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A great blues tune by Noah Lewis played by the Grateful Deaf in their early years. Recently picked back up by Phil Lesh when he played with members of Phish in April 1999. Also performed by Ry Cooder for the soundtrack Crossroads.

Viola Lee Blues
Lyrics and music: Noah Lewis

The judge decreed it, the clerk he wrote it
The clerk he wrote it down, yes indeed-e
The judge decreed it, the clerk he wrote it down
After this jail sentence, you must be Nashville bound

Some got six months, some got one solid
Some got one solid year, indeed-e
Some got six months, some got one solid year
But me and my buddy, we got lifetime here

I wrote a letter, mailed it in the
Mailed it in the air
I wrote a letter, mailed it in the air
You may know my brother, I've got a friend somewhere

The original version by Noah Lewis doesn't include the final verse sung by the Grateful Dead. Instead, it has a verse something like:

?? let me go to
Let me go to bed, indeed-e
Big moma ?? let me go to bed
I've beem drinking white lightning, and it just gone to my head


Recorded on: The Grateful Dead in that long ago year of the summer of love: 1967