deadsongs.vue.6 : Alabama Getaway
permalink #0 of 4: (alexallan) Wed 10 Sep 03 23:30
    
Alabama Getaway
w: Hunter m: Garcia
AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/ala.html
LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/ALABAMA.HTM
  
deadsongs.vue.6 : Alabama Getaway
permalink #1 of 4: Alex Allan (alexallan) Wed 10 Sep 03 23:31
    
Alabama Getaway 
Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission.

Twenty two teeth in a jaw-bone
Alabama trying for none
Before I have to hit him
I hope he's got the sense to run

Reason the poor girls love him
Promise them everything
Why they all believe him?
He wears a big diamond ring

Chorus
Alabama getaway, get away
Alabama getaway, get away
Only way to please me
Turn around and leave and walk away
[Alternative:Sit down and leave and walk away]

Major Domo Billy Bojangles
Sit down and have a drink with me
What's this about Alabama?
It keeps a-coming back to me

I heard your plea in the court house
Witness box began to rock and rise
Forty nine sister states
All had Alabama in their eyes

[chorus]

Major said why don't we give him
Rope enough to hang himself?
Ain't no need to worry the jury
His kind take care of themselves

Twenty third psalm Major Domo
Reserve me a table for three
In the valley of the shadow
Just you and Alabama and me

[chorus]
  
deadsongs.vue.6 : Alabama Getaway
permalink #2 of 4: Alex Allan (alexallan) Sun 12 Feb 06 10:50
    
I got this from Bryan Finney:

>Greetings Alex,
>
>I'm doing some personal research on "Alabama Getaway," and was
>looking at your and Gan's site for info on when Hunter wrote this
>song and what in the world happened in Alabama when he wrote it. 
>
>Can you give any help here? I'm not getting very far on my own.
>
>Bryan
>Benton Harbor, MI

It's a good point. David's site/book doesn't have a lot. The lyrics
read as if they might well have been written in response to something
happening in Alabama, and presumably something to do with
crime/punishment. Any thoughts or previous research?
  
deadsongs.vue.6 : Alabama Getaway
permalink #3 of 4: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Tue 14 Feb 06 06:29
    
For me, the lyric is one of those with apparent original historical
references (for Hunter) that really don't concern me. What does is the
fact that around the time to song was in the air, I was involved in a
beautifully tragic relationship with a girl from Alabama. All the
elements from the song were being lived out; all the violence and
double-talk, legal proceedings, fine cuisine, biblical references,
drinks with a fancy dressing cowpoke, and that beautiful girl. It
seemed so weird that the song synchronized with my contemporary
experience.

It's part of the beauty of the lyric; it's wide open enough to include
experiences that Hunter never had. Well, maybe he did. He's not
inclined to tell.
  
deadsongs.vue.6 : Alabama Getaway
permalink #4 of 4: waves of violet go crashing and laughing (sffog) Wed 3 Mar 10 23:59
    
This is just a thought I had after watching a dylan documentary
focusing on 79 to 89 titled "Both Ends of the Rainbow". The beginning
focuses on the controversy and reaction to the born again album "Slow
Train" released in August 79. The opening song on that album is Gotta
Serve Somebody. Dylan went to Muscle Shoals Alabama to record that
album.

Alabama Getaway is the lead song on an album titled "Go to Heaven"
recorded in Jul 79 to Jan 80. The album cover has them all dressed up
and one might think that they were in for some gospel music like on the
dylan album. Alabama Getaway first shows up in dead shows in Nov 79
and hunter shows in Feb 80 so it is possible this is a slight spoof
reaction to Slow Train.

A recurring character is Alabama Getaway is Major Domo Billy
Bojangles. Major Domo is a head servant alluding to Gotta Serve
Somebody. Billy is a song dylan performed on album Pat Garrett from
1973 about outlaw billy the kid. Dylan has fashioned himself an outlaw.
Mr. Bojangles is performed on "Dylan" album from 1970 about the Jerry
Jeff Walker song character who is a dance man. Dylan has fashioned
himself as a song and dance man. 

One could see Alabama or Muscle Shoals as the born again experience
anthropomorphized as one of those flashy preacher type leaders with
their diamond ring and with an appeal to poor girls. The first person
character (the singer) rejects Alabama to the point of feeling the need
to knock his teeth out and wanting him to get away but he keeps coming
back. The hope is that Alabama will self destruct as many of these
types have eventually done.

As a side note dylan started performing this song on tour in 1995.
  



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