|Song by the Grateful Dead|
|from the album From the Mars Hotel|
|Released||June 27, 1974|
|Genre||Rock, funk rock, psychedelic rock, reggae fusion|
|Label||Grateful Dead Records|
|From the Mars Hotel|
"Scarlet Begonias" is a song by the Grateful Dead. The lyrics were written by Robert Hunter and the music by Jerry Garcia. The live debut of "Scarlet Begonias" came on March 23, 1974 at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California.
The third stanza uses gambling/loss imagery that occurs in many Grateful Dead songs. The line "As I picked up my matches and was closing the door" uses the symbolism of playing poker with matchsticks to indicate a very low stakes gamble that was made for fun.
The recording first appears on the 1974 release From the Mars Hotel. When "Fire on the Mountain" was incorporated into the band's repertoire in 1977, "Scarlet Begonias" would often be paired with it when played live, resulting in what would be nicknamed "Scarlet > Fire".
- A version of the song appears on the Sublime album 40oz. to Freedom (1992), which samples James Brown's "Funky Drummer" prominently.
- Jimmy Buffett released a version of the song on his album License to Chill in 2004.
- A bluegrass version of the song appeared on the 2008 album Rex (Live at the Fillmore) by Keller Williams with Keith Moseley and Jeff Austin. Keller performs the song frequently as part of his solo concerts.
- After the Grateful Dead disbanded in 1995, it was (and still is) performed in concert by Dead spin-off bands Phil Lesh & Friends, Bob Weir & RatDog, Dead & Company, Rhythm Devils, BK3, Mickey Hart Band and Donna Jean Godchaux Band, as well as the Dead, and Furthur.
- Phish played "Scarlet > Fire" at their very first show under the name Blackwood Convention at Harris-Millis Hall at the University of Vermont on December 2, 1983.
- Thievery Corporation played a version in Chicago, IL, on July 2, 2015, as part of 'The Music Never Stopped' series, with Loulou Ghelichkhani on vocals.
- Bikini Trill released a version of the song on their debut EP 'Wassup, We Good?' in 2018.
- Dodd, David. "The Annotated "Scarlet Begonias"". The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics. Retrieved 2007-02-03.
- Dodd, David. "The Annotated "Fire on the Mountain"". The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics. Retrieved 2007-01-31.
- "Sublime – 40oz. to Freedom". Music reviews. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2007-02-03.
- Puterbaugh, Parke (2004). "Jimmy Buffett – License to Chill". Music reviews. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2007-02-03.
- Keller Williams album for REX charity Archived 2008-06-11 at the Wayback Machine., news.jamradio.org, May 7, 2008, Retrieved May 15, 2008.