Mexicali Blues Lyrics

Grateful Dead


publisher: ©Universal Music Publishing Group
writers: John Barlow, Robert Hall Weir
album: Track 8 in album Skeletons From the Closet: The Best of the Grateful Dead
release date: 1974
popularity : 13 users have visited this page.
length: 3:33
producer: Grateful Dead, Bob Matthews, Alembic and Betty Cantor
engineer: Betty Cantor, Grateful Dead, Alembic and Bob Matthews
composer: Bob Weir
lyricist: John Perry Barlow

Cover Art

Grateful Dead Skeletons From the Closet: The Best of the Grateful Dead cover art
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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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Track Listing


12" Vinyl 1
  • 1 The Golden Road (to Unlimited Devotion)
  • 2 Truckin'
  • 3 Rosemary
  • 4 Sugar Magnolia
  • 5 St. Stephen
  • 6 Uncle John's Band
  • 7 Casey Jones
  • 8 Mexicali Blues
  • 9 Turn On Your Love Light
  • 10 One More Saturday Night
  • 11 Friend of the Devil