"Wharf Rat" as written by Jerome J. Garcia and Robert C. Hunter....
Old man down
Way down, down, down by the docks of the city
Blind and dirty
Asked me for a dime, a dime for a cup of coffee
I got no dime but I got some time to hear his story
My name is August West, and I love my Pearly Baker best more than my wine
More than my wine
More than my maker, though he's no friend of mine

Everyone said
I'd come to no good, I knew I would Pearly, believe them
Half of my life
I spent doin' time for some other fucker's crime
The other half found me stumbling 'round drunk on Burgundy wine

But I'll get back on my feet again someday
The good Lord willin'
If He says I may
I know that the life I'm livin's no good
I'll get a new start, live the life I should
I'll get up and fly away,
I'll get up and fly away, fly away

Pearly's been true
True to me, true to my dyin' day he said
I said to him
I said to him, "I'm sure she's been"
I said to him, "I'm sure she's been true to you"

I got up and wandered
Wandered downtown, nowhere to go but just hang around
I've got a girl
Named Bonnie Lee, I know that girl's been true to me
I know she's been, I'm sure she's been true to me

Lyrics submitted by itsmyownmind

"Wharf Rat [Live At Fillmore East, NY, April 26, 1971]" as written by Robert Hunter Jerry Garcia

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Wharf Rat song meanings
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  • +1
    General Commentwhen the narrator says "I know she's been, I'm SURE she's been true to you..." you know he's telling the derelict a harmless lie. He doesn't really believe she's been, but this guy is so near the end, he's gonna throw him a beautiful dream as he checks out of his existence. and then he's wandrin' around, thinking, I don't even know that for my own self. I'm in as dire straits as this guy. We're all the same and we don't know how to find out what we think we need to believe in. Truly epic song.
    orphan_yachtson September 27, 2006   Link

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