Watch Grateful Dead Play ‘Saint Of Circumstance’ Sans ‘Sailor’ At Mile High In 1991

“In March 1986, the Grateful Dead dropped ‘Lost Sailor’… leaving its long-time companion ‘Saint Of Circumstance’ drifting and dreaming.” – David Lemieux

By Nate Todd Nov 30, 2023 9:28 am PST

The Grateful Dead shared video of “Saint Of Circumstance” without its companion song “Lost Sailor” as the latest in their All The Years Live series. The pro-shot footage is from GD’s June 28, 1991 concert at Mile High Stadium in Denver.

While not as iconic as the pairing of “Scarlet Begonias” and “Fire On The Mountain” or “China Cat Sunflower” and “I Know You Rider,” “Lost Sailor” and “Saint Of Circumstance” is certainly on the Grateful Dead song pairing Mount Rushmore. The tunes are two of guitarist Bob Weir and lyricist John Barlow’s finest works.

The Grateful Dead debuted “Lost Sailor” on August 4, 1979 at Oakland Auditorium, the same show they unveiled “Althea,” as per JerryBase. “Sailor” led into “Deal” at that concert. Just a few weeks later on August 31, the Dead premiered “Saint Of Circumstance” following “Lost Sailor” (and then “Deal” to close the first set) in Glen Falls, New York. “Sailor” and “Saint” would later open up side two of GD’s 1980 album, Go to Heaven.

The songs would remain together for over six years but, as Dead archivist David Lemieux attested to in his notes accompanying the Mile High “Saint” video, they parted ways in the mid-1980s.

“In March 1986, the Grateful Dead dropped ‘Lost Sailor’ from the setlist for good, leaving its long-time companion ‘Saint Of Circumstance’ drifting and dreaming. It would appear occasionally for the next year or two, but by 1990 is was back in the repertoire as a fairly regular song in second sets.”

The tight rendition in Denver on June 28, 1991 features the double keyboard attack of Vince Welnick on synth and Bruce Hornsby on piano. Guitarist Jerry Garcia also takes flight on the tune led by Bobby.

Watch the Grateful Dead perform “Saint Of Circumstance” at Mile High in ‘91 below:


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