Wave That Flag
Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia
Reprinted with permissions: Coyright: Ice nine Publishing

This was played some 15 times by the Dead in 1973. It is the developing version of what became U.S.Blues. The words seem to have varied greatly between different versions, and the order of the couplets was pretty random. The version below is from 21 March 1973. An asterisk before a phrase means it was carried through to the final version of U.S.Blues:

*Wave the flag, *pop the bag
*Skin the goat, command? the coat
Bell the cat, trap the rat
Ball the jack, chew the fat

Shoot the breeze, lose the keys
Pass the cheese, scratch the fleas
Make a sign, connect the lines
Pay your fines, save your dimes

*Wave that flag, wave it wide and high
*Summertime done come and gone, my oh my

Bring the dead, read the rest
Hide in caves, walk on waves
Stretch the truth, pull the tooth
Feed the poor, start the war

Get your licks, catch the picks
Play your rags, pick up sticks
Try your tricks, impress the chicks

*Wave that flag, wave it wide and high
*Summertime done come and gone, my oh my

Wash the fence, dig a dent?
Live in shame, die in vain
Burn the stew, catch the flu
*Shine your shoes, sing the blues

*Wave that flag, wave it wide and high
*Summertime done come and gone, my oh my

Additional couplets and variations that were sung on other occasions include:

9 Feb 1973
Smell the rat, trap the cat

Read the signs, connect the lines

Do that dance, sleep in caves
Read the raves, walk on waves

Pick up tricks, catch the fix
Get your kicks, pick up sticks
Trim your wick, take your pick

17 Feb 1973
*Rock the boat, skin the goat

Lose the keys, do the ?
Spend some fees, ? the cheese

Watch the Feds, dig the dead
Live in chains, die in vain

Don't delay, start today

24 March 1973
Get your kicks, catch the flicks
Play your licks, pick up sticks

Eat for days, hide in caves

Pick up time, *light the fuse
Making time, pass the juice

Pay your fines, read the rhymes

Don't be late, that's what I say

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