Grateful Dead, Keith Godchaux Mexicali Blues cover

Mexicali Blues
by & Keith Godchaux
Lyrics and Meaning


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Song Lyrics

Song Meaning
Verse 1
Laid back in an old saloon, with a peso in my hand,
Watchin' flies and children on the street,
And I catch a glimpse of black-eyed girls who giggle when I smile,
There's a little boy who wants to shine my feet.
Verse 2
And it's three days ride from Bakersfield and I don't know why I came.
I guess I came to keep from payin' dues.
So instead I've got a bottle and a girl who's just fourteen,
And a damn good case of the Mexicali Blues. Yeh!
Verse 3
Is there anything a man don't stand to lose,
When the devil wants to take it all away?
Cherish well your thoughts, and keep a tight grip on your booze,
'Cause thinkin' and drinkin' are all I have today.
Verse 4
She said her name was Billy Jean and she was fresh in town.
I didn't know a stage line ran from Hell.
She had raven hair, a ruffled dress, a necklace made of gold,
All the french perfume you'd care to smell.
Verse 5
She took me up into her room and whispered in my ear,
"Go on, my friend, do anything you choose."
Now I'm payin' for those happy hours I spent there in her arms,
With a lifetime's worth of the Mexicali Blues.
Verse 6
Is there anything a man don't stand to lose,
When the devil wants to take it all away?
Cherish well your thoughts, and keep a tight grip on your booze
'Cause thinkin' and drinkin' are all I have today.
Verse 7
And then a man rode into town, some thought he was the law.
Billy Jean was waitin' when he came.
She told me he would take her, if I didn't use my gun,
I'd have no one but myself to blame.
Verse 8
I went down to those dusty streets, blood was on my mind.
I guess that stranger hadn't heard the news
'Cause I shot first and killed him, Lord, he didn't even draw
And he made me trade the gallows for the Mexicali Blues.
Verse 9
Is there anything a man don't stand to lose
When he lets a woman hold him in her hands?
He just might find himself out there on horseback in the dark
Just ridin' and runnin' across those desert sands.

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