Fire on the Mountain

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About Fire on the Mountain

"Fire on the Mountain" is a song by the Grateful Dead. It was written by lyricist Robert Hunter and composed by drummer Mickey Hart. It was commercially released on the album Shakedown Street in November 1978. An earlier instrumental version titled "Happiness is Drumming" appeared in 1976 on Mickey Hart's album Diga with the Diga Rhythm Band. Prior to the Dead recording, the song premiered at a concert on March 18, 1977 in San Francisco. It would often be paired with "Scarlet Begonias" during live performances, producing lengthy musical excursions. The paired songs were soon nicknamed "Scarlet Fire". One notable performance of the paired "Scarlet Begonias"/"Fire On The Mountain", at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, on May 8, 1977, lasted for a total of 25 minutes and 50 seconds."Fire on the Mountain" was performed in concert by the Grateful Dead 253 times between 1977 and 1995. It appears on numerous Grateful Dead albums. An outtake of the song appeared as a bonus track on the 2004 reissue of Terrapin Station. 


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Long distance runner, what you standing there for?
Get up, get out, 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 that's loose on the town
Takes a whole pail of water just to cool him down

Fire! Fire on the mountain!
Fire! Fire on the mountain!
Fire! Fire on the mountain!
Fire! Fire on the mountain!

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

Fire! Fire on the mountain!
Fire! Fire on the mountain!
Fire! Fire on the mountain!
Fire! Fire on the mountain!

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

Fire! Fire on the mountain!
Fire! Fire on the mountain!
Fire! Fire on the mountain!
Fire! Fire on the mountain!

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Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. The band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, and space rock, and for live performances of long musical improvisation. "Their music," writes Lenny Kaye, "touches on ground that most other groups don't even know exists." These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead "the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world." They were ranked 57th in the issue The Greatest Artists of all Time by Rolling Stone magazine. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and their Barton Hall Concert at Cor… more »

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Written by: Michael S. Hart, Robert C. Christie Hunter

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

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"Fire on the Mountain Lyrics." STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 6 Jul 2020. <>.

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