|Originally Performed By||Chief Jim Billie|
|Original Album||Alligator Tales (1998)|
|Music/Lyrics||Chief Jim Billie|
|Vocals||Chief Jim Billie|
|Historian||Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo)|
"Big Alligator" is often sung around a campfire setting. So, perhaps history will view our little swamp gathering on the last days of the 20th Century as one big glorious campfire. From the liner notes to the Alligator Tales CD, “Big Alligator” tells: “A true story about not heeding the elder’s advice and a hard learned lesson of a young boy’s hunting trip in the swamp.” Sung by Chief Jim Billie in the first person, the song recounts his experience as a 12-year-old, losing his dog to the mortal clutches of a gator’s jaws on his first gator hunt. A tragic moment always vivid and remembered, the story is cautionary. The spellbinding chant – the wisdom of Jim’s Grandfather – is not in English, but the captivating nature of the rhythms speak a universal language of respect and coexistence with beings more powerful than ourselves in the natural or spiritual worlds. It is a rhythm that certainly had 80,000 or so of us in tune with our environment when performed by Chief Jim Billie on 12/30/99, with a nifty little backup band, taboot. One can only hope that Phish and their fans earned the respect and hospitality offered to us by Chief Jim Billie and his tribe.
Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.
This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.
The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Phish fans in 1996 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community.
And since we're entirely volunteer – with no office, salaries, or paid staff – administrative costs are less than 2% of revenues! So far, we've distributed over $2 million to support music education for children – hundreds of grants in all 50 states, with more on the way.