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Grateful Dead — Monkey And The Engineer
Album: Reckoning
Avg rating:
6.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 354









Released: 1981
Length: 2:44
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Once upon a time there was an engineer.
Drove a locomotive both far and near.
Accompanied by a monkey that would sit on a stool
Watching everything the engineer would do
One day the engineer wanted a bite to eat,
He left the monkey sitting on the driver's seat,
The monkey pulled the throttle, the locomotive jumped the gun
And did 80 miles an hour down the mainline run.

Big locomotive right on time, big locomotive coming down the line.
Big locomotive No. 99, left the engineer with a worried mind.

The engineer called up the dispatcher on the phone,
To tell him all about his locomotive was gone.
Dispatcher got on the wire, switch operator to the right,
Cause the monkey's got the main line sewed up tight.
The switch operator got the message on time,
Said there's a Northbound livin' on the same main line,
Open up the switch I'm gonna let him through the hole,
Cause the monkey's got the locomotive under control.

Big locomotive right on time, big locomotive coming down the line.
Big locomotive No. 99, left the engineer with a worried mind.
Comments (16)add comment
Still don't get "The Dead".
Really don't.
But that's not important, lot's of people apparently do.
Needs at least another verse to say how it ends. A clever monkey could have seen a signal and stopped, but maybe the railroad unions would not take kindly to their members' skills being equalled by a monkey!
Choo Choo Charlie -canvas

Once upon a time there was an engineer.......
 bam23 wrote:

Similar long term follower and I agree, not only that this does not merit inclusion on an actual album, but would have been best left out of their repertoire completely. With so many original compositions by the band, why Bob felt the need to tread water like this I cannot guess.


I think you will find most Dead numbers have earlier roots. Some think A.B. too mainstream for the group, but it's the album I weaned on and the one I listen to most often.  Many pieces on Am. Beauty are historical. Just dig up the juke box, and pre-war 45's. Fun bits blend well the psycho stuff. Trips need a wakeup jolt.
 bam23 wrote:

Similar long term follower and I agree, not only that this does not merit inclusion on an actual album, but would have been best left out of their repertoire completely. With so many original compositions by the band, why Bob felt the need to tread water like this I cannot guess.



You guys have no taste! This song rocks! It is a simple American folk song! What the hell is wrong with that? It has a catchy melody, great lyrics, tells a fun story and is fun to sing to your kids! It is a happy beautiful song that is at the top of the Dead's repertoire in my view! Far better than depressing songs!
 flatop wrote:
Crap, I have been  a huge Dead fan for over 50 years  and this is  some of there lowest  ... Bob Weir and his silly novelty songs   ain't   nuthin' but album  filler 
 
Similar long term follower and I agree, not only that this does not merit inclusion on an actual album, but would have been best left out of their repertoire completely. With so many original compositions by the band, why Bob felt the need to tread water like this I cannot guess.
Acid Rock! Mother McCree!
Crap, I have been  a huge Dead fan for over 50 years  and this is  some of there lowest  ... Bob Weir and his silly novelty songs   ain't   nuthin' but album  filler 
My train song band "Engine 86" does this one with our Mandolin player singing it. It's as fun to play as it is to see everyone's reactions to it.
 buddy wrote:

Actually, the genesis of The Dead was acoustic, pretty much the roots they grew from.

Thanks for spinning one that isn't played all that often. 
 
 
Yes, indeed.  Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions 1964: 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_McCree%27s_Uptown_Jug_Champions_(album)
 rharvey658 wrote:
The Dead went acoustic before it became the thing to do.
 
Actually, the genesis of The Dead was acoustic, pretty much the roots they grew from.

Thanks for spinning one that isn't played all that often. 
The Dead went acoustic before it became the thing to do.
I've always been impressed with the use of correct railroad terminology in the second verse.  A train that goes into a siding to let another one pass is said to be "in the hole."
wore this record out
My 7  is not final yet only preliminary
This is a great song for me to play my mandolin with. So much fun! I can just see Bob onstage singing this tune also.