Wave That Flag

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

This was played some 15 times by the Dead in 1973. It is the developing version of what became U.S.Blues. The words seem to have varied greatly between different versions, and the order of the couplets was pretty random. This is the version from 28 March 1973 (an asterisk before a phrase means it was carried through to the final version of U.S.Blues):

*Wave the flag, *pop the bag
*Rock the boat, skin the goat
Trap the rat, bell the cat
Ball the jack, chew the fat

Shoot the breeze, lose the keys
Feed the poor, stop the war
Make the signs, connect the lines
Pay your fines, save your dimes

Chorus
*Wave that flag, wave it wide and high
*Summertime done come and gone, my oh my

Meet the best, read the rest
Hide in caves, walk on waves
Pull the tooth, stretch the truth
[Feed the poor, start the war]

Catch the flicks, get your kicks
Play your rags, pick up sticks
[Take your pig], trim your wig
Try your tricks, impress the chicks

[Chorus]

Watch the bands, dig and dance
Live in shame, die in vain
Catch the flu, burn the stew
*Shine your shoes, sing the blues

[Chorus]
For comparison, here is the version from 21 March 1973:
*Wave the flag, *pop the bag
*Skin the goat, [command?] the coat
Bell the cat, trap the rat
Ball the jack, chew the fat

Shoot the breeze, lose the keys
Pass the cheese, scratch the fleas
Make a sign, connect the lines
Pay your fines, save your dimes

Chorus
*Wave that flag, wave it wide and high
*Summertime done come and gone, my oh my

[Bring the dead], read the rest
Hide in caves, walk on waves
Stretch the truth, pull the tooth
Feed the poor, start the war

Get your licks, catch the picks
Play your rags, pick up sticks
[??]
Try your tricks, impress the chicks

[Chorus]

Wash the fence, dig [a dent?]
Live in shame, die in vain
Burn the stew, catch the flu
*Shine your shoes, sing the blues

[Chorus]
Additional couplets and variations that were sung on other occasions include:
9 Feb 1973
Smell the rat, trap the cat

Do that dance, sleep in caves
Read the raves, walk on waves

Pick up tricks, catch the fix
Get your kicks, pick up sticks
Trim your wick, take your pick

17 Feb 1973
Rock the boat, skin the goat

Lose the keys, do the [?]
Spend some fees, [?] the cheese

Watch the Feds, dig the dead
Live in chains, die in vain

Don't delay, start today

24 March 1973
Get your kicks, catch the flicks
Play your licks, pick up sticks

Other
Eat for days, hide in caves

Pick up time, *light the fuse
Making time, pass the juice

Pay your fines, read the rhymes

Don't be late, that's what I say

Skin the goat, sail the boat

Free the signs, connect the lines

Grateful Dead Recordings
     28 Mar 1973 From The Mars Hotel   (note a)

Notes
(a) issued as a bonus track on the version in the box set Beyond Description (1973-1990)