deadsongs.vue.207 : U.S.Blues (incl. Wave That Flag)
permalink #0 of 8: David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 8 Sep 03 09:44
    
U.S.Blues (incl. Wave That Flag)
w: Hunter m: Garcia
AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/usblues.html
LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/U1S1BLUE.HTM
  
deadsongs.vue.207 : U.S.Blues (incl. Wave That Flag)
permalink #1 of 8: Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 8 Sep 03 19:10
    
U.S. Blues 
Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission.

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

Chorus
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

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

[chorus]

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

[chorus]
  
deadsongs.vue.207 : U.S.Blues (incl. Wave That Flag)
permalink #2 of 8: american studies (saikung-cwb) Thu 17 Mar 05 18:50
    
I believe that the line "Share your Wealth"is in reference to Huey
Long's "Share the Wealth" program/idea in the 1930's.

Link to "Share the Wealth" speech.
        http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5109/

Link to "Every Man a King" speech
http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/hueyplongking.htm

http://chnm.gmu.edu/courses/hist409/long/share.html
              

Other links on Huey Long
        http://www.ssa.gov/history/longsen.html      
        http://www.sec.state.la.us/60.htm

Randy Newman covered "Every Man a King" on his album "Good Old Boys".
and wrote a song on the same album about Long, called "Kingfish"
http://www.randynewman.com/tocdiscography/disc_good_old_boys/lyricsgoodoldboys
#kingfish

Other GD linkage Weir's participation in the band named "Kingfish".
http://www.bay-area-bands.com/bab00069.htm
  
deadsongs.vue.207 : U.S.Blues (incl. Wave That Flag)
permalink #3 of 8: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Fri 18 Mar 05 18:37
    
Fascinating. Never caught that angle.

Didn't the band briefly change the lyric in verse three during the
Iranian Revolution to:

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 the Shah of Iran
  
deadsongs.vue.207 : U.S.Blues (incl. Wave That Flag)
permalink #4 of 8: David Gans (tnf) Fri 18 Mar 05 19:19
    <scribbled by tnf>
  
deadsongs.vue.207 : U.S.Blues (incl. Wave That Flag)
permalink #5 of 8: David Gans (tnf) Fri 18 Mar 05 19:19
    

Maybe once or twice?
  
deadsongs.vue.207 : U.S.Blues (incl. Wave That Flag)
permalink #6 of 8: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Sat 19 Mar 05 09:31
    
I was at one of those shows, and remember everbody around me who
wasn't totally immersed in dancing, shaking their heads (did they just
say...?). And then we got the joke, serious as the point made was.
  
deadsongs.vue.207 : U.S.Blues (incl. Wave That Flag)
permalink #7 of 8: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Mon 5 Jan 09 21:26
    
from another GD thread:

I actually thought your political take on "Ship of Fools" was
interesting, fresh to me, yet hardly the ONLY way to hear those
lyrics.  As for U.S. Blues, there is also a legitimate political take,
but an oblique one at best.  

I see this as a parodic caricaturization of Uncle Sam.  Since, I
always thought the line was "cop a bag" instead of "pop
a bag", my own take on this Uncle Sam persona of Hunter's was, at
most, of a political icon who is suddenly a viable patriot of
underground America, too.  I guess that can be construed as political,
but I see it as a wonderfully ironic statement about how much America
was transforming by 1973 when he wrote the song.  

Uncle Sam is a newly hip sort of cat, hiding out in a rock'n'roll
band.  Could Hunter be saying with this that, "hey folks, the Grateful
Dead are as American as anyone"?
  
deadsongs.vue.207 : U.S.Blues (incl. Wave That Flag)
permalink #8 of 8: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Wed 7 Jan 09 03:58
    
Fwiw, I believe they were/are. Franklin propably would have had ag
good time sipping coffee and port with Garcia and Hunter.
  



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