New East St. Louis Blue

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Richard McNees

The fifth and final part of Robert Hunter's Alligator Moon suite.

Cigarette - come tell me truly
Are you thinking of leaving St. Louis?
Down to the last inch of spike-heeled shoes
Singing the New East St. Louis Blue
It's all right - it doesn't matter
It's all right - it doesn't matter!

St. Louis Dispatch underneath your bed
A picture of your man and a headline which read:
Swing Low Johnny gets five to life
For carving his rival with a switchblade knife

What can you say?
Don't say nothing
He never treated you right anyway

It's all right - just the New East St. Louis Blue
Farewell - East St. Louis
All right - just the New East St. Louis Blue

Put on your red dress
Last good party gown
Put a ribbon in your hair
We'll go strolling downtown
Maybe there's someplace where
the music is loud and clear

Maybe the Blue Note down by the river
Maybe the Blue Note down by the river
Singing the New East St. Louis Blue
Farewell - East St. Louis
Singing the New East St. Louis Blue

You could cut out on a high wail
Ride the midnight blue - sail
South - south - down the Mississippi
A blue farewell to East St. Louis
Blue, blue, sail the blue
Claim it - frame it - make it come true

You know, Alouette, way down in your heart
If you don't go now, girl, you never will start
Cloak of rhythm rich as sable
Break on out, girl, you know you're able
Rock in the alley
Blue in the street
St Louis girl sail away on the beat

All right - just the New East St. Louis Blue
All right - just the New East St. Louis Blue
All right, Alouette - all right, Cigarette
All right ... Okay
All right - just the New East St. Louis Blue
It's all right - all right - Okay
Just the New East St. Louis Blue
Note
This is the lyric as it appears in Hunter's "Box of Rain". I have recently (2015) found a recording in circulation which seems to be a rough mix of the studio version of the "Alligator Moon" suite. This has the track listing as in Hunter's discography, with an additional song Cigarette at the end of the suite. But the song listed on the recording as "Cigarette" is in fact the song in Box of Rain titled "New East St Louis Blues", as above, with the song "New East St Louis Blues" on the recording being a fragment from the end of Blue Note with a wordless sung introduction. It may be that Hunter changed his mind over the titles and song split - or the track listing for the recording has divided up the tracks wrongly, with there being no song "Cigarette" included.

Robert Hunter Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
      1978 Alligator Moon Comfort (note 1)
Notes
(1) recorded by Robert Hunter with the band Comfort, but never released.

 


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