Amos Moses

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"Amos Moses"
Jerry Reed - Amos Moses single.png
Single by Jerry Reed
from the album Georgia Sunshine
B-side"The Preacher and the Bear"
ReleasedOctober 19, 1970
GenreCountry rock, swamp rock[1]
LabelRCA Records
Songwriter(s)Jerry Reed
Producer(s)Chet Atkins
Jerry Reed singles chronology
"The Preacher and the Bear"
"Amos Moses"
"When You're Hot, You're Hot"
Alternative cover
German album artwork of the 7" release of Amos Moses
German album artwork of the 7" release of Amos Moses

"Amos Moses" is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Jerry Reed. It was released in October 1970 as the fourth and final single from the album Georgia Sunshine. This record was Reed's highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100, bowing at #97 on October 31, 1970 and peaking at #8 on February 27-March 6, 1971. The song has been used ever since as a line dance taught at local YMCAs. "Amos Moses" was certified gold for sales of 1 million units by the RIAA. It also appeared on charts in several other countries and was #28 on Billboard's Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1971.


The song tells the story of a one-armed Cajun alligator hunter named Amos Moses, who was named "after a man of the cloth," son of "Doc Milsap"* and his "pretty wife Hannah", who lived "about 45 minutes southeast of Thibodaux, Louisiana", putting that town on the map, so to speak. It covers Amos' history ("[his] daddy would use him for alligator bait") and his troubles with the law for illegal alligator hunting, including a description of how the town sheriff "snuck in the swamp [to] get the boy, but he never come out again".

  • There is no concrete proof that the father's name spoken in the song is "Doc Milsap", as the lyric is difficult to interpret from the recording. Different incantations have been assumed over the years, such as "Doc Mills South" and most commonly "Duck Bill Sam". The latter is given credence from existing video of Reed in comedy sketches involving the song, where it appears he may in fact say "Duck Bill Sam", and also the assumption that a "doctor" (Doc) wouldn't fit the bill as a father throwing his son in the swamp as "alligator bait". Lyric sheets from CMT and other "reputable" sources cannot be relied on, as most of them fail to even spell "Thibodaux" correctly, and bill it as "Tibido" or even "Tippietoe". The real lyric for Amos' father's name is anyone's guess.

Appearances in other media[edit]

The song appears in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the country music radio station K-Rose.[2]

The song was featured in an episode of the TV show My Name Is Earl.

It's been covered and recorded by Les Claypool twice. First appearing on Primus' Rhinoplasty EP and then on his 2014 Duo de Twang album. It's also been covered by Alabama 3 on their album M.O.R. and by the Pleasure Barons on their 1993 album Live in Las Vegas, with Mojo Nixon on lead vocals. Cross Canadian Ragweed covered the song on 1999's Live and Loud at the Wormy Dog Saloon.

A rock version of "Amos Moses" featured on The Sensational Alex Harvey Band's 1976 album SAHB Stories.

Chart performance[edit]


  1. ^ Robert Fontenot (November 18, 2017). "What Is Swamp Rock? A look at this Southern mix of country, funk, and soul". ThoughtCo. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  2. ^ "Soundtrack". GTA San Andreas. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  3. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  4. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs | Billboard Hot 100 Chart". 1971-03-06. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  5. ^ "Jerry Reed | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  6. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts - 19 June 1971". 1971-06-19. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  7. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-02.

External links[edit]