Tell It To Me

Lyrics: Traditional
Music: Traditional

This was played a few times by the Grateful Dead during acoustic sets in 1970. Thanks to Ben Selfridge for help with the lyrics. The title "Tell It To Me" is the one used by the New York City Ramblers with David Grisman when they played this at the Newport Folk Festival in the 1960s.

It is often mistakenly called "Cocaine Habit Blues" or "Cocaine Blues" in setlists. Cocaine Habit Blues ("Take a whiff/sniff/drink on me") has something in common, but is not the same song as Tell It To Me. Cocaine Blues is a different song altogether

Chorus
Tell it to me, tell it to me
Drink corn liquor let the cocaine be
Cocaine done killed my honey dead

[Chorus]

Walking down the street with a dollar in my hand
Looked for a woman ain't got no man
Cocaine done killed my honey dead

[Chorus]

I love my whiskey and I love my gin
But the way I love coke is a doggone sin
Cocaine done killed my honey dead

[Chorus]

Cocaine's for horses not for men
The doctor said it'll kill you, but he don't say when
Cocaine done killed my honey dead

[Chorus]
[Chorus]
The Garcia/Grisman version in the 1990s is very different - they take the first two verses from "Take A Drink On Me" by Charlie Poole:
Where did you go with that gun in your hand
Get myself a rounder and I shot a good man
Oh, honey take a whiff on me

[Chorus]

You keep on stalling you make me think
Your papa was a monkey and your mama was an ape
Oh, honey take a whiff on me

[Chorus]

Walking down [Nail] Steet, going down Main
Trying to find somebody who'll buy cocaine
Oh, honey take a whiff on me

[Chorus]

Well cocaine's for horses and not for men
Doctor say will kill but he won't say when
Oh, honey take a whiff on me

[Chorus]
[Chorus]
The version by the New York City Ramblers also has completely different verses:
Cocaine gonna kill my honey dead

Tell it to me, tell it to me
Drink corn liquor let your cocaine be
Cocaine gonna kill my honey dead

It's Cocaine Bill and Morphine Sue
Struttin' down the avenue two by two
Cocaine gonna kill my honey dead

[chorus]

You know I walked down Fifth and I turned down Main
Looking for a nickel for to buy cocaine
Cocaine gonna kill my honey dead

[chorus]

Well I came to a drug store full of smoke
With a sign that said "no more coke"
Cocaine gonna kill my honey dead

[chorus]

Now all you jugs gonna wind up dead
If you don't stop sniffin' that stuff in your head
Cocaine gonna kill my honey dead

[chorus]
[chorus]




Futher Information
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography

 


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