David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 8 Sep 03 08:49
Morning Dew w&m: Dobson LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/MORNDEW.HTM
from JONATHAN GAL (tnf) Mon 18 Jun 07 13:26
Jonathan Gal writes: Hi, 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 <http://www.archive.org/>www.archive.org 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. "jlglex" Lexington, MA
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.
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...
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.
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.
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, IMHO.
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.
beneath the blue suburban skies (aud) Mon 26 Nov 07 07:42
it dropped out of their sets?
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.
Tim Lynch (masonskids) Tue 15 Jan 08 06:56
Bonnie Dobson got her inspiration from this song after seeing the movie On The Beach. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Beach_%281959_film%29
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.
Tim Lynch (masonskids) Mon 28 Jul 08 02:36
Phil still plays it, but unfortunately he sings it!
beneath the blue suburban skies (aud) Mon 28 Jul 08 07:34
Ratdog does it too.
David Gans (tnf) Tue 2 Sep 08 17:46
From Henry Kaiser, a link to several versions of "Morning Dew" (not by the Dead): http://bedazzled.blogs.com/bedazzled/2008/09/mp3s-morning-de.html
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.
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.
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.
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 were 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 didnt really know about the first 9 days of Av until I heard Rabbi Naomi Levys sermon on Friday night, Aug. 1st. I knew about Tisha BAv -- the 9th of Av -- partly because it sounds funny (tushy bahv), but also because Ive 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 sermons 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 Deads 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 lines, 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 Oy. For background on the thoughts above, theres this on The Days Between, by the Dean of Religious Life at USC: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/varun-soni/the-days-between-and-the-_b_3700854.h tml and also this with the lyrics of the song: http://artsites.ucsc.edu/GDead/agdl/days.html then theres this, with info and lyrics for Morning Dew: http://bit.ly/1ugQ9DY and this discussion of that song: http://www.well.com/conf/deadsongs.vue/topics/141/Morning-Dew-page01.html Now, to end with the longest history, heres a crash course on the 9th of Av, etc.: http://www.aish.com/h/9av/mm/Crash_Course_on_Tisha_BAv.html .
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