Blue Note

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Richard McNees

The fourth part of Robert Hunter's Alligator Moon suite.

Ah, meet me, Mama, down at the Blue Note
Alligator moonlight, east of St. Lou
Ringing the old out to welcome the new
Sound and solid and possibly true

Born in an alley of Jazz America
Learned my blues from a crow on my cradle
Could be true - it might be a fable
Gonna believe it long as I'm able

Something for nothing
You can't never get (note 1)
You gotta give sometime
But maybe not yet
Ain't in no mood for no serenata
Just a hard-rockin' vision of Jazz Am-er-aka
Blue-blue-blue note
Blow me away
No bright lights
Just a touch of shade
Climb to the stars on a hook and a ladder
Who is it for? What does it matter!

Ah, meet me Mama, down at the Blue Note
In alligator moonlight - it's all she wrote
I've honky-tonked 'round in my time
But East St. Lou is the end of the line

You say you've got trouble
No complaint
You score like a sinner
Sleep like a saint
Dancing so sassy till quarter to three
To the scent of jasmine on the balcony
Playin' the blue-blue
Struttin' the strings
Does it matter?
Does anything?

Go for the feeling, that's all she wrote
Cut across America down to the Blue Note

Whole new vision born every night
Smokey Joe's Cafe just off to the right
Eat when you're hungry - sleep when you're tight
Down here they only come out at midnight

Stash your coins purse before you go down
It ain't exactly a rich part of town
But they never swing right down on easy street
There's no substitute for a strong back beat

Meet me, Mama, down at the Blue Note [see below]
Alligator midnight, east of St. Lou
They're playin' so hot on the Blue Note Stage
Gotta keep the drummer locked in a cage

Rock-and-roll vision born every night
Incredibly sweet and just so right
Born in the alleys of Jazz America - singing
Down in East St. Lou
Born in the alleys of Jazz America - singing
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, with the song "New East St Louis Blues" on the recording being a fragment from the last two verses of Blue Note above 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 2)
(1) Hunter annotates this "(Answer-Back Dialogue)". He sings the first line and then either Marleen Molle or Kathleen Klein sings the line in italics.
(2) recorded by Robert Hunter with the band Comfort, but never released.

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


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