deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #0 of 18: David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 8 Sep 03 08:49
Morning Dew
w&m: Dobson
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #1 of 18: from JONATHAN GAL (tnf) Mon 18 Jun 07 13:26

Jonathan Gal writes:


I've been reading with great interest the analysis of the GD lyrics on The
Well.    I am a "1980's DeadHead."  I went to 45 shows in the 1984-1989 time
frame.    Then, I fell away from it for 16+ years.  Now, I am kind of
rediscovering them, with the added perspective and wisdom of being a 40 year
old parent.  The resources available on the internet, especially
<> and this "conference" on The Well
are very useful for that purpose.

I noticed that there is no discussion of Morning Dew, yet.  I am very
interested to read interpretations of those lyrics.  Perhaps we could get
that one going?  I'll start with my own interpretations, both from my teenage
years and from the present day.

During the 1980s, I always thought that the song was somehow about Dead shows
themselves.  "Walking out in the Morning Dew" was what a Dead Head would do
after being up all night enjoying a show and its aftermath.    "Not worrying
about all those people" somehow represented the contrast between the crowds
in the show and the relative solitude of still being awake, either alone or
with one or two friends, as the sun rose on a new day on the morning after
the show.  In retrospect, this whole line of thought seems kind of silly,
though it was an experience I had personally several times!

In thinking back on it now with more of an analytical and historical
perspective, I think that the song was more of a lament about lives lost in
the Vietnam War.  "All those people" are the soldiers who were killed in that
war.  The began their lives as "babies crying" turned into "young men
mourning" when they went to war and watched their friends be killed, and then
"not worrying about all those people" is a commentary on how the rest of US
society just kind of moved on without feeling any grief for those who died in
the war, leaving many veterans lives shattered.

 If you need inspiration, you might try listening to a Morning Dew from my
era, which I have listened to several times tonight.  They played it on March
24th, 1986 in Philadelphia at the end of the second set.   I think this is a
pretty good rendition from the 1980s.  What was unusual about this show was
that it is the only song they played after the drums/space (not counting the
encore).  Typically, they played several songs after the drums/space.  This
Morning Dew was particularly well done, in my opinion.  Jerry played very
well and very emotionally.   So, apparently, they didn't knock off early due
to Jerry not feeling well physically or just not playing well.  Perhaps one
of you can shed some light on this 1980s anomally, through your analysis of
the lyrics.

I look forward to an illuminating discussion about one of my favorite Dead
songs: Morning Dew.

Lexington, MA
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #2 of 18: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Tue 4 Sep 07 11:31
Somewhere I came across information that "Morning Dew" was written in
the mid-60's when Canadian folk singer Bonnie Dobson imagined the
survivors of a nuclear holocaust.  When I read this, it gave a whole
new poignancy to the song.  Having it follow the anarchy of
"Space/Drums" makes sense in this context.
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #3 of 18: beneath the blue suburban skies (aud) Tue 4 Sep 07 11:34
taht 3-24-86 Dew was indeed a very, very sweet one. which the band somehow
realized said it all and nothing more was needed... (that was the first show
I took my now 23-year old son to).

anyway, i knew the history of the song since i first heard it in the early
70's and was captivated by it, so i never looked into the words with any
thought other than after the holocaust...
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #4 of 18: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Wed 12 Sep 07 13:16
Likewise, I knew of Bonnie Dobson and the impetus for the song either
before I first heard the GD play it or around the same time, so always
have a post-nuclear war landscape going in my head. However, those
other images harmonise very well. Especially that "morning after"
effect when the dew sparkled on everything.
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #5 of 18: Bob Loomis (miltloomis) Sun 25 Nov 07 22:44
   Morning Dew always has been one of my favorite GD songs, though of
course it is really a Bonnie Dobson song. I have never heard her sing
it either live or recorded. Probably should do a YouTube search. I was
informed it was her reaction to the nuclear attack on Hiroshima. This
was after some years of pondering the lyrics without any real anchor or
idea of what they might actually have been intended to convey. But the
post-nuclear attack angle certainly fits. JG used to play some of his
most soulful and moving riffs on this one and then suddenly it just
dropped out of their sets. Always wondered why. Did they just get sick
of it? Or what? Well, I won't lose any sleep over it, I suppose, but I
dearly loved the GD versions.
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #6 of 18: Robert Loomis (miltloomis) Sun 25 Nov 07 22:45
   P.S. Our band Old Dog does it occasionally and I sing the plea and
questions and our diva sings the response lines ... pretty effective,
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #7 of 18: David Gans (tnf) Sun 25 Nov 07 22:52

You can hear Bonnie Dobson's version on "The Music Never Stopped" Roots of
the Grateful Dead," on Shanachie Records.
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #8 of 18: beneath the blue suburban skies (aud) Mon 26 Nov 07 07:42
it dropped out of their sets?
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #9 of 18: streaming irreverent commentary (pauli) Mon 26 Nov 07 12:51
They may have plaed it less frequently in the last few years but it was
still part of the rotation.  A quick seach on deadlists show that they
played it an average of 8 times a year in the 90s.
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #10 of 18: Tim Lynch (masonskids) Tue 15 Jan 08 06:56
Bonnie Dobson got her inspiration from this song after seeing the
movie On The Beach.
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #11 of 18: Robert Loomis (miltloomis) Sun 27 Jul 08 08:42
Whew! Finally revisiting this topic after a long absence ... Guess it
was I, and not the song, that dropped out of the GD sets after about
1988 ... I didn't see them after that, to the best of my recollection
... I stand corrected and am glad to now they still played it. Anyone
know if the current band, The Dead, or Phil Lesh & Friends or other
offshoots play it now? Thanks.
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #12 of 18: Tim Lynch (masonskids) Mon 28 Jul 08 02:36
Phil still plays it, but unfortunately he sings it!
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #13 of 18: beneath the blue suburban skies (aud) Mon 28 Jul 08 07:34
Ratdog does it too.
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #14 of 18: David Gans (tnf) Tue 2 Sep 08 17:46

From Henry Kaiser, a link to several versions of "Morning Dew" (not by the
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #15 of 18: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Wed 3 Mar 10 06:54
On the Phil Zone on 28 Feb 2010 Phil confirms that GD copped the Tim
Rose version. He also mentions the Jeff Beck / Rod Stewart cover.
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #16 of 18: David Gans (tnf) Wed 3 Mar 10 08:37

The Dead were doing it before the jeff Beck version was recorded/released.
"Truth" came out in 1968.
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #17 of 18: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Wed 3 Mar 10 09:51
Right, I think he was just saying that Beck and Stewart had also
covered the tune.
deadsongs.vue.141 : Morning Dew
permalink #18 of 18: Dewdle-Doo (sdave) Mon 11 Aug 14 19:59
Posted this on my fb page recently.  Will xpost to Days Between if
there is such a topic and if tnf doesn't kill me first.  :-)

For Jews, the first 9 days of the Month of Av (which we’re in) are a
dark time, in remembrance of the destruction of both Temples many years
apart on the 9th of Av.

Jerry Garcia was born on an August 1st and died on the 9th of Aug.,
1995. Near the end of his life, he sang a wistful song called “Days
Between.” With a certain sad reverence, many Grateful Deadheads now
observe the first 9 days of Aug. as “The Days Between.”

9 days, 9 days! Coincidence?

I didn’t really know about the first 9 days of Av until I heard Rabbi
Naomi Levy’s sermon on Friday night, Aug. 1st. I knew about “Tisha
B’Av” -- the 9th of Av -- partly because it sounds funny (“tushy
bahv”), but also because I’ve fasted more than once on that day, being
a fan of self-flagellative rituals, perhaps.

Now is a turbulent time in the world, and got I comfort from the
sermon’s broad and balanced concern. Remarkably, something else came up
in the sermon that also struck a chord in my Deadheadish soul: The
wife of an Israeli soldier killed in the current conflict named their
baby, born after he died, something in Hebrew that means “light of the
morning dew.” “Morning Dew” is an anthemic bolero of a song that was a
staple of the Grateful Dead’s repertoire, often thought of as a protest
of the Vietnam War (“Where have all the people gone, my honey,” it
asks, akin to “Where have all the flowers gone”), but really more of an
antinuclear tone poem. “Morning Dew” delivers the heart-wrenching
“I thought I heard a baby cry this morning
I thought I heard a baby cry today
You didn't hear no baby cry this morning
You didn't hear no baby cry today”

For background on the thoughts above,
there’s this on “The Days Between”, by the Dean of Religious Life at
and also this with the lyrics of the song:
then there’s this, with info and lyrics for “Morning Dew:”
and this discussion of that song:
Now, to end with the longest history, here’s a crash course on the 9th
of Av, etc.: .

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