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Gator Tunes: Frank E. Lee's Playlist For The Humboldt Park Alligator

Some tunes for our beloved alligator's swim in the Humboldt Park lagoon.

July 11, 2019

By Frank E. Lee

Related: An Ode To The Humboldt Park Alligator

"Alligator" is eleven minutes of jaw-clenching psychedelic brilliance from the second Grateful Dead album, Anthem of the Sun, perhaps the finest example of the band's never-ending attempt to fuse live and studio recordings. Good luck figuring out which is which! Even more fun than going to a reptile farm for some human/lizard wrestling. 

"See You Later, Alligator" was written by ace tunesmith Bobby Charles, but Bill Haley and the Comets, one of rock and roll's first and finest combos made it their own and it went top ten in 1956. It also mentions cousin critter crocodile, making it one of the finest examples of musical lizardy ever written.

"Alligator' by Of Monsters and Men is, of course, a creature not seen in their native Iceland (maybe in the Reykjavik Zoo), but it is less about the title animal and more about the tale-flexing death roll excitement of playing new music for a packed house. Chomp!

"Amos Moses" by Jerry Reed, was a song that you might dismiss as a novelty number, but it rocks steady and fast and has some ultra-swampy guitar that John Fogerty would be proud to have laid down. It tells the story of an alligator hunter from Louisiana who hunts gators because one took his arm clean up to the elbow. Kind of like a bayou Captain Ahab.