The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #169891   Message #4128092
Posted By: cnd
05-Dec-21 - 11:05 AM
Thread Name: US Highways (fed and state) and songs about them
Subject: Lyr Add: Gators For Sale
Here's a zany one I found recently on a CD at a thrift store. Performed by Sound Traveler, a husband and wife band (Bob Tatum and Patty Kunze Tatum) based out of Florida and Western North Carolina. Here's the description printed with their eponymous CD which the song comes from:
This is a true story -- more or less. Some details have been "enhanced" for the sake of the story, but many are right on the money. When I was a kid, we did buy a baby alligator from a side-of-the-road establishment on US Highway 17. Lord Chesterfield most certainly lived in our unfinished bomb shelter, and the little beast has been the subject of legend ever since. As I've said before about this little song, "If it didn't happen this way, it should have!"

We were headed south on U.S. 17
The sky was blue, the trees were green
Muggiest day I think I've ever seen
Well the sun shone hot on our sedan* roof
Sweat rolled off my daddy, he began to droop
Up ahead, like a mirage, we saw a sign:

"Come see our gorilla," the billboard screamed
"And snakes by the dozen like an African scene
And gators, genuine gators, for sale"

We were six packed in a car built for four
The excitement grew til we could take no more
Mama threatened murder if we didn't hush
But in a moment of weakness my daddy pulled over
At a shabby little shack called the Jungle Marauder
And a like a herd of jackals we bolted right out of the car

Well it wasn't quite Disney's Animal Kingdom
And Busch Gardens had nothing to fear
But back in '63 it was the finest thing we'd seen
When we all burst in that man had our number
Showed a tiny little gator from this land down under
"Florida's finest," he said with a wicked grin


Well, mama said "No!", daddy said "So,
I wonder how big that little critter will grow!"
"Please daddy! Tell him that we'll take him!"

When we were back on the road again
We named him after the Lord Chesterfield Inn
Chester for short--and he was, for a while
Then he outgrew his box in a few
So we moved him into our unfinished bomb shelter
To be ready, it seemed, for whatever might commence


You see, we thought Chester might feel at ease
In that block-lined hole with the water of green
Showing his chompers pretty as you please
Besides the Cold War didn't seem so hot
In light of this growing reptile we'd got
I guess the Russians would just have to wait

Well, it's many years later, and I say with a tear
We released that gator not far from here
In a swamp just perfect for his sun lazin' style
And as far as I know, he's probably content
With a Mrs. Chesterfield, and they're making gators
Genuine gators, for sale


We talkin' gators
Lord Chesterfield gators
For sale

* Pronounced see-dan