Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bodies of Water: Up On Cripple Creek

The Band: Up On Cripple Creek


Up On Cripple Creek was The Band's first and only Top 30 single, peaking at #25 on the US Billboard charts in late 1969. Coming from their second album, simply titled The Band, it was recorded in a pool house temporarily retrofitted to a recording studio in a Hollywood Hills home rented from actor Sammy Davis Jr.

The song tells the tale of a miner who goes to Lake Charles, Louisiana to meet up with his girl, Bessie, who enables his alcoholism and dysfunctional lifestyle by offering the hospitality of her home while he drinks himself silly. All this leads to one of my favorite Pop music choruses:

Up on Cripple Creek she sends me
If I spring a leak she mends me
I don't have to speak she defends me
A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one

Throw an extra pillow on the bed, Bessie, I'm right on my way.

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