"Mexicali Blues" as written by Jerome J. Garcia and Robert C. Hunter....
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, 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

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,yeh

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


Lyrics submitted by itsmyownmind

"Mexicali Blues" as written by Robert Hall Weir John Barlow

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Mexicali Blues song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commentthis is about a trip to mexico its pretty obvios, doin all the crazy things in Mexico. Why cant more bands be like grateful dead, we need more great bands, because emo sucks ass
    voodochile1990on January 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentnot to many people have heard of this song. the only reason i know of it is b/c my brothers band can play it. its great and i cant get enough of it.
    xmaggsx0on January 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMusic doesn't mean nearly as much as it used to. Now-a-days, its all about dressing in skin tight girl pants for no apparent reason. At least everything before had meaning, and a soul purpose. People were more understanding, and actually involved. the music had a strong human connection, as opposed to sappy love songs about some girl with dark eyeliner who cuts herself. I dont think we can ever accomplish recreating something as euphorical and meaninful as before. music and meaning just went to shit. im ashamed to live in this homophobic, redneck, hippie hating generation.
    JimDandyon January 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRight on, brother. I do have to disagree with your last point, however. There are bands making good, meaningful music out there these days, you just have to hunt for them among the dreck that makes up 90% of popular music today.

    This is a fine song, though. Truly one of Bobby's best.
    nooooooooon January 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Cherish well your thoughts, and keep a tight grip on your booze, Cause thinkin' and drinkin' are all I have today. "

    Thats gotta be one of my favorite lines of all time.

    Anyway. Are they saying women are the devil in this song?

    "Is there anything a man don't stand to lose,
    When the devil wants to take it all away?"

    They say that twice, then the final part switches it to, "Is there anything a man dont stand to lose, when he lets a woman hold him in her hands?" They basically just swap out the devil for the woman. Maybe woman always get him into trouble one way or another.
    Monstrelon August 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"When the devil wants to take it all away" is an excuse for a turn of events that the protagonist doesn't even know why he started out on in the first place. He went to Mexicali, got laid by a 14-year-old, then a woman who essentially tricked him into murder. Oh, and for what it's worth, "Mexicali Blues" is a somewhat-known euphemism for chlamydia.
    PhilTLLon August 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"ya jes might find yerself out there on horseback in the dark
    jes ridin' and arunnin' across those desert sands"

    lots of stuff going down in this song. not as heavy as Jack Straw, but eventful
    orphan_yachtson July 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"ya jes might find yerself out there on horseback in the dark
    jes ridin' and arunnin' across those desert sands"

    lots of stuff going down in this song. not as heavy as Jack Straw, but eventful
    orphan_yachtson July 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"ya jes might find yerself out there on horseback in the dark
    jes ridin' and arunnin' across those desert sands"

    lots of stuff going down in this song. not as heavy as Jack Straw, but eventful
    orphan_yachtson July 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"ya jes might find yerself out there on horseback in the dark
    jes ridin' and arunnin' across those desert sands"

    lots of stuff going down in this song. not as heavy as Jack Straw, but eventful
    orphan_yachtson July 02, 2008   Link

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