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Robert Palmer — Sailing Shoes / Hey Julia / Sneakin' Sally
Album: Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley
Avg rating:
6.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1353









Released: 1974
Length: 9:23
Plays (last 30 days): 1
There's a lady in a turban
In a cocaine tree
And she does a dance so rhythmically
She's a crying and a singing
Havin' a time
But don't that cocaine tree look fine

But you gotta put on your sailin shoes
Put on your sailin shoes
Everyone will start to cheer
When you put on your sailin shoes

Doctor, doctor, I feel so bad
This is the worst day I ever had
Have you this misery a very long time?
Well if you if, I'll lay it on the line

But you gotta put on your sailin shoes
Put on your sailin shoes
Everyone will hip hooray
When you put on your sailin shoes

Jedidah
He's got a dime
says he catches more fish every time
Well I've gotta line
If you've got a pole
Well I'll meet you at the fishing hole

But you gotta put on your sailin shoes
Put on your sailin shoes
Everyone will start to cheer
When you put on your sailin shoes

Said, everyone put on
Put on your sailin shoes

---

Hey, hey Julia, you're acting so peculiar
I know I'd never fool you in a million years
A horn section you resemble and your figure makes me tremble
And I sure would like to handle what's between your ears

And you're a temptation to a man
And I could not resist you and I won't if I can
You're so unexpected and whatever you injected
Made me feel how I felt when I sang

Hey, hey Julia you're acting so peculiar
I know I'd never fool you in a million years
You're a strain on my eyeses and you're full of surprises
Love materializes soon as you come near

There's a sensation you create
Robs me off my sleep and I've forgotten the date
My head started spinning soon as you started singing
And like a fish I just froze to the bait

Hey, hey Julia with your crazy sense of humor
You turn fact into rumor soon as you come near
A horn section you resemble and your figure makes me tremble
And I sure would like to handle what's between your ears

You're a temptation to a man
And I could not resist you and I won't if I can
You're so unexpected and whatever you injected
Made me feel how I felt when I sang

Julia, you're a danger just like giving sweets to strangers
And I think it's time I took you in hand

---

Sneakin' Sally through the alley
Trying to keep her out of sight
Sneakin' Sally through the alley
When up pops the wife

I said, "I can't find nothing wrong with being friends
'Coz sometimes she lets me use the car"
She said,"If you can't find nothing wrong with your mind
You better, you better find something wrong with her, her"

So I began to try to explain
That it just wasn't, just wasn't what she thought
I'd better find something to do with my time
The fact is I've just been caught

Sneakin' Sally through the alley
Trying to get away clean
Sneakin' Sally through the alley
When up pops the queen

Trying to double talk, get myself in trouble talk
Catching myself in lies, catch myself in lies
Mama just looked at me as if I was crazy
She didn't even bat an eye

So I began to try to explain
That it just wasn't, just wasn't what she thought
I'd better find something to do with my time
The fact is just been caught, just been caught
Sneakin', sneakin', sneakin'

Sneakin' Sally through the alley

Sneakin' Sally through the alley
I'm trying to get away clean
Sneakin' through the alley with Sally
When up pops the queen

Sneakin' through the alley with Sally
Sneakin' Sally through the alley
Comments (413)add comment
 dabeyc wrote:
does it bother anyone else that he's off key the entire song?
 
No.
Some really cheesy/smutty lyrics in this song and with a couple of word substitutions could be really filthy.

I suspect the line " I'd really like to handle what is between your ears" was originally written with a different last word but the record company said.."You can't say that!" so he changed it to "ears".

Maybe...
 
All great music, but...how to rate three songs against one song?  I will say that Robert Palmer is underrated in rock and roll.
 rgabriel wrote:
Really no hum. {#Frown}
 
really?  No hum here, no ho either....except Sally maybe....and I like this one enough to give it an 8....Long Live RP!!
 oldsaxon wrote:

I really wish RP had  a "like" thing  a la Facebook because I like this comment a lot.
 
5 years later and you got your like button!  (which I used to 'thumbs up' your comment just now.....LLRP!!
Long Live                                                                                                                             Radio Paradise 
 My rating                                                                                                                        9 -OUTSTANDING   
 chinaski wrote:
OK, after hearing this for forty two years I gotta say this is some rather clever blue eyed funk with Palmer really belting out the vocals. Wow. Like hearing it for the first time. The Wikipedia on Robert Palmer explains much about the sound:
Island Records signed Palmer to a solo deal in 1974. His first solo album Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley recorded in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1974, was heavily influenced by the music of Little Feat and the funk fusion of The Meters who acted as backing band along with producer/guitarist Lowell George of Little Feat.
 
Thanks chinaski !!!   that there 'splains alot  : )     LOVE IT
Really no hum. {#Frown}

"Trying to double talk, get myself in trouble talk"

Brilliant gem from Mr. Palmer! 9->10, what was thinking!


Pretty damn good musicians on this. They overshadow Palmer, by a mile
and, if you're wonderin, this is what the "Coastal Elites" were listenin to while snorting boatloads of coke back in the 70s
even though it's only once a month or so, it's too much.
Drops Julia for Sally just like that.

Cad. 
Which is better: his version or Little feat's?

This version never gets respect. It's great evolving song. And it fun...and...hooky.   
What a great line:  "When up pops the wife!"
Every time I hear this song (once or twice a year), I like it a tiny bit more...
What a truly fun song.

Like no other.

Simply.....wonderful!


well it's a little early for me to put on my sailing shoes, I feel like I just took them off
This stuff and small mounds of white powder fueled many late nights on both coasts back then
the first of many very good recordings from the late great Robert palmer ! outstanding ! mr palmer over the years proved he could handle many different genres and did them well rip
OK, after hearing this for forty two years I gotta say this is some rather clever blue eyed funk with Palmer really belting out the vocals. Wow. Like hearing it for the first time. The Wikipedia on Robert Palmer explains much about the sound:
Island Records signed Palmer to a solo deal in 1974. His first solo album Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley recorded in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1974, was heavily influenced by the music of Little Feat and the funk fusion of The Meters who acted as backing band along with producer/guitarist Lowell George of Little Feat.
put on  shoes of your choice.
I'll never forget how my college dorm roommate favored this album during the Fall '76 semester.
I always got a chuckle out of:  "When up pops the wife."
 moodfood wrote:
got a nice Little Feat vibe going on.. {#Good-vibes}

 
That's cause Lowell George wrote Sailing Shoes.  Lowell does it right.
got a nice Little Feat vibe going on.. {#Good-vibes}
I really want to like this. Honestly. Too bad I can only give it a 6
 Cynaera wrote:
While I like this version well enough (and I love Mr. Palmer's music, may he rest in peace), I still prefer Little Feat.

 
Agreed. And RIP Lowell George, as well.
such a great, catchy, hooky, multi-themed, poppy, RnR song.

Gosh, I wish we had more musicians trying this kind of stuff. 
 Shesdifferent wrote:
Horrid....like nail on a chalkboard.

 

For me, too.  I really do not understand what people are attracted to in this.


We miss ya, Robert!
psd gift from heaven!!! Always loved this brilliant musical art  piece
 RedGuitar wrote:

Sally is the woman he wants, but can't have.  Julia is the hooker he can have, but doesn't want, hence "sneaking through the alley."  The sailing shoes are the ones belonging to the hooker flying through the air at his head after a particularly disparaging comment he made about her.

 
I really wish RP had  a "like" thing  a la Facebook because I like this comment a lot.
 Lazarus wrote:

Everybody in my mushrooming multitude of churches be dancing buck ass naked all over the world like barefoot bowlegged gypsy muleskinners...  I am grateful for the unbridled adulation from my avid readers...  love these songs...  love this album...  love sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll...

 
I am in the church...it's my living room, I'm buck naked, dancing and part of the multitude. Funky off key wailing works here.
Horrid....like nail on a chalkboard.

Everybody in my mushrooming multitude of churches be dancing buck ass naked all over the world like barefoot bowlegged gypsy muleskinners...  I am grateful for the unbridled adulation from my avid readers...  love these songs...  love this album...  love sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll...


Play that funky music RP....
 dabeyc wrote:
does it bother anyone else that he's off key the entire song?

 
yeah
 rkray wrote:
I would have to say this is really annoying

 
???? This is one of the best covers of this classic I've heard.  Very nicely arranged and produced.  And the Meters cook.
I would have to say this is really annoying
 dabeyc wrote:
does it bother anyone else that he's off key the entire song?
 

Yeah. Painfully awful.
upgraded from 7 to 8 on account of that harmonica solo. transports me back to my junior year of high school...
 Misterfixit wrote:
Do we know who is "Sally"; why she was sneaking; what did Julia have to do with it and were the shoes "sailing shoes" as in shoes worn whilst upon a sail boat, or were they sailing shoes as in the shoes were flying out the window, or possibly were they sailing shoes as if they were Frisbees.  Finally, what three chords were repeated over and over.
 
Sally is the woman he wants, but can't have.  Julia is the hooker he can have, but doesn't want, hence "sneaking through the alley."  The sailing shoes are the ones belonging to the hooker flying through the air at his head after a particularly disparaging comment he made about her.
 Hannio wrote:


Aw shuddupa you face, mr internet tough guy.
 
Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech!!! 
does it bother anyone else that he's off key the entire song?
 (former member) wrote:


marvelous...  let's party!

 
 
In the alley? Or the hotel room? Should we bring our nipples? 

{#Bananapiano} 

 
An epic triptych.
 Misterfixit wrote:
Do we know who is "Sally"; why she was sneaking; what did Julia have to do with it and were the shoes "sailing shoes" as in shoes worn whilst upon a sail boat, or were they sailing shoes as in the shoes were flying out the window, or possibly were they sailing shoes as if they were Frisbees.  Finally, what three chords were repeated over and over.
 
it doesn't matter because it's fantastic.
Do we know who is "Sally"; why she was sneaking; what did Julia have to do with it and were the shoes "sailing shoes" as in shoes worn whilst upon a sail boat, or were they sailing shoes as in the shoes were flying out the window, or possibly were they sailing shoes as if they were Frisbees.  Finally, what three chords were repeated over and over.
 jersey_birdman wrote:
just moved this one up....

rated it an 8 so i could move it up...

now a 9.

maybe one day a ____

{#Clap}

live music is better.  bumper stickers should be issued.

cheers 
 
Moved from a 9 to a 10
"And I sure would like to handle what's between your ears"

Cool 
nothing better. love it.
PSD


marvelous...  let's party!

 
just moved this one up....

rated it an 8 so i could move it up...

now a 9.

maybe one day a ____

{#Clap}

live music is better.  bumper stickers should be issued.

cheers 
 slr242 wrote:
Love Sally. The refrain gets stuck in my head for days. Good times.
 
Man........ I know how you feel

Still an all-out fantastic frenzy of a jam....
Love Sally. The refrain gets stuck in my head for days. Good times.


what a great groovy classic...  love it...


 
Pedantically speaking, sailing shoes are different. You want soft non-marking soles and treads that squeegee water without picking up stones or sand grains on shore that would be ground into your deck, and speaking of the deck, the same described soles help keep one firmly planted, better than bare feet. I suppose a side effect is that they are quiet, thus making one Sneaky.


Please...make it stop....
 martinc wrote:
Great album. Mr. Palmer had many. The players here are basically Little Feat. I stand corrected.. The Meters and Lowell George. This album lead me to discover Little feat as well. 

  Thanks for that. I was wondering why I was hearing 'Feat but seeing Palmer.{#Ask}


While I like this version well enough (and I love Mr. Palmer's music, may he rest in peace), I still prefer Little Feat.
 Webfoot wrote:
Great bass.
 
Indeed.  Worth listening to the first two bits to hear the bassline for Sally.

70,s Robert Palmer albums are Awesome.
Especially the ones with Little Feat.

Perfect for a Friday afternoon. 

"I sure would like to handle what's between your ears . . . " 
Palmer.

WAS

BRILLIANT!

Everybody in my hotel room love this!


 
LOVED it then as I LOVE it now. Kick ass song, tight band, bring out your dancing shoes and go go go {#Bounce}

Momma just looked at me as if I was crazy, she didn't even bat an eye. ( been there done that)
 h8rhater wrote:

Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech!!!!!!  Deal with it.

 

Aw shuddupa you face, mr internet tough guy.




Everybody in my hotel room be dancing...  love it...

 
Great album. Mr. Palmer had many. The players here are basically Little Feat. I stand corrected.. The Meters and Lowell George. This album lead me to discover Little feat as well. 

Meh.  Gimme some Feat.

Its Friday afternoon before Labor Day. I'm about to put on my Drinkin' Shoes.
Haven't heard this on in awhile—always fun.
Liked him better with Power Station. Songs were shorter too.{#Frustrated}


Liked this back in the day. I never knew it was Robert Palmer (don't think I really cared...) Still sounds good. And, although I no longer sneak through the alley with Sally... I miss her{#Rolleyes}
I bought this RP debut album when it came out...and still listen to it. Watching RP and Elkie Brooks live with Vinegar Joe was a blast.
Great bass.
The Hey Julia part sounds like a bad karaoke night at the Legion .

Yea, this is pretty cool.{#Cool}


This one is growing on me.... {#Music}
Fun medley. But begs for some airtime for a some live Little Feat. And why in the Feat archive, scrape the dust off "The Fan" too.

It's a grower, from 7 up to an 8! More RP on RP!
Miss this guy! He died way too young. As many great musicians have :(

I find the medley to be a bit long.
Amazed at the hate for this one.  I gave it a 9!  I love Little Feat too, but Palmer brings something to the party.
 ick wrote:
Play that funky music white boy!
 
The Meters was his band on this album, oddly—or not—juxtaposed with MSRS backing the Staples.

The Meters

This song is the sucks

 Bone wrote:
Longest cocaine-driven jam-tune with tone-deaf backup section... ever.
 
the backup singers on Hey Julia sound like they're singing with a different song (maybe a Grateful Dead song with those odd harmonies)!

rest of it's groovy tho.

Gimme a F
Gimme an E
Gimme an A
gimme a T

Nothing better than the real thing!
I guess you would have to know Julia.
Certainly not crazy about Robert Palmer. This I am sure of these days.
 woozurbuddy wrote:
Those were indeed the days....
 
Bump

 Hannio wrote:


Nails on a chalkboard.
 
Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech!!!!!!  Deal with it.

Love this cut, thanks Bill
Don't watch me. It's pathetic. But I don't care. I am DANCING. Love it. Hidden gem, Bill.
 Bone wrote:
Longest cocaine-driven jam-tune with tone-deaf backup section... ever.
 
You say that like it's a bad thing.

Dig this funky groovy Brit-boy homage...

this tune should go right into the deads's shakedown street
Years of hearing this version have not improved my appreciation of it. The vocal is too scattered and undisciplined. Maybe that is its charm for some; not me.


Classic...  love it...

 
Play that funky music white boy!
Never heard this before, really enjoying this tune.{#Bananasplit}
Saw him at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in 1989, front row upper balcony right over the stage. Great concert, but missed the chicks with guitars. {#Lol}
Yes, but whatever it is he means to do with her brain, it isn't PG-13.
 maryte wrote:


She's smart and he likes that about her...
 


Killer stuff!  {#Clap}

And: an early album, Pressure Drop I think, features the entire Little Feat band backing him...

How this rates a 6.5 is troubling...  Far better.....
 Grammarcop wrote:

I've puzzled over this line for several years.

 

She's smart and he likes that about her...


 Zep wrote:
"I sure would like to handle what's between your ears."
 
I've puzzled over this line for several years.

This trio of songs and this album still stacks up, imo.
Wow, I really like this.  Much better than the 80's stuff.  
 EssexTex wrote:
High on my list of worst songs ever...the flat, out of time singing's torture.
 

Nails on a chalkboard.
 NickDanger wrote:


So did Lowell George...
 
Yep.  Little Feat just isn't the same without Lowell George.  I still love to listen to Little Feat, though - "Under the Radar" is the CD I I play when I want to write...

That trio of songs has not "worn well", imo.
 Nuance wrote:

How they let that get on a record I'll never understand. Were they that high?
 
Yes... it was the 70's. 

BTW: You and EssexTex should go back to watching American Idol (or maybe Susan Boyle is your thing), this song rocks.

This is certainly a different Robert Palmer sound than the one I associate with him!  (Addicted to Love, Bang a Gong)  Think I prefer this one, although Addicted to Love certainly brings back memories of growing up in the 80s...

Love this entire album. Groovalicious funkiness from start to finish! 
 Cynaera wrote:
I love Little Feat's version of "Sailin' Shoes," but dang - the late Robert Palmer had a way with the rhythm and the lyric...

He left this life too soon...
 

So did Lowell George...
"I sure would like to handle what's between your ears."
When up pops the wife!
I love Little Feat's version of "Sailin' Shoes," but dang - the late Robert Palmer had a way with the rhythm and the lyric...

He left this life too soon...
In the process of getting seriously blown away by this set...