U.S. Blues by the Grateful Dead from their 1974 studio album, The Grateful Dead From The Mars Hotel.
The first part of the video is a short film I found called “200.” It was made to be some sort of trippy propaganda in 1975 and was put out by the US Gov’t Information Agency for the bicentennial. Vincent Collins did the animations for that video. I put the rest at the end together.
Happy 4th of July, my friends!
Lyrics By: Robert Hunter Music By: Jerry Garcia
Red and white, blue suede shoes
I’m Uncle Sam, how do you do
Gimme five, still alive
Ain’t no luck, I learned to duck
Check my pulse, it don’t change
Stay seventy two, come shine or rain
Wave the flag, pop the bag
Rock the boat, skin the goat
Wave that flag, wave it wide and high
Summertime done come and gone, my oh my
I’m Uncle Sam, that’s who I am
Been hiding out, in a rock and roll band
Shake the hand that shook the hand
Of P. T. Barnum and Charlie Chan (note 1)
Shine your shoes, light your fuse
Can you use them old U.S. Blues
I’ll drink your health, share your wealth
Run your life, steal your wife
Back to back, chicken shack
Son of a gun, better change your act
We’re all confused, what’s to lose
You can call this song the United States Blues (note 2)
(1) on a few occasions in 1979-1980 Jerry sang “Of P. T. Barnum and the Shah of Iran” (eg Cleveland 29 Nov 1979, Oakland 13 Jan 1980).
(2) for an ironic take on this, see One More Saturday Night
(3) alternative lyrics were tried out as the song was being developed – see Wave That Flag
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