Mexicali Blues Lyrics

by Grateful Dead

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, yeah

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, yeah

Is there anything a man don't stand to lose
When the devil wants to blow 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, yeah

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