Gravedigger (song)

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Single by Dave Matthews
from the album Some Devil
Released 2003
Format CD single
Genre Rock
Length 3:53
Label RCA
Songwriter(s) Dave J. Matthews
Producer(s) Stephen Harris
Dave Matthews singles chronology
"Save Me"

"Save Me"

"Gravedigger" is a song by Dave Matthews from his debut solo album, Some Devil. This was the first solo single released by Matthews away from the Dave Matthews Band, and it won a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance at the 46th Grammy Awards held on February 8, 2004. The song has been performed live by Dave Matthews (solo), by Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds, at Dave Matthews & Friends concerts, and occasionally as an acoustic solo by Matthews during Dave Matthews Band shows. During the Dave Matthews Band's tours in 2008 and 2009, it was played regularly by the full band.

Matthews said about the song:[1]

"It's kind of these different stories that are brought together by walking through a graveyard with their names and the dates of their births and their deaths, and the stories that came out of their lives. It's sort of just telling those stories and some others as you wander through a graveyard and what you might think if you could walk into the graves and find out what people went through to get there."

There was also an acoustic version of the song on the album Some Devil. The song began as an intro played twice solo by Matthews at full-band DMB shows in the spring of 2002, before debuting as a full solo song in the same tour. In the original "Gravedigger Intro" version, only two people are mentioned: Merrill Lee (1905–1969) and Robert John Smith.

Music video[edit]

A music video was produced for the song, directed by Mark Pellington.[2] While filming the video in Montana, Matthews lost his wedding band in the grave, though it was eventually recovered. The video, much like the song, was dark. Elements within the video, such as a hand wielding a key, symbolize death. The lyrics describe, among other things, a young boy who dies in a bike crash.

In popular culture[edit]

Willie Nelson did his own version of the song that appeared on the 2008 album Moment of Forever. The song was also used in the second episode of the ABC series FlashForward. Timothy C. Takach of Cantus arranged the piece for men's voices, and the group performs it on tours.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Gravedigger" — 3:50
  2. "Gravedigger" (Acoustic) — 3:53

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2003) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Alternative Songs 35
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks 35


  1. ^ Moss, Corey (2003-08-11). "Dave Matthews Digs Up A Video For His First Solo Single - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
  2. ^ "Dave Matthews - Rhapsody Music Downloads". 2003-09-22. Retrieved 2012-02-19.