Alabama Getaway

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

This is the version as Jerry Garcia sang it on "Go To Heaven":

Thirty-two teeth in a jawbone
Alabama's tryin' for none
Before I have to hit him
I hope he's got the sense to run

Reason the poor girls love him
Promise them everything
Why they all believe him?
He wears a big diamond ring (note a)

Chorus
Alabama getaway, get away
Alabama getaway, get away
Only way to please me
Just get down and leave and walk away (note b)

Majordomo Billy Bojangles
Sat down and had a drink with me
Said what about Alabama
That keeps a-coming back to me?

I heard your plea in the court house
Witness box began to rock and rise
Forty nine sister states
Had Alabama in their eyes

[chorus]

Major said why don't we give him
Rope enough to hang himself?
No need to worry the jury
They'll probably take care of themselves

Twenty third psalm Majordomo
Reserve me a table for three
Down in the valley of the shadow
Just you, Alabama and me

[chorus]
Notes
(a) Jerry sometimes varied this--eg to "He wears a frickin' diamond ring" (thanks to Brian Schnapp for this)
(b) it's not clear whether Jerry sang "Just get down ..." or "Just sit down ..." - though the former makes more sense.

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     studio 1980 Go To Heaven (note 1)
      6 Nov 1979 Road Trips Full Show: Spectrum 11/6/79
     10 Nov 1979 Road Trips Volume 1, Number 1
     26 Dec 1979 Dick's Picks Vol 5
     28 Dec 1979 Road Trips Vol 3, No 1
      5 Apr 1980 Saturday Night Live: The Complete Fifth Season (DVD)
     15 May 1980 Go To Nassau
      6 May 1981 Dick's Picks Vol 13
     14 Oct 1983 Dick's Picks Vol 6

Recordings from dead.net Tapers Section

"The Dead" Concert Recordings

Phil Lesh and Friends Digital Download Series

Furthur Digital Downloads and CDs
 
Other Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     studio 1982 Run For The Roses Jerry Garcia Band (note 2)
     1996 Long Live The Dead Billy and Terry Smith
     2000 Dead Grass Vassar Clements
     2003 Gods And Fraks Scott Finch
     2004 20 Degrees Of Solitude The Grass Is Dead
     2010 Songs Of The Grateful Dead Jesse McReynolds
     2011 The Wheel: A Musical Celebration of Jerry Garcia Jesse McReynolds, David Nelson et al
     2012 Run For The Roses Greg Anton et al (Rex Foundation)
Notes
(1) also on the compilation The Arista Years
(2) bonus track on the reissued album included in the box set All Good Things

Robert Hunter's lyrics in "Box Of Rain" have lots of minor differences, indicated in italics below:
Thirty-two teeth in a jawbone
Alabama cryin' for none
Before I have to hit him
I hope he's got the sense to run

Reason those poor girls love him
Promise them anything
Reason they believe him?
He wears a big diamond ring

Chorus
Alabama getaway, get away
Alabama getaway, get away
Only way to please me
Turn around and leave and walk away

Majordomo Billy Bojangles
Sit down and have a drink with me
What's this about Alabama
Keeps coming back to me

I heard your plea in the courthouse
Jury box began to rock and rise
Forty nine sister states
All had Alabama in their eyes

[chorus]

Why don't we just give Alabama
Rope enough to hang himself?
Ain't no call to worry the jury
His kind take care of itself

Twenty third psalm Majordomo
Reserve me a table for three
In the valley of the shadow
Just you, Alabama and me

[chorus]


Futher Information
For an online discussion of the lyrics to this song see the deadsongs.vue conference on The Well.
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography
For information on references in the lyrics see David Dodd's Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
For online chords and TAB see www.rukind.com
For sheet music, see:
          Grateful Dead Anthology Volume 2 (piano arrangement)
          Garcia/Hunter Songbook (vocal line and chords/TAB)

 


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