David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 8 Sep 03 09:39
Sugaree w: Hunter m: Garcia AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/sugaree.html LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/SUGAREE.HTM
Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 8 Sep 03 20:13
Sugaree Lyrics: Robert Hunter Music: Jerry Garcia Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission. When they come to take you down When they bring that wagon round When they come to call on you And drag your poor body down Chorus Just one thing I ask of you Just one thing for me Please forget you knew my name My darling, Sugaree Shake it, shake it, Sugaree Just don't tell them that you know me Shake it, shake it, Sugaree Just don't tell them that you know me You thought you was the cool fool And never would do no wrong You had everything sewed up tight How come you lay awake all night long [chorus] Well in spite of all you gained You still have to stand out in the pouring rain One last voice is calling you And I guess it's time you go [chorus] Well shake it up now, Sugaree I'll meet you at the jubilee And if that jubilee don't come Maybe I'll meet you on the run [chorus]
David Gans (tnf) Tue 20 Apr 04 08:53
Graham Parker on how he came to record "Sugaree" http://www.punkhart.com/gparker/thoughts.shtml (Part 19, posted 4.11.04, just in case the text is different when you go there)
Tim Lynch (masonskids) Tue 20 Apr 04 10:25
Someone should send that link to Hunter, he might get a kick out of it.
David Gans (tnf) Tue 20 Apr 04 10:29
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Wed 21 Apr 04 09:55
So now we have two Bowie links - "I'm an alligator" and "Put your raygun to my head" - in one song, Moonage Daydream! Happy Trails
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Fri 23 Apr 04 13:55
That is friggin' great. Bring that Raygun 'round!
David Dodd (ddodd) Fri 23 Apr 04 14:00
Reminds me of Drugstore Truck Drivin' Man, on some recording or other, being introduced as about Ronnie Ray-guns.
Elizabeth Polyester (xian) Mon 3 May 04 10:00
has anyone dug into the etymological connection between Sugaree and shivaree?
Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 10 May 04 17:04
From Hunter's liner notes for the re-issue of "Garcia" in the box set "All Good Things": "Sugaree was written soon after I moved from the Garcia household to China Camp. People assume the idea was cadged from Elizabeth Cotten's Sugaree, but, in fact, the song was originally titled 'Stingaree,' which is a poisonous South Sea manta. The phrase 'just don't tell them that you know me' was prompted by something said by an associate in my pre-Dead days when my destitute circumstances found me fraternizing with a gang of minor criminals. What he said, when departing, was: 'Hold your mud and don't mention my name.' "Why change the title to 'Sugaree'? Just thought it sounded better that way, made the addressee seem more hard-bitten to bear a sugar-coated name. The song, as I imagined it, is addressed to a pimp. And yes, I knew Libba's song, and did indeed borrow the new name from her, suggested by the 'Shake it' refrain." Interesting background. I did wonder if Hunter was pulling our leg: "Stingaree" sounds so implausible (though it really is a manta ray - I checked!). But I guess not.
ookelee doo (xian) Tue 11 May 04 12:54
Right, but I did once read that Sugaree per Lizabeth Cotton (Cotten?) was dervied ultimately from shivaree which is I believe an south asian or middle eastern word? I need to look this up (but where?).
David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 11 May 04 14:26
At dictionary.com: shiv7a7ree n. Midwestern & Western U.S. A noisy mock serenade for newlyweds.Also called regionally charivari, belling, horning, serenade. [Alteration of charivari.] Regional Note: Shivaree is the most common American regional form of charivari, a French word meaning "a noisy mock serenade for newlyweds" and probably deriving in turn from a Late Latin word meaning "headache." The term, most likely borrowed from French traders and settlers along the Mississippi River, was well established in the United States by 1805; an account dating from that year describes a shivaree in New Orleans: "The house is mobbed by thousands of the people of the town, vociferating and shouting with loud acclaim.... [M]any [are] in disguises and masks; and all have some kind of discordant and noisy music, such as old kettles, and shovels, and tongs.... All civil authority and rule seems laid aside" (John F. Watson). The word shivaree is especially common along and west of the Mississippi River. Its use thus forms a dialect boundary running north- south, dividing western usage from eastern. This is unusual in that most dialect boundaries run east-west, dividing the country into northern and southern dialect regions. Some regional equivalents are belling, used in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan; horning, from upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania, and western New England; and serenade, a term used chiefly in the South Atlantic states.
David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 11 May 04 14:27
Thanks, Christian, for the tip! This is a leap forward in Sugaree annotation!
sugar sugar sugar shack shack lee stackolee (xian) Wed 12 May 04 07:52
I only know it because when I was in college there was a play put on on campus called Shivaree (I obviously misremembered the geographical source of the word) and somehow at the time it was connected for me directly to Sugaree, though it would be nice to document that connection too. Stingaree is almost cognate with stingray, is it not?
from ROBERT REIFENBERG (tnf) Tue 14 Dec 04 10:34
Robert Reifenberg writes: This song, it seems to me, captures the plea of a fugitive American slave to his covert wife that she not reveal their relationship ("forget my name") to the slave master. The appeal, therefore, is not so much for the benefit of the escaped, but rather, for the one who remains. The speaker seeks to spare his wife punishment at the hands of the master once his absence is revealed. Hunter's affinity for the dark side of American history is exemplified in this simple verse which evokes profound imagery in the tradition of the American folk song. Hunter uses the imagined dialect of the time with language such as "poor body" and "my darlin." Reference to bringing the "wagon round" connotes the common method of transporting slaves to market where they would be bought or sold. She is being called out to go to market by the "one last voice." The desperate tone is tempered by the hope that they will see each other again after the "Jubilee" (emancipation), or "if that Jubilee don't come" when they both escape and are "on the run." Robert Reifenberg Chicago
Genki! (izzie) Tue 14 Dec 04 18:34
okay, as someone who has professionally studied the culture of the enslaved populations in America's deep south, he's about dead-on.
Positively 3rd verse (comet) Tue 14 Dec 04 21:33
Nice. But what about the part: You thought you was the cruel fool Never could do no wrong Had everything sewn up tight How come you lay awake all night long? That doesn't sound so benevolent, sounds kind of bitter and spiteful.
David Gans (tnf) Tue 14 Dec 04 23:14
Here's waht Robert Hunter had to say in his liner notes for "Garcia" in the boxed set "All Good Things": > Sugaree was written soon after I moved from the Garcia household to China > Camp. People assume the idea was caged from Elizabeth Cotton's ""Sugaree" > but, in fact, the song was originally titled "Stingaree" which is a > poisonous South Sea Manta. The phrase "just don't tell them that you know > me" was prompted by something said by an associate from my pre-Dead days > when my destitute circumstances found me fraternizing with a gang of minor > criminals. What he said, when departing, was: "Hold your mud and don't > mention my name." Why change the title to "Sugaree"? Just thought it > sounded better that way, made the addressee seem more hard bitten to bear a > sugar coated name. The song, as I imagined it, is addressed to a pimp. And > yes, I knew Libba's song and did indeed borrow the new name from her, sug- > gested by the "Shake it" refrain.
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Wed 15 Dec 04 11:50
This is one Garcia Hunter song I have always had trouble singing, probably because I have not been able to crack the cipher. Even the chorus is an enigma. What is Sugaree being exhorted to shake? A leg (as in hurry up)? A fit of the blues? A money-maker? The hand of the narrator (shake my hand, but treat me as though I am a stranger)? Their head (in denial)?
Julie Ellen Anzaldo (jewel) Wed 15 Dec 04 12:01
I've often used this song to be self-critical, or to feel a needed distancing from someone I am feeling entrenched with. I have deluded myself into denying my shortcomings and bad deeds (thought I had everything sewn up tight) and yet have been left with a deep sense of unease and/or breakthoughs of guilt (staying awake all night long). I have gained much in my life, yet sometimes feel so far from where I want to be (out in the pouring rain, so to speak). But there is always this voice... Same thing when evaluating others, but when it is about someone else, I feel somewhat judgemental, but most importantly, separated and divorced from them. Its kind of like Positively 4th Street in that regard. The voice - always the hint/glimmer of redemption that soothes me. Either bringing me peace, or leading an adversary to enlightenment.
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Thu 16 Dec 04 16:06
Pardon me for being crude and too literal, but doesn't a body at the end of the rope, hanging, shake, shake, legs kickin', before that last throttled gasp. I might have writ the verse the same way, and meant it quite obvious, cruel, and sad. Hunter, perhaps, was more poetic.
Bill McKenney (gratefulwood) Thu 16 Dec 04 23:42
Why would Hunter even try to compete with "Strange Fruit" that song is untouchable. Still???? The slave connection is there, isn't it? Even thou I never would have thought of that myself. I'm think'in more of the dance floor thing. Hav'in fun dan'cin not a care in the world Don't come to me tommorow and ask me to bail you out.
David A. Mason (mntnwolf) Thu 16 Dec 04 23:58
Yeah, that's the way i thought. Wow, Robert R's #14 there is mind-blowing for me, i'd never thought of that -- instantly gives me three- dimensional vision of a song i've wondered about for 3 decades! He hasn't got it quite right -- the wagon's coming to bring her back to Master's house, where she "shakes it" for him, thinking she'll get great benefits from that, thinking she's got it all figured out (as so many pretty 19-yr-old ladies think they do!); but the singer foresees disaster from this behavior... Can only hope she'll come to her senses in time, and he'll see her again at the Jubilee or on the run. Doesn't matter that Hunter wrote some different origin/interpretation.... What does HE know? :-)
Bill McKenney (gratefulwood) Fri 17 Dec 04 00:11
Beauty is in the eye's of the beholder :-)
David Dodd (ddodd) Thu 17 Jul 08 14:41
Posted on behalf of Rob Weil: David, I would hardly call myself a "Deadhead" but I have truly come to admire and enjoy the Grateful Dead's music in my older years. Your website is great to reference when you just cant seem to wrap your mind around what Jerry is trying to say. I am probably many years too late to add my two-cents to your site but I would like to throw this out there. Is Sugaree a prostitute...??? "When they bring that wagon around," -could be the paddywagon coming to arrest her for being a hooker "When they come to call on you, drag your poor body down," -could reference the men who are hiring her for the night "Please forget you knew my name, my darlin Sugaree," -client confidentiality-no names please "How come you lay awake all night," -working girl doing her thing all night long "You know in spite of all you gained, still have to stand out in the pouring rain, one last voice is calling you, and I guess its time you go" -she has made plenty of money hooking that night but maybe the pimp wont let her go home yet, then one more lonely customer is calling on her so she must go It seems obvious to me that this song is about a hooker named Sugaree. There are no posts to the Annotated Sugaree about it, so I thought I'd share my thoughts. ROB WEIL
Strangest I Could Find (miltloomis) Sat 14 May 11 19:28
Three years later, I agree.
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