"Sugaree" as written by and Turrentine....
When they come to take you down When they bring that wagon 'round
When they come to call on you and drag your poor body down

Just one thing I ask of you, just one thing for me
Please forget you knew my name, my darling Sugaree
Shake it, shake it sugaree, just don't tell them that you know me
Shake it, shake it sugaree, just don't tell them that you know me

You thought you was the cool fool and never could do no wrong
You had everything sewed up tight. How come you lay awake all night long


Well in spite of all you gained you still had to stand out in the pouring rain
One last voice is calling you and I guess it's time you go


Well shake it up now Sugaree, I'll meet you at the jubilee
And if that jubilee fall through, maybe I'll meet you on the run


Shake it, shake it sugaree, just don't tell them that you know me [Repeat: x2]

Lyrics submitted by itsmyownmind

"Sugaree" as written by Robert C. Hunter Jerome J. Garcia

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Sugaree song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentJerry Garcia is an absolute genius. Such a simple song, yet so amazing, One of my favorites of all time.
    Direwolfon May 11, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThats what the official word is but I like this meaning a little better

    Robert Reifenberg writes:

    This song, it seems to me, captures the plea of a fugitive American slave to
    his covert wife that she not reveal their relationship ("forget my name") to
    the slave master. The appeal, therefore, is not so much for the benefit of
    the escaped, but rather, for the one who remains. The speaker seeks to spare
    his wife punishment at the hands of the master once his absence is revealed.
    Hunter's affinity for the dark side of American history is exemplified in
    this simple verse which evokes profound imagery in the tradition of the
    American folk song. Hunter uses the imagined dialect of the time with
    language such as "poor body" and "my darlin." Reference to bringing the
    "wagon round" connotes the common method of transporting slaves to market
    where they would be bought or sold. She is being called out to go to market
    by the "one last voice." The desperate tone is tempered by the hope that they
    will see each other again after the "Jubilee" (emancipation), or "if that
    Jubilee don't come" when they both escape and are "on the run."

    Robert Reifenberg
    JPiLL902on September 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentholy shit, jerry's tune is unbelievable. a very underrated song. this is one of my favorites. its funny no one has commented on this one.
    bbbcswron February 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is pretty sick live with Warren
    Pigwaldon May 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthose aren't song meanings, losers.

    in your opinion, what the hell does sugaree mean to you?
    dooranleeon June 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYours wasn't a meaning either sweet cheeks
    Pigwaldon July 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSugaree is a reference to an old Elizabeth Cotten tune, "Shake Sugaree"
    nyshon July 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWrong

    From Hunter's liner notes for the re-issue of "Garcia" in the box set
    "All Good Things":

    "Sugaree was written soon after I moved from the Garcia household to
    China Camp. People assume the idea was cadged from Elizabeth Cotten's
    Sugaree, but, in fact, the song was originally titled 'Stingaree,'
    which is a poisonous South Sea manta. The phrase 'just don't tell them
    that you know me' was prompted by something said by an associate in my
    pre-Dead days when my destitute circumstances found me fraternizing
    with a gang of minor criminals. What he said, when departing, was:
    'Hold your mud and don't mention my name.'

    "Why change the title to 'Sugaree'? Just thought it sounded better
    that way, made the addressee seem more hard-bitten to bear a
    sugar-coated name. The song, as I imagined it, is addressed to a pimp.
    And yes, I knew Libba's song, and did indeed borrow the new name from
    her, suggested by the 'Shake it' refrain."
    JPiLL902on September 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI miss Jerry.

    This song reminds me of the one man I have ever loved in a covert way.

    "When they come to take you down..
    Please forget you know my name, my darling Sugaree!"
    Althea6on July 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI dedicate this song to my prostate cancer, play it every night as I go to sleep.
    principal96on December 18, 2010   Link

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