This week over at Song Lyric Sunday, Jim has asked us to choose a song beginning with the lietters P or G. So, I chose Panama Red, by New Riders of the Purple Sage.


Panama red, panama red
He’ll steal your woman, then he’ll rob your head
Panama red, panama red

On his white horse, mescalito
He come breezin’ through town
I’ll bet your woman’s up in bed with
Panama red

The judge don’t know when red’s in town
He keeps well hidden underground
But everybody’s acting lazy
Falling out and hangin’ ’round

My woman said, “hey pedro
You’re actin’ crazy like a clown”
Nobody feels like working
Panama red is back in town


Everybody’s looking out for him
‘Cause they know red’s satisfies
Little girls love to listen to him
Sing and tell sweet lies

But when things get too confusing, honey
You’re better off in bed
And i’ll be searching all the joints in town for
Panama red


The Story

  • New Riders of the Purple Sage performed with the Grateful Dead in the beginning of their career, and Jerry Garcia playing pedal steel guitar early on in the band. Originally this was played by Jerry Garcia with Peter Rowan in Old And In The Way in 1973. After Jerry Garcia stopped performing with New Riders of the Purple Sage, they recorded and premiered it on The Adventures Of Panama Red.
  • As much as this song is commonly mistaken to be about a disease, it is actually about a type of marijuana during the ’70s. The song mentions the story of “Panama Red” who comes into town and starts to make people act crazy. Panama Red is the marijuana. ~ SongFacts

The Adventures of Panama Red is the fourth country rock album by the New Riders of the Purple Sage, released in 1973. It is widely regarded as one of the group’s best efforts, and reached number 55 on the Billboard charts.

The album includes two songs written by Peter Rowan — “Panama Red”, which became a radio hit, and “Lonesome L.A. Cowboy”. Another song, “Kick in the Head”, was written by Robert HunterDonna Jean Godchaux and Buffy Sainte-Marie contribute background vocals on several tracks. ~Wikipedia

The Video

3 thoughts

  1. Jerry Garcia never thought that he was any good at playing pedal steel, so he asked the New riders to find a replacement for him. In November 1971, Buddy Cage replaced Jerry Garcia. I saw the New riders 5 times in concert back in the early 70s. Nice song Susan.

    Liked by 1 person

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