Roots: A History of American Folk Music, Various Artists (Emry Arthur), 2000
no info Ballads, Love Songs & Gasoline, Mark Browning, 2001
no info Man of Constant Sorrow, Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, 2001
no info The Collection, Rod Stewart, 2001
no info Mountain Soul, Patty Loveless, 2001
info Too Late to Cry, The Stanley Brothers, 2001
no info Style, Tonic Sol-Fa, 2001
no info Blue Trail of Sorrow: 16 Top Bluegrass Gems, Various Artists (Tony Furtado and Tim O'Brien), 2001
no info 24 Old-Timey Favorites, Various Artists (Don Reno, Bill Harrell with The Tennessee Cut-Ups), 2001
info There Is No Eye: Music For Photographs, Various Artists (Roscoe Holcomb), 2001
info Newport Folk Festival: Best of Bluegrass 1959-1966, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 2001
info Roots: An American Journey, Various Artists (Tony Furtado and Tim O'Brien), 2001
info Storytellers, Vol. 2, Various Artists (Sharon Shannon), 2001
info The Very Best of Ralph Stanley, Ralph Stanley, 2002
info Lonesome Valley, Various Artists (Ralph Stanley), 2002
info Bob Dylan / The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan, 2002
no info Fiddlers 4, Bruce Molsky / Michael Doucet / Darol Anger / Rushad Eggleston, 2002
no info Live at McCabe's Guitar Shop 2-11-01, Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, 2002
no info The Very Best of Ralph Stanley, Ralph Stanley, 2002
no info Live at the Smithsonian, Vol. 2, Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, 2002
no info Live, Alison Krauss & Union Station, 2002
no info Reason to Believe: The Complete Mercury Studio Recordings, Rod Stewart, 2002
no info Two in One: 1969 + 1970, Rod Stewart, 2002
no info All-Time Greatest Hits, The Stanley Brothers, 2002
no info Echoes of Clinch Mountain, The Stanley Brothers, 2002
no info Smokey River Boys Sing O Brother, Smokey River Boys, 2002
no info Bluegrass Invasion, Bluegrass Invasion, 2002
no info Drew's Famous 30 Greatest Movie Hits, Hit Crew, 2002
no info Drew's Famous Essential Country, Hit Crew, 2002
no info Time Stands Still, The Konnarock Critters, 2002
no info O Brother, Where Art Thou? Soundtrack, Various Artists (4 versions), 2002
no info O Brother: The Story Continues, Various Artists (Emry Arthur), 2002
no info Man of Constant Sorrow and Other Timeless Mountain Ballads, Various Artists (Emry Arthur), 2002
no info I'm a Man of Constant Sorrow, Various Artists (The Stanley Brothers), 2002
no info O Brother: Music in the Tradition, Various Artists (The Stanley Brothers), 2002
no info American Roots Songbook: Americana, Various Artists (Eric Weissberg and Brian Keane), 2002
no info American Roots Songbook: Man of Constant Sorrow, Various Artists (Eric Weissberg and Brian Keane), 2002
info Grammy Nominees 2002, Various Artists (Soggy Bottom Boys), 2002
info American Roots: The Essential Album, Various Artists (Ralph Stanley), 2002
info Long Journey Home: Bluegrass Songs of the Stanley Brothers, Various Artists (Tony Furtado and Tim O'Brien), 2002
info Life of Sorrow, David Grisman, 2003
info Essential Bluegrass, Various Artists (Blue Highway), 2003
info Smokey Mountain Bluegrass: 24 Traditional Favorites, Various Artists (Don Reno / Bill Harrell), 2003
info An Untamed Sense of Control, Roscoe Holcomb, 2003
info Treasury of Bluegrass: America's Music, Various Artists (Ralph Stanley), 2003
info Live at Lock 3, Brick Road Ramblers, 2003
info Rural Roots of Bluegrass, Wayne Erbsen/Laura Boosinger, 2003
no info Definition of Music: Bluegrass, The Bluegrass Boys, 2003
no info Changing Faces: The Very Best of Rod Stewart & the Faces, Rod Stewart & the Faces, 2003
no info Legacy: My Texas Roots, Trini Lopez, 2003
no info Blue Grass, The Konnarock Critters, 2003
no info O Brother That's Bluegrass, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 2003
no info You Heard It at the Movies, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 2003
no info Going Back to Old Kentucky: A Bluegrass Anthology, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 2003
no info American Roots Songbook, Various Artists (Eric Weissberg and Brian Keane), 2003
no info Americana: The Genuine Original, Various Artists (Eric Weissberg and Brian Keane), 2003
no info Best of Bluegrass Gospel, Various Artists (Steve Ivey), 2003
info Taken (TV series soundtrack), Various Artists (Bob Dylan), 2003
info Treasury of Bluegrass: America's Music, Various Artists (Ralph Stanley), 2003
info On the Road, Monroe Crossing, 2004
info The Essential Masters, The Stanley Brothers, 2004
no info Selected Sides 1947-1953: The Very Best of Bluegrass, Flatt & Scruggs/Stanley Brothers, 2004
no info Sincerely, Josh Crowe, 2004
no info Backroom Treasures, Backroom Bluegrass Band, 2004
no info Great American Bluegrass Collection, Various Artists (Emry Arthur), 2004
no info Plum Pitiful: 20 Sad and Tragic Bluegrass Songs, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 2004
no info Great Country Hymns, Various Artists (Waylon Jennings), 2004
no info God's Country: 50 Years of Country Gospel, Various Artists (Steve Ivey), 2004
info Can't You Hear Me Callin': Bluegrass: 80 Years of American Music, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 2004
info No Direction Home: The Soundtrack: Bootleg Series, Vol. 7, Bob Dylan, 2005
info Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest (DVD), New Lost City Ramblers/Greenbriar Boys, 2005
no info Then & Now & Again, Jim & Mike Anger with Tim Herrick, 2005
no info The Reckoning, John Tams, 2005
no info Home on the Highways: Band Picked Favorites, Alison Krauss and Union Station, 2005
no info The Oak Ridge Boys Quartet and Bluegrass Favorites, The Oak Ridge Boys Quartet, 2005
no info Gold, Rod Stewart, 2005
info Meridian 1970: Protest, Sorrow, Hobos, Folk and Blues, Various Artists (Rod Stewart), 2005
no info Best of Nashville Mandolins, Nashville Mandolins, 2005
no info Best of Nashville Fiddles, Nashville Fiddles, 2005
no info Hands Across the Water, Various Artists (Sharon Shannon), 2005
no info Splatter Baby, Demented Scumcats, 2005
no info An Audience with Joe Brown In Concert (DVD), Joe Brown, 2005
no info Rednecks Do It Better, Hit Crew, 2005
no info The Best of Bluegrass, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 2005
no info Country Gospel, Various Artists (Tommy Overstreet), 2005
no info Mezzanine de l'Alcazar, Vol. 4, Various Artists (Skeewiff), 2005
no info In Concert, Lonesome Ride, 2006
no info The Sharon Shannon Collection 1990-2005, Sharon Shannon, 2006
no info Angel: The Love Collection, Rod Stewart, 2006
no info Songs from the Heart, Rod Stewart, 2006
no info Bob Dylan: Times They Are a Changin', Alan Lorber Orchestra, 2006
no info 60 Greatest Country and Folk Hits, Hit Crew, 2006
info Paradise at Last, Aimless Pursuit, 2006
no info Country Gospel Favorites, Tommy Overstreet, 2006
info After The Crash, Dylanesque, 2006
no info Appalachian Heart: Original Bluegrass Classics, Various Artists (Emry Arthur), 2006
info Appalachian Stomp Down, Various Artists (Emry Arthur), 2006
no info Country Hit Parade: Bluegrass Greatest Hits, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 2006
no info Greatest Bluegrass Hits, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 2006
no info 50 Years of Country Gospel, Various Artists (Steve Ivey), 2006
no info Country Gospel Classics, Various Artists (Steve Ivey), 2006
no info Country Legends, Various Artists (Soggy Bottom Boys), 2006
no info Greatest Ever! Country, Various Artists (Soggy Bottom Boys), 2006
info Blockbuster Bluegrass, Various Artists (Mac Traynham), 2006
info True Bluegrass Essentials, Various Artists (Ralph Stanley), 2006
info Lee Hammons: Complete Banjo Recordings, Lee Hammons, 200?
info The Definitive Collection 1947-1966, The Stanley Brothers, 2007
no info Seventies Collection, Rod Stewart, 2007
no info In Between the Cracks, Albert Lee & Hogan's Heroes, 2007
no info Hee Haw Hell, Dash Rip Rock, 2007
no info The Remix Sessions, Kraak & Smaak, 2007
no info 14 Redneck Favorites, Hit Crew, 2007
info The Essential Guide To Bluegrass, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 2007
no info Pioneers of Country, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 2007
no info The Song Before the Song, Various Artists (Emry Arthur), 2007
no info Music Inspired by Oh! Brother, Where Art Thou?, Various Artists (Emry Arthur), 2007
info Classic Bluegrass Collection, Vols. 1-4, Various Artists (Soggy Bottom Boys), 2007
info Classic Bluegrass Collection, Vols. 1-4, Various Artists (Ralph Stanley), 2007
info First Second & Third: The Complete Three Decca LPs 1964-1966, Julie Felix, 2008
no info Galway Girl: The Best of Sharon Shannon, Sharon Shannon, 2008
no info Playlist Plus, Rod Stewart, 2008
no info Plastic People, Kraak & Smaak, 2008
no info Classic Mountain Bluegrass, Various Artists (Don Reno, Bill Harrell with The Tennessee Cut-Ups), 2008
no info Beginner's Guide to English Folk, Various Artists (John Tams), 2008
info Songs from the Invisible Republic, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 2008
info Deep South, Bill Leverty, 2009
info The Roots Of Bob Dylan, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 2009
info Putumayo Presents Bluegrass, Various Artists (Peter Rowan), 2012

As Maid of Constant Sorrow or I Am A Maid Of Constant Sorrow

no info Maid of Constant Sorrow, Judy Collins, 1961
info Sunny's Gallery of Folk Ballads, Sunny Schwartz with Eric Weissberg and Fred Hellerman, 1963
no info Nevada Jukebox, 60,000,000 Buffalo, 1972
info Bleecker & MacDougal: The Folk Scene Of The 60s, Various Artists (Judy Collins), 1984
info Forever: An Anthology, Judy Collins, 1997
info Maid of Constant Sorrow/Golden Apples of the Sun, Judy Collins, 2001
info Maids And Golden Apples of the Sun, Judy Collins, 2001
no info Introducing Judy Collins, Judy Collins, 2006

I'm A Girl of Constant Sorrow

info Tossi Sings Folk Songs and Ballads, Tossi Aaron, 1960
no info Dear Companion, Bonnie Dobson, 1961
info When I Was A Young Girl, Barbara Dane, 1962
info Traditional Music At Newport, 1964, Part 1, Various Artists (Sarah Gunning), 1965
info Girl of Constant Sorrow, Sarah Ogan Gunning, 1965
no info Female Frolic, Critics Group, 1968
no info Rosalie's Songbag, Rosalie Sorrels, 196?
info Tell It To Me, Ebenezer , 1975
no info Anthology of American Folk Songs, Barbara Dane, 1997
info Joan Baez, Joan Baez, 2001 (bonus track on CD reissue)
no info Songcatcher II: The Tradition That Inspired the Movie, Various Artists (Sarah Ogan Gunning), 2002
info Heading For Home, Peggy Seeger, 2003
no info The Corner of Bleecker and the Blues, Various Artists (Barbara Dane), 2003
no info Broken Hearted Blues, Various Artists (Barbara Dane), 2003
no info Calling Me Home, Alice Gerrard, 2004
no info Anthology of American Folk Songs: Tradition Years, Barbara Dane, 2006
info Beginner's Guide To Hoedown, Various Artists (Stanley Brothers), 2011
info Electric Hay: Live, Rollin' In The Hay, 2012

Jerry Garcia lyrics


The lyrics used by Garcia during the Sleepy Hollow Hog Stompers show were;

I am a man of constant sorrow,
I have seen trouble all my days,
I bid farewell to old Kentucky,
The state where I was born and raised.

For six long years I've been troubled,
No pleasure here on earth I've found,
For on this world I'm bound to ramble,
I have no friends to help me now.

Maybe you can find some other lover,
For many years while I may lay,
Maybe then you'll find (?) (to love him?),
While I am sleeping in my grave.

Maybe your friends think I'm just a stranger,
My face you never will see no more,
But there is one promise that is given,
I'll meet you on God's golden shore.

 
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