Creeque Alley

Album: Deliver (1967)
Charted: 9 5
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  • John and Mitchy were gettin' kind of itchy
    Just to leave the folk music behind
    Zal and Denny workin' for a penny
    Tryin' to get a fish on the line
    In a coffee house Sebastian sat
    And after every number they'd pass the hat
    McGuinn and McGuire just a gettin' higher
    In L.A., you know where that's at
    And no one's gettin' fat except Mama Cass

    Zally said Denny, you know there aren't many
    Who can sing a song the way that you do, let's go south
    Denny said Zally, golly, don't you think that I wish
    I could play guitar like you
    Zal, Denny and Sebastian sat (at the Night Owl)
    And after every number they'd pass the hat
    McGuinn and McGuire still a gettin' higher
    In L.A., you know where that's at
    And no one's gettin' fat except Mama Cass

    When Cass was a sophomore, planned to go to Swarthmore
    But she changed her mind one day
    Standin' on the turnpike, thumb out to hitchhike
    Take me to New York right away
    When Denny met Cass he gave her love bumps
    Called John and Zal and that was the Mugwumps
    McGuinn and McGuire couldn't get no higher
    But that's what they were aimin' at
    And no one's gettin' fat except Mama Cass

    Mugwumps, high jumps, low slumps, big bumps
    Don't you work as hard as you play
    Make up, break up, everything is shake up
    Guess it had to be that way
    Sebastian and Zal formed the Spoonful
    Michelle, John, and Denny gettin' very tuneful
    McGuinn and McGuire just a catchin' fire
    In L.A., you know where that's at
    And everybody's gettin' fat except Mama Cass
    Di di di dit dit dit di di di dit, whoa

    Broke, busted, disgusted, agents can't be trusted
    And Mitchy wants to go to the sea
    Cass can't make it, she says we'll have to fake it
    We knew she'd come eventually
    Greasin' on American Express cards
    It's low rent, but keeping out the heat's hard
    Duffy's good vibrations and our imaginations
    Can't go on indefinitely
    And California dreamin' is becomin' a reality Writer/s: JOHN EDMUND ANDREW PHILLIPS, MICHELLE GILLIAM
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 21

  • Bob S. from Bernardsville, NjAnother big fan of the groups (MUSIC). "Creque Alley", one of many fantastic songs by them. Anyone know where the "Night Owl" was located and any information about it.
  • Bruce from Schertz TexasSpent my summer listening to them. My dad and I did the conversion of duffeys space from rooms to a bar. I knew the mamas and paps well. I was 14 and fell in love with Michele. The summer of my life any questions please ask as I will never forget I had the converted Jeep into a hot dog stand next to trader dans
  • Olthe3rd from Chicago, Illinois, UsaThere is some truth to the lines about Mana Cass planning to go to college but dropping out to pursue her singing career. But according to her biography on Wikipedia (, she had planned to go to American University in Washington, DC. "Sophomore" and "Swarthmore" were apparently substituted for the actual facts because they rhyme better.
  • Fran From Swarthmore from Swarthmore, Pa.I live in a small town outside of Philadelphia, with a small, prestigious Swarthmore College!!!
    Always dug the line, “When Cass was a sophomore, planned to go to Swarthmore....!!”
    Is there any truth or knowledge about this line?! Just wondering.... Great tune by a fun band!!!!
  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenKen, John probably had a few other nicknames for "Mitchie" after she bedded half the musicians in California, including the other Papa. But since he had cheated on his first wife with her, hard to feel any pity.
  • William from Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, Us Virgin IslandsI live down the road from "Creque's Alley" (and it is indeed pronounced "creaky's") and there are actually two Creque's Alleys (West & East) around the old Creque family's' warehouses on the wharf in Charlotte Amalie. The center "alley" is the one with the original iron gate. That alley turns right at the north end and connects with Trompeter Gade (Danish for Trumpetes Street). At the south end of the warehouses was where the four of them (at that time the New Journeymen + Cass Elliot) first sang together! It was replaced by modern buildings but they saved the original iron gate still in place. I have pictures of the original "Trader Dan's" above which was Hugh Duffy's place. Duffy's boarding house is still there (now offices and a watch repair shop) and is the upstairs over the "Side Street Pub" where the balcony's are. Some of the seating for the pub is in the turn of the alley from Creque's to Trompeter Gade. There is a newer "Creque's Alley" iron gate there.
    Duffy's descendants own "Duffy's Love Shack" in Red Hook, St Thomas USVI.
  • Matt Maloney from FlThe alley still exists, but the wrought iron sign that identify it and access to it from the waterfront street have been hidden behind a wall. But locals we asked for help in finding it gladly clued us in to access from the other end via a restaurant's outdoor seating area. And we now have a treasured photo of it which I would be glad to share here if possible.
  • Matt Maloney from FlMispronunciation of this song's title as "creek" alley is common around here, but the locals in St Thomas pronounce it "creaky".
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 11th 1967, the Mamas and the Papas performed "Creeque Alley" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    At the time it was at #21 and in its eighth week on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    (See next post below).
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 23rd 1967, "Creeque Alley" by the Mamas and the Papas entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #83; and on May 28th it peaked at #5 (for 1 week) and spent 9 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #9 on the United Kingdom's Singles chart...
    Was track 3 of side 1 on the quartet's third studio album, 'Deliver', and the album peaked at #2 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart...
    Two other tracks from the album also made the Top 100 chart; "Dedicated to the One I Love" (at #2) and "Look Through My Window" (at #24)...
    Sadly, three of the group's four members have passed away, Cass Elliot (1941 - 1974), John Phillips (1935 - 2001), Denny Doherty (1940 - 2007), and Michelle Phillips will celebrate her 70th birthday in less than two months on June 4th, 1944.
  • Ken from Louisville, Ky"Getting fat" is musician's slang for being successful. "Mitchie" was John Phillips' nickname for Michelle.
  • Jb from Hanover, NhThe lyrics "Duffy's good vibrations, and our imaginations, can't go on indefinitely" refer, in part, to Hugh Duffy, the owner of the club on Creeque Alley. Duffy now owns Chez Shack in Vieques, Puerto Rico.
  • Kirk Kirkpatrick from Palm City, FlActually the references to Mama Cass "getting fat" was because she was working when everyone else was not working. She was singing at Bar Mitzvas and weddings and was in demand.
  • Joan from Columbia, ScIn response to DC in Seattle, Washington: I just registered to answer your question. I checked wiki and got this answer - The lyrics "Duffy's good vibrations, and our imaginations, can't go on indefinitely" refer, in part, to Hugh Duffy, the owner of the club on Creeque Alley.
  • Dc from Seattle, WaMy favorite out of all great songs by the Mamas. Who is Duffy?
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxI always wondered how Cass felt about that repeated "gettin' fat" line. I think it referred to her pregnancy, as she was already portly when she joined. She grew to despise the "Mama" in front of her name for that reason, though you can hear her introduced that way before she sings "Dream a Little Dream of Me." Ironically, she was the one who thought up the group's name.
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesI love these sorts of subterranean homesick tunes.
  • George from Salvador, BrazilIf you have never heard this song, then go buy it, download, whatever. Just listen to it! It is an instant favorite with everyone.[2]
  • Mary from London, EnglandGreat song, I love it. It always make me sad about Mama Cass's death.
  • Ashlee from Jacksonville, Flgreat.
  • Kristi from Lake Ariel, PaIf you have never heard this song, then go buy it, download, whatever. Just listen to it! It is an instant favorite with everyone.
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