One legend has it that Stagger was a pimp in St. Louis and that he shot Billy, another Black man from the underbelly of society, because Billy stole Stagger’s white Stetson hat. Does Anyone know who wrote the song? “Stagger Lee,” alternately known as “Stagolee” or “Stackalee,” has been reinvented innumerable times as a work chant, field holler, blues, rag, jazz, rock, and folk song. It's been coverd by Everyone...Lloyd Price, Nick Cave, Taj Mahal, Dave Van Ronk, Grateful Dead, Even Mississippi John Hurt and Woody Guthrie. The most well know versions of this song are Mississippi John Hurt's 1928, and this version, by Lloyd Price. It surfaced as the theme of a major work, Staggerlee Wonders by noted poet James Baldwin, and is the … But one thing we know for sure: Stagger Lee will find his way back for another showdown. Stagger Lee pours himself a drink, walks off into the sunset, or maybe somewhere down the line even comes face to face with the law. Well worth the 36-year wait for Ace to exhume it. Robert Hunter wrote a version that he performed solo, and Jerry Garcia subsequently re-ordered the lyrics and rewrote the music for the Grateful Dead's version. The story of Stack-O-Lee—or Stack O’Lee or Stagger Lee or Stack A Lee depending on who’s singing—became the popular subject of murder ballads and blues songs in the early 20th century. Stagger Lee, by The Ventures (1963). Stagger Lee, by Moustique (1963). Available on: In The Vaults Volume 2 (Ace, 1999). Based on the traditional song "Stagger Lee", "Stagolee" or "Stack O'Lee." The world's finest surf guitar act twang up Lloyd Price's tune to admirable effect on this long-neglected instrumental. Most of the time we don’t know. Stagger Lee shoots Billy full of lead, breaks the bartender’s glass, and that’s it. Stagger Lee Lyrics: The night was clear / And the moon was yellow / And the leaves came tumbling down / I was standing on the corner / When I heard my bulldog bark / He was barking at the two men Stagger Lee is a story based partly on truth and partly on legend. In this poem, Baldwin takes on the voice of Stagger Lee, who is legendary (Brown). In his forward, he refers to Stagger Lee as a "black folk hero" (the badman's legend so captured Baldwin's imagination that he wrote a poem titled "Staggerlee Wonders" and he even started a novel about him) and certainly he must have seen Rosa Parks's defiant act of civil disobedience as a heroic Stagger Lee … Stagger Lee (Stack O' Lee)? More recently Bob Weir has also been performing some of the older traditional versions with Ratdog. The murder took place in the 1800's, and the first music recording about the subject was done by Frank Hutchenson back in 1927.