(alexallan) Wed 10 Sep 03 23:45
Bertha w: Hunter m: Garcia AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/bert.html LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/BERTHA.HTM
Alex Allan (alexallan) Wed 10 Sep 03 23:46
Bertha Lyrics: Robert Hunter Music: Jerry Garcia Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission. I had a hard run Running from your window I was all night running, running Lord, I wonder if you care I had a run in Run around and a run down Run around the corner, corner Lord ran smack into a tree Chorus: I had to move Really had to move That's why if you please I am on my bended knees Bertha don't you come around here any more Dressed myself in green Lord I went down unto the sea Try to see what's going down Try to read between the lines I had a feeling I was falling, falling, falling I turned round to see Heard a voice a-calling Lord you was coming after me [chorus] Ran into a rain-storm Ducked into a bar door It's all night pouring, pouring rain Lord but not a drop on me Test me, test me, test me, test me Why don't you arrest me Throw me in the jail house Lord, until the sun go down [chorus]
David Gans (tnf) Sun 1 Feb 04 13:27
From Blanton Fortson: My question today is about "Bertha" lyrics. I used to hear a particular line in "Bertha" as "dressed myself i dreams, I went down under the sea". It seems to me (though I may be mistaken) that I remember Garcia in an old interview somewhere remarking about those lyrics and the "sea" of the collec- tive consciousness... However, all the current lyrics sites read "i dressed myself in green, I went down unto the sea" ... Do you have any idea if Jerry ever used to sing "I dressed myself in dreams" ... ? Silly question perhaps, but it has come up in a discussion. Kind Regards, Blanton -- I asked him for permission to post the question here. He said yes, and added this: It may be that I heard "unto the sea" as "under the sea". Who knows. I took "dressed myself in dreams, went out under the sea" in an almost Jungian way, as dressing oneself in dreams and sailing out under the sea of collective consciousness, or the unconscious. I'm almost thinking I remember Jerry remarking about that in an early interview, but you know about memory! So many of the songs and performances were like Rorschach tests! Psychedelia can be deliciously ambiguous.
my name is obviously wasted (xian) Sun 1 Feb 04 14:21
I always hear it as "dressed myself in green" but with Hunter from green to Dreams is not that big a leap and Hunter's a master of suggestive words that include a cavalcade of shadow meanings and alternative choices - one of the things that makes some of his lyrics so psychedelic. He was quoted as saying that he opften prefers fan's "misheard" lyrics to the originals. A similar one is Terrapin. "His job is to share the light and not to master" or "His job is to shed light and not to master"?
Julie Ellen Anzaldo (jewel) Mon 2 Feb 04 10:13
I usually think of someone bathing themselves (usually me) in healing energy (green) and then immersing themselves in something vast, rich, and immense when I hear that line.
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Mon 2 Feb 04 12:40
...not to master ;-)
Peeping Tom Blues (comet) Mon 2 Feb 04 21:10
I had a hard on runnin from your window
Brian Penney (bpenney) Thu 5 Feb 04 10:41
auditory rorschach blots. that's new to my mind.
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Mon 12 Dec 05 16:56
Somewhere along the line, the refering page from http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/bert.html, ref "Bertha" and >dressed myself in green< melted into the digital aether. Meanwhile, last evening my girlfriend got into a rap about the "Green Man", a figure from the pagan lore depicted in Christian traditions via architecure, and still seen today, as an ivy wrapped (as in "St. Stephen"?) gargoyle centered upon the arches and frieze of cathedrals and other buildings. I recall an old chemistry building on the campus of Smith College, that sports such a fellow above the main door. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Man has bit more on this. No connection to diving into the sea is obvious ;-) I think it all might have to do with something about reading between the lines.
David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 13 Dec 05 14:25
Who maintains that Annotated Lyrics site, anyway? (Sigh...almost every external link I ever posted has gone away by now. Time for a ground-up redesign of the site!)
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Tue 13 Dec 05 16:29
Well, it's just another typical fucked-up Grateful Dead thing, as far as I can tell ;-) Oh... a little more poking around brought me to Bacchus and Pan and magic grottoes, water nymphs, and such. I think that Bertha's boyfriend got himself good and twisted down in the gulley back of her house, reconnoitering the fine situation that that woman got him into, so to speak. That's my interpretation, but I'm no scholar. Heh! Of course, it took me only a couple of days to recognize that the weird garden statuary that I put up on my bookshelf because it seemed cool but I don't have a garden, was, of course, a Green Man. He's been watching this entire stupid enterprise!
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Wed 14 Dec 05 08:21
The West Javanese believe that going into or on the sea wearing green is asking for trouble. "Nyai Loro Kidul was the daughter of the West Javanese King Prabu Silwangi and his beautiful young wife Princess Kadita. As the legend goes, Silwangi's other wives were jealous of Kadita and her equally beautiful daughter so they used black magic to bring down a horrible disease on the twosome that destroyed their good looks and made them stink. The stench forced the king to send the pair packing, and after some wondering and privations the mother died and Nyai Loro Kidul, harking to sirens in the waves below, took her famous plunge. Instead of dying, she was transformed into the beautiful sea goddess who continues to haunt the bay, preying on fishermen and sea bathers, especially those wearing green - her favourite colour." [Peter Jansenn, DigitalJournal.com] Back in the early '60s Sukarno, then President of the fledgling republic, used Soviet architectural know-how to build the Samudra Beach hotel near Pelabuhanratu, which is where Nyai Loro Kidul took her plunge into the sea. It really is the acme of Black Sea style holiday accommodation. Room 308 at the hotel is always left empty for the use of the sea goddess on orders from Sukarno. I've stayed at the hotel, and can verify that the room is indeed left vacant, and I'd say further that you probably don't have to wear green to risk drowning in the ocean beyond the black sand beach there. There is some nice body surfing and belly boarding surf there but very serious rips and undertows. In Central Java, the Sea Goddess enters the Water Garden of the Sultan's palace in Jogjakarta once a year, where she has congress with the Sultan to ensure bounty for the people. I'm not sure if it is the same Sea Goddess, but I suspect not.
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Wed 14 Dec 05 17:24
Beautiful. I've got to get the key to room 308.
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Thu 15 Dec 05 08:25
Guests are able to have a look at Room 308, in fact I don't think it was locked. If you are ever in Java, the Samudra Beach Hotel is a must. And the fish market at Pelabuhanratu is wonderful. The road from Bogor on is a bit suspect, takes a while, but the destination is well worth the journey.
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Thu 15 Dec 05 20:01
I've forwarded your travel suggestion to my Chief of Staff. The folks in Java are now building a run-way long enough to accomodate my personal jet. Re-reading <11>, I'm also stumbling across Queen Moo of Central America, Mother Mary, Isis and Osiris, and their several analogs. This guy in green seems to have gotten all around the world. Maybe this gets at the thing that Hunter, blessed lunatic he is, is really good at. "Take it as far as you wanna go, 'till you can't see the desert for the burnin' snow".
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Sat 17 Dec 05 08:48
I don't think the runway thing is such a good idea. I think arriving by boat may be the best. You could drop in on the pigmy rhinos on the way. Ah Java, island of dreams, place of nightmares. "Family ties is half the price; can the nation stay alive? The other half was paid in blood back in 1965." Then there is the Pink Floyd song, Green is the Colour: "Green is the colour of her kind Quickness of the eye deceives the mind Many is the bond between the hopefull and the damned."
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Sun 18 Dec 05 12:27
The hopeful and the damned. I like that, yes. I recall that old poster for "The Quick and The Dead".
Lightning in a Box (unkljohn) Sun 18 Dec 05 14:43
I think I saw an old racing movie long ago called "The Quick and the Dead".
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Sun 18 Dec 05 18:06
Right! Who was in that? There was a later film with the same title, with Gene Hackman and, I think, Sharon Stone. Before that there was a WWII movie with that name. I do seem to recall a 60's flick about fast cars with the same title. But the consonance with the meme, "the bond between the hopefull and the damned", is nice. So was the picture of Lon chaney as the Phantom on that old SF poster for the Fillmore.
searchlight casting (jstrahl) Fri 23 Dec 05 11:29
There was an interview with Jerry a *long* time ago in which he said the tune was about a fan (the machine sort:-)) in the rehearsal studio that used to act up in strange ways.But like so much in Hunter lyrics, maybe that's just a takeoff point for a broader statement. OR maybe it was just a joke on Jerry's part. Or maybe it was all a dream.
David Dodd (ddodd) Fri 23 Dec 05 22:08
Sometimes it seems like ALL this life was just a dream...
David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 19 May 08 12:08
Posted on behalf of Eric Hanson: Heynow, my name is Eric Hanson. I check out your annotated lyrics list now and then, and I think i've figured something out. No ones mentioned it yet but I believe the song 'Bertha' is inspired by D.H. Lawrence's 'Lady Chatterley's Lover". One of the primary characters, Oliver Mellors, has an estranged wife by the name of Bertha Coutt's. One point has him sneaking up to and away from the house after what'd been a rainy night, to try and glimpse his love, Lady Chatterley. And toward's the end of the book, he 'really had to move', as his estranged wife showed up again after a while, naked, in his bed, having broken in while he was gone. He wont' have her back, yada yada... you can check the plot summary, or you're probably quite familiar with it... But I think that was more or less the inspiration behind the song. I'd love to see this bit of trivia on that site if you think it has merit.
Ed Hewitt (ehewitt) Fri 11 Jul 08 10:36
i was just poking around the topic, but thought i would share this: when i pulled up the topic, i was listening to the Grateful Dead channel on jango.com - and the "related music" that came on second later was Don't Come Around Here No More by Tom Petty. a little of the old magic in the air...
Alex Allan (alexallan) Fri 24 May 13 07:50
Re: "Ducked into a bar door" On his site, David has an annotation "I always thought, from the Skull & Roses recording, that this line said something about the town of Novato, in California. I guess not." A correspondent (Phil Hubbard) has just pointed out to me that dead.net has the lyric as "I ducked back into Novato." Odd - especially as they took quite a lot of material from my site. I guess someone transcribed the line from listening to Skull & Roses. Hunter's "Box Of Rain" collected lyrics definitely has it as "bar door" - and for me, that fits the sense of the lyric better.
coal will turn to gray (comet) Fri 24 May 13 08:37
This is one I have always heard as "ducked back into a bardo" from the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Theodal), where bardo indicates an intermediate state, capturing the spiritual ambiguity of the song's love/hate relationship.
beneath the blue suburban skies (aud) Fri 24 May 13 09:20
i always heard 'bar door' because when i first heard it i had no idea what a bardo was! it was my first song live. 7-18-72.
Members: Enter the conference to participate