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ChordsEverytime PlayedSong History

Fire On The Mountain
(Mickey Hart/Robert Hunter)
Transcription taken from "Box of Rain" by Robert Hunter


Long distance runner, what you standing there for?
Get up, get off, get out of the door
You're playing cold music, on the barroom floor
Drowned in your laughter, and dead to the core
There's a dragon with matches loose on the town
Take a whole pail of water just to cool him down

Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain
Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain
Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain
Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain

Almost a blaze, still you don't feel the heat
It takes all you got just to stay on the beat
You say its a living, we all gotta eat
But you're here alone, there's no one to compete
If mercy's in business, I wish it for you.
More than just ashes when your dreams come true

Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain
Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain
Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain
Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain

Baby's in scarlet, her shackles in gray
If loves to love she's got it salted away
Out of the rat trap and under the wire
Out of the frying pan, and into the fire
Put it down heavy, strip it down lean
Gotta lay it down dirty and play it back clean

Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain
Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain
Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain
Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain

Fireman, fireman, call off your dog
This isn't a blaze, it's just a hog in the log
Cut up in sections, squirming alive
Lost to the world on that fifty-cent jive
There's a fire on the mountain, running around
What doesn't go up can never come down

Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain
Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain
Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain
Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain

Long distance runner, what you holding out for?
Caught in slow motion in your dash to the door.
The flame from your stage has now spread to the floor.
You gave all you got, why you wanta give more?
The more that you give, why, the more it will take.
To the thin line beyond which, you really cannot fake.

Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain
Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain
Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain
Fire (fire!), fire on the mountain

(Written at Mickey Hart's ranch in heated inspiration as the surrounding hills blazed and the fire approached the recording studio where we were working; verses three and four don't appear on the Grateful Dead recording of this song, but lines five and six of verse three became one of our mottoes, along with "Record More than You Erase.")

I had to include the note from Hunter due to its extreme coolness. Widespread performs the Grateful Dead version of the song, but parts of verse four show up in JB's "Fire Rap", as Will and Ted call it, which usually appears before verse 3 and is transcribed as follows:

JB's Fire On The Mountain Rap:
Blind man, blind man call off your dog
He lifted his leg on the fire and he's hogging the log
Fire on the mountain, her she comes, her comes comes
All the way back around

Out of the frying pan and into the fire
Over the rabbit trap and into the briar
Fire on the mountain, it's coming around
It never comes up and you never come down


added:9/11/1999

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