Tiger Rose

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Robert Hunter

Part of Robert Hunter's solo repertoire, but also performed by him with the Jerry Garcia Band on a few occasions in 1980.

After a solo performance on 18 October 1986, Robert Hunter said this about the song (thanks to D.J. Johnson for pointing this out):

"That song is neither about a tiger nor a rose. Its secret symbolism has to do with a time when I was bitten by a spider. Original title of that was 'Spider Rose' and it was about the spider that came up. But it wasn't an attractive enough title and I went to Stanley Mouse and Kelley and talkin' about, "could you make this spider in this rose?" And they said, "that's a pretty dark image, you sure you want that out?" And so I thought about it a little bit. Well you know Sugaree was originally Stingaree, and that was a little hard too 'Shake it shake it Stingaree' - no, no, no."
Tiger Rose got new clothes
The ladies love her so
They laugh at her connections
But they don't say no
Get down high, get down low
Get your heels in tow
We don't care what
Mama don't allow here anymore

Tiger tea, tiger gee, you my Tiger Rose (note1)
Gently roll me, honey, while I sing your song
On the bank where children play ring-a-levio
Come on and show me somethin' I don't know

Good day breaking, windows shaking
At my cabin door
Love me like you did last night
Just one time more
I know it don't make sense
But then it don't intend
If you keep coming by
We'll make it up again

Get up, Johnny, sing along
Get along now, get along
Could be right, I may be wrong
Pretty soon be long gone
Lay me down in worried sleep
Listen to the sweet river weep
Thought I heard it sing a song
Delta Queen done come and gone


Come on, big-eyed Handsome Moll
And be my party doll
We'll live in jive-o county
'Neath the waterfall
If people say: What can you play?
Just tell 'em anything
Cut-glass spur or a silver chime
Can make 'em ring

Tiger Rose, Heaven knows
I just love you so
Maybe that's the reason
That you don't say no
You get high, get down low
You my rodeo
We don't care what Mama don't allow here anymore


Yeah on the bank where children play ring-a-levio
Come on show me somethin'
Come on show me somethin'
Come on and show me somethin' I don't know
(1) This is the line as printed in "Box Of Rain" and is what Hunter sang on the 1974 album version. But invariably in live performances he seems to sing ".. you my jing-a-lo"

     Date Album Recorded By
      1974 Tiger Rose Robert Hunter (note 1)
     28 Feb 1980 After Midnight Jerry Garcia Band (with Robert Hunter)
      1 Mar 1980 Garcia Live Volume 1 Jerry Garcia Band

(1) also on the 1982 compilation Promontory Rider

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


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