Gram Parsons - Return Of The Grievous Angel Lyrics

Won't you scratch my itch sweet Annie Rich
And welcome me back to town
Come out on your porch or I'll step into your parlor
And I'll tell you how it all went down

Out with the truckers and the kickers and the cowboy angels
And a good saloon in every single town

Oh, and I remembered something you once told me
And I'll be damned if it did not come true
Twenty thousand roads I went down, down, down
And they all led me straight back home to you

'Cause I headed west to grow up with the country
Across those prairies with those waves of grain
And I saw my devil and I saw my deep blue sea
And I thought about a calico bonnet
From Cheyenne to Tennessee

We flew straight across that river bridge
Last night, half past two
The switchman wave his lantern goodbye and good day
As we went rolling through
Billboards and truckstops pass by the grievous angel
And now I know just what I have to do

And the man on the radio won't leave me alone
He wants to take my money for something that I've never been shown
And I saw my devil and I saw my deep blue sea
And I thought about a calico bonnet
From Cheyenne to Tennessee

The news I could bring, I met up with the king
On his head an amphetamine crown
He talked about unbuckling that old bible belt
And lighted out for some desert town

Out with the truckers and the kickers and the cowboy angels
And a good saloon in every single town

Oh, but I remembered something you once told me
And I'll be damned if it did not come true
Twenty thousand roads I went down, down, down
And they all led me straight back home to you
Twenty thousand roads I went down, down, down
And they all led me straight back home to you

Other Lyrics by Artist

Rand Lyrics

Gram Parsons Return Of The Grievous Angel Comments
  1. linda from ga

    My cat's name is Gram

  2. wayneo1269

    There's no mistaking Emmy Lou's voice on this track.She and Gram worked well together.

  3. Margaret Ross

    A masterpiece in every way! I note how Gram gave everyone on his recordings a chance to shine, and they all did. ⭐🤠

  4. Matt Thompson

    Gram and Emmylou’s voices together were absolute magic. This duo will never be topped.

  5. DYKERITZ: Music Page

    HOLY SHIT!!!!!! JAH Bless u Gram, Peace 4Ever

  6. Matt Thompson

    They need to re release this with the album cover Gram selected for it with the photo of Emmylou and Gram on Phil’s bike, and Emmylou and Gram’s names with equal billing on the cover. It should include the three great songs left off.

  7. Matt Thompson

    Tom Brown did not write this. Gram wrote it for Emmylou.

  8. Russ Fain

    I guess they cooked him and ate him where was jesus?russ fain

  9. jean spaulding

    Excellent quality

  10. Matt Thompson

    You can’t tell me that Tom Brown wrote the lyrics to this song. Only Gram could have written that. It was a masterpiece and the encapsulation of his life and his thinking at the time.

  11. Stargazer

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t this predate the Eagles? Wasn’t this the beginning of Country Rock ?

  12. Matt Thompson

    This song is about Gram turning a corner in his life and his direction. This was written for Emmylou so that she would know but most others wouldn’t know what he was talking about. He was still married to Gretchen but it wasn’t working. The Calico bonnet refers to Emmy. There are pictures of her hanging out with Gram wearing this. The natural connection between them could not be denied. Crossing the bridge and waving to the switchman indicates that he had made up his mind what he had to do, and got right with God. Elvis was the amphetamine king but he helped show the way of making music that appealed to flyover America. He refers to the parlor and the porch where he had met Emmylou and sang and talked. This song was his discovery that his future and the future of his music was all with Emmylou. He knew she wouldn’t complete the relationship until he resolved his marital situation. Unfortunately the devil intervened and enticed him to one last visit to his old world while the divorce was getting filed and the rest is history. That is part of why this affected Emmylou so deeply because she knew that he loved her, and she knew she loved him.

    Margaret Ross

    That's so sad and so beautiful.

  13. Matt Thompson

    Calico bonnet.

  14. Matt Thompson

    This song was to Emmylou and written so that only she would know it.

  15. jean spaulding

    Love this song

  16. JPatrick Burger

    I heard Gram in the late 70's same time as Sweet Heart of the Rodeo ..I still listen too this music today and it only gets better.Love early country music been listening since I was a kid I am now 65 yrs young

  17. jean spaulding

    Wow I never knew him I am 66

  18. MH3311

    I think I’ll just hit repeat and listen to this all day

  19. Gustavo Herrera


  20. Ezra Miller

    Emmylou is just divine o this whole album

  21. Stargazer

    + scarecrow3666. Every country and cowboy cliche put to good use . Love it. But I think someone else wrote the lyrics and Gram just really knew what to do with it.

    Margaret Ross

    That's right, a poet named Thomas Stanley Brown. Gram set the words to music, resulting in this amazing song.


    @Margaret Ross Yes , indeed Margaret. This is an amazing song and I can’t get it out of my head ; those country cliches put to music by Gram. An article in " The Rolling Stone “ said that if it were published today , it would be considered “Americana”. Good to know you .

  22. Byke Band

    I visited hell in the future and all 115 people who disliked this burn hard there

  23. Jerry W

    Gram should be in Country Music Hall of Fame along with Emmylou Harris! Quite a story!

  24. tippimail1

    Pick it for me,James-he was 80 yesterday.

  25. Montelimarr

    On Lankershim

  26. Shirley Jennings

    Great Tune!

  27. patrick rooney

    I have always wondered if he hadn't died would Gram Parsons ever have gotten the recognition he so deserved. His albums and songs were all critically acclaimed even though he never had a Gold Record. Rolling Stone magazine has called this one of the most influential albums of all time. He had plenty of critical success he just never had the commercial success and he has a hardcore fan following that has grown and grown since his death but would he ever had the recognition he so deserved if he continued to make music. It seems like he was just hitting his stride when he died The GP Album and Grievous Angel Albums were really getting good he was maturing as a songwriter and you can hear in his work on the last two albums. If he hadn't died Gram might have really blossomed into a prolific songwriter and singer. Gram had found his perfect niche in singing with Emmylou Harris she was the perfect compliment to his higher voice and it really helped expand the types of music he was writing and performing by having Emmylou Harris as his singing partner. I just wish we could have gotten to see what he would have come up with if he could have lived longer. It's never fair when someone is taken from us in their prime. I think that Gram Parsons finally could have achieved that commercial success that eluded him in life. Just a few more years and we might have seen what Gram Parsons really could have been. Afterall he had only just gotten together with Emmylou Harris and they were only on the second album together. Maybe that third or fourth album would have been the ones that really made Gram Parsons a commercial success as well as a critical success.

  28. Manny Badabing

    Is that Emmylou doing harmony?

    Margaret Ross

    Yes, it is.

    Manny Badabing

    @Margaret Ross Emmylou is awesome. God bless.

  29. pierre langedoc

    Most overrated artist in the history of popular music imo.


    And the horse you rode in on cowboy. Kid had more talent than Jimmy Buffett.

    Margaret Ross

    Emmylou and Dwight feel a lot differently. Think I'll go along with them.

  30. joseph lemko

    In my mind, Gram Parsons' spirit will never die.

  31. Michael Reynolds

    This and "A Song for You" would be on my list of 10 songs you could have on a desert island. Still great and relevant nearly 50 years after it was recorded. Gram was a genius who's devils caught up with him way too soon.

  32. Ed Kuklinski

    On the soundtrack to my life, makes me feel at home in this world, which is a feat :)

  33. I know, but,

    In case you didn't know one song that he wrote was played at wood stock. Another song he wrote him and the birds played at the grand old opry, now that's an accomplishment

  34. Shirley Jennings

    Great tune!

  35. Michael Firtha




  36. Joyce Carlile

    We went to Joshua Tree last October and to the JT Inn, saw the inside of Room 8, Gram's room. I have never been so touched in my life. I am 79 years old and I finally got to Joshua Tree National Park and I am truly happy, RIP sweet Gram.

  37. Kevin Loera

    They don't make em like this anymore yall

  38. Constantina La Fontaine

    No words but I pray our souls meet in heaven....There must be music there. Love Gram Parsons. 💜🙏💜


    The news i could bring i met up with the king "elvis" on his head an amphetimine crown...talked about unbuckling that old bible belt and ride out for some desert town........THE ONLY EVIDENCE EVER THAT ELVIS MAY HAVE FAKED HIS DEATH!!.

    Angela Blackthorne

    JT LANDOWSKI Gram saw Elvis play when he was just 9.

  40. MRDH33.0

    Cause I’m headed west
    To grow up with the country
    Across those prairies with those waves of grain

    Angela Blackthorne

    MRDH33.0 So beautiful. People like Gram Parsons are what make America great.

  41. la migra ICE


  42. robert McCabe

    God Bless the Byrds.

  43. John Midyette

    Had the pleasure to grow up in Winter Haven same time as Gram, later appraised his family’s citrus groves some 40 yrs later well passed his death. Good old boys from Polk County Fla.

  44. D Theis

    The first song by Gram that my late Step Father showed me. I owe him the world for this alone.


    This song would be perfect in a Fallout game soundtrack.

  46. Vicki Guthrie

    Step into my parlor, Gram! Have to have a daily dose of Gram...Love everything he ever did, gone too soon!

  47. barquero

    Lets say a prayer for the 90-something poor souls who dared put a thumbs down

  48. Dennis Riray

    Emmylou and Gram's voice blended together is so fantastic.

  49. Tad Somato

    The best.

  50. A D

    From Cheyenne to Tennessee...

  51. Michael Bauers

    I wanted to hear this after reading about Emmylou Harris. A bit too much country for my own tastes, but I do like the duet parts. I can imagine this song grows on you.

  52. diese kalte Welt

    Cosmic American Music

  53. Del Martinis

    Loved his music and had the biggest crush on him!

  54. Robert Hoffman

    Everyone who loves Gram’s music should read the book 20,000 Roads....excellent!!

  55. Ambient Infinite Video AIV

    A beautiful song

  56. eskorbutina suburbia

    Hola, tengo interés por la película de su muerte. Si alguien tiene un Link donde reproducirla subtitulada en español? me haría un gran favor ya que no logro encontrarla GRACIAS !

  57. William Cunningham

    wow im only 14 years old and I really dont listen to country that much but this is great. Why haven't more people heard about Gram Parsons. Crazy......

  58. randall scott burress

    so glad I got a cowboy skirt to cover my stuff*

  59. steven imeson

    Fuckin right Gp lives on!

  60. BasementBoysRecording

    This one is just too good

  61. randall scott burress

    Died way too early nobody said who stole his body

  62. Gem 1967

    Yikes..this music...

  63. Holly Carpenter

    I like how he takes the time to talk💟💗

  64. Sandra Forber

    He was before my time .. but oh what a wonderful country singer he was .. 💜

  65. randall scott burress

    technology don't got everything?

  66. Derek Mooney

    Did two voices ever combine more beautifully ?

  67. SweetAnnie Rich


  68. Strappin

    PD sent me here

  69. Joe Earl Mason

    Saw his Nudie suit at the HOF in Nashville. Worth the price of admission....

    Angela Blackthorne

    Joe Earl Mason I'm glad they have it there. But they need to INDUCT him formally. One of the greatest!

  70. carl Tommy

    Just another troubled Georgia Boy> We lost Gram too many yrs ago. But damn he was SO influential. Ya think the Eagles wouldn't have made it without this influence? And don't forget... when the Rolling Stones did "Wild Horses"... that was Gram all the way. He taught them country music and they taught him heroin

  71. John Peisithanatos

    i just learned about this song cos george pink dick kimmel of tiger belly podcast with bobby lee, got this tattoo!

    John Peisithanatos

    talked about it on tigerbelly #108.

  72. theone Andonly

    I only knew the counting crows cover! Every song I like is a cover ffs. This is gold 🏆

  73. randall scott burress

    Teecher made me write on the blackbored?1000000 times ? I hate cuntry music?????

  74. tacobill70

    Excellent music and lyrics but the guy couldn't sing worth a damn. Maybe that's part of the appeal.

  75. Charles Z

    I have a question for you Gram fans. I had a song on my computer years ago, titled "rolling stone" by gram parsons. But now I can't find any evidence of this song having ever existed. It sure sounded like Gram and it was a bloody good song. The lyrics went "i guess i am a rolling stone / and never will be free / i always spend my life alone / thats how it has to be lord.

    Rare Gram bootleg or something else altogether?

    Clint Walker

    Took me about an hour-->

  76. tippimail1

    Happy birthday to James Burton today!!!!!

  77. Antonio Dias

    pure delight

  78. Dave-O


  79. Mark Davenport

    don't know if it's the lyrics the guitar, or gram & emmalou's vo als. but this just makes me smile!!!!!!

    JPatrick Burger

    The reason for the smile this music is authentic no fluff

  80. Daniel Jones - East London Blues

    the vulnerability in Gram's voice gives me endless chills...and the depth of his lyrics...what a unique artist.

    Matt Thompson

    The lyrics on this were definitely written by Gram and not Tom Brown in my opinion. He wrote it for Emmylou. His deep blue sea with the Calico bonnet.

  81. R Jones

    Kick it for me James!

    D Theis

    R Jones "pick it for me James" ;)

  82. Trip Lucid

    Marvelous music

  83. Wes Easterlin

    Oooo yes

  84. Nicole B

    This mix is dope, thanks!

  85. SuperChampionRocker

    Mighty fine pickin' James.

  86. tippimail1

    Pick it for me,James-says it all.

  87. Bruce Lanier

    I heard the REAL byrds and then it became the Flying Burritos and I haven't heard this stuff for 40 years. God I'm old and happy

    Jarrod Procell

    fuck the byrds bub, they just ripped off and stole gram's music

  88. Bruce Lanier

    why can't all music be this good



  89. tippimail1

    Pick it for me,James.Emmylou on background vocals.

  90. Gram M

    My dad named me after Gram Parsons, and now I see why.


    Bless you and your Dad. :))) ॐ


    And that would've been just fine.

    Turd Ferguson

    My son's middle name is Townes.

    Paul Mathless

    @Turd Ferguson Beats the hell out of Turd, I guess.

    Turd Ferguson

    @Paul Mathless, better than turd beating the hell out of you too, I guess.

  91. Stosh Rice

    The MAN !

  92. Cherry Garcia

    best ever

  93. Tom Paul

    I kept hearing his name over and over and how he was such an influence on all the bands we know like the Eagles, influenced Keith and the Stones, etc and a prelude to new country. OK, after I hear a name x number of times I have to go out and hear for myself and bout the first album GP and Grevious Angel and I never looked back. What fantastic music! Classic rock stations could learn so much from this, but they play the same tired old songs. I miss the days when you could hear country, rock, blues, jazz and metal influences all on one station.


    Tom Paul same here...always hear about Gram knew he was in the Byrds, FLying Burrito Brothers.. but never really hear his music...he was shown in in a quick scene this year. He had a big influence for someone gone so young.

    Pat Hare

    Tom Paul. short answer NPR

    TheyCallMe MISTER Wheat

    RISE!! Sir Loin of Beef!!

  94. Jonn Kammeron

    His Harmonies Are So Haunting. I Love Them

    Paul Vidito

    emmy lou harris

  95. Majestic Sanctuary

    Today he would have been 70.

    Cherry Garcia

    I♡ Gram. the hot burrito songs are so good too.

  96. Erna Quezada

    Hermosa canción

  97. Deborah Padgett

    Love Emmylou's vocals in this!!!!

    Andrew Kling

    Emmylou was born to harmonize

  98. bravestwoman

    43 years ago today. RIP Sweet man.

  99. Tylor Townsend Music

    DID YOU KNOW? Gram did not write this song. though given credit, a poet named tom brown gave him the song which gram fit into song. After release, at a concert, brown approached gram and his agent calling them thieves. grams agent then gave brown some paper work which in fact was a bank account they had been saving the royalties. parsons was that good of a guy.


    Parsons was 4 months in the grave when this song was released in Jan 1974 so however Thomas Brown got credit it wasn't directly through GP.

    Ralph Noyes

    Gram was a grandson of John Snively, who started with nothing and amassed the biggest citrus fortune in FL and was the sixth richest man in the state.

    Gram never needed money. Makes me wonder if he failed to claim credit for things he possibly DID write or co-write --, like "Wild Horses". .

    Reading "20,000 Roads" right now,, a cool bio of Gram by David N. Meyer. A big paperback. I recommend it highly. It's well written, and so far, it has gotten me through Gram's senior year in high school, when he was already flourishing as a folk singer.

    A number of later prominent musicians played with him in the early/mid Sixties scene in Winter Haven, FL.

    It was clear from his early childhood that Gram was blessed with off-the-charts talent and personal charisma. Very smart, too.

    I do have a gripe with Emmylou -- for supporting Bush in 1988 -- and for saying she could not pronounce the name of the Democratic candidate -- Mike Dukakis. She dishonored Gram by performing at that rally for Bush. Dolly would not have done that.

    molly mojave

    Ralph Noyes this is honestly my exact feeling of wild horses because I know he never took credit for it but I always kind of wondered if it was because he was not chasing the same thing that other musicians were


    @Ralph Noyes he didn't write Wild Horses and said so himself

    Matt Thompson

    Gram wrote this song to Emmylou. Tom might have helped him I suspect they talked over the lyrics on the phone. However, this song is a message to Emmylou he knew Gretchen wouldn’t get. It’s all about him turning a corner in his personal life and his music.