deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #0 of 32: David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 8 Sep 03 09:31
    
Row Jimmy
w: Hunter m: Garcia
AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/row.html
LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/ROWJIMMY.HTM
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #1 of 32: Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 8 Sep 03 20:47
    
Row Jimmy 
Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission.

Julie catch a rabbit by his hair
Come back step, like to walk on air 
Get back home where you belong
And don't you run off no more

Don't hang your head, let the two-time roll
Grass shack nailed to a pine wood floor 
Ask the time baby I don't know
Come back later, gonna let it show

Chorus
And I say row, Jimmy, row
Gonna get there, I don't know
Seems a common way to go
Get down and row, row, row, row, row

Here's a half a dollar if you dare
Double twist when you hit the air
Look at Julie down below
The levee doing the dopaso

[chorus]

Broken heart don't feel so bad
You ain't got half of what you thought you had
Rock your baby to and fro
Not too fast and not too slow

[chorus]

That's the way it's been in town
Ever since they tore the juke box down
Two bit piece don't buy no more
Not so much as it done before

[chorus]
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #2 of 32: Bryan Miller (bamfinney) Mon 18 Sep 06 06:33
    
Just a few thoughts on this beautiful song. I was just listening to
the version on DP 7 (England, Sept [date?, help] 1974). Its only the
third song and seems to slow the whole show down to a much needed
self-perception mode. Maybe the bottle was just then being passed.
"Help me in, ya'll."

Anyway, it seemed to me that Row Jimmy, I'm sure among other things,
is a psiritual journey of self-discovery and discovery of hte world at
large, but from a slightly different perspective. "Broken heart don't
seem so bad; ain't got half of what you thought you had": a personal
crisis of the spiritual variety wherein we see ourselves more
objectively and realize something about ourselves in relation to the
world around us that was yet undiscovered [Welcome, Sgt. Peppers Lonely
(or, Broken) Hearts Club Band!].

"Going ot get there, I don't know": this spiritual revelation taht
comes in all-to-real, yet elusive and often fast fading, flashes may
never be fully incorporated into our lives, but keep on rowing that
boat, maybe its the hard way, maybe it seems like getting nowhere fast
(row-boats suck in that way), but "that's the way its been," and maybe
we'll realize something valuable in the end. But for now, here's your
oars and here's your boat ("I bought you a paddle for your paper
conoe"), see what you can do.

For what its worth.
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #3 of 32: gravity and gluttony (comet) Mon 18 Sep 06 10:15
    
more free advice framework
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #4 of 32: Bryan Miller (bamfinney) Mon 18 Sep 06 14:31
    <scribbled by bamfinney>
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #5 of 32: Bryan Miller (bamfinney) Mon 18 Sep 06 14:44
    
BTW, and maybe I'm missing the point here, if this conference isn't
about volunteering experiences and ideas that these songs bring to us,
what is it for?
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #6 of 32: Paul B. Israel (pauli) Mon 18 Sep 06 19:19
    
Bryan, thta is exactly what this conference is for.  I found your take on
the song very interesting.  For me that song, like so much of Wake of the
Flood conjures of various visions of summer.  In this case a rural community
on a river that's seen better times.  But the kind of spiritual
interpretation you bring to it is certainly not yours alone.  In the
discussion of the Annotated Dead Lyrics Row Jimmy you will find a comment at
the end that you might be interested in:
http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/row.html
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #7 of 32: gravity and gluttony (comet) Mon 18 Sep 06 19:43
    
My comment wasn't about Bryan's. Sorry for not being clearer. I was
riffing about the lyrics and tempo, how they seemed to be plyinng a
subconscious dream.
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #8 of 32: Bryan Miller (bamfinney) Tue 19 Sep 06 03:53
    
>For me that song, like so much of Wake of the
Flood conjures of various visions of summer.  In this case a rural
community on a river that's seen better times.<

I like that. It seems to fit. I'll shceck out the link.

And yes, it is very dreamy. [Sorry, (comet)!]
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #9 of 32: Bryan Miller (bamfinney) Tue 19 Sep 06 05:18
    
I just ordered a copy of "Box of Rain." I'm really looking forward to
that reading!
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #10 of 32: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Tue 19 Sep 06 10:33
    
Oh, man… it is a treasure. I don't know how recently it's be revised,
but in addition to the material produced by The Grateful Dead, there is
a ton of what Hunter calls his "orphaned songs". Go right ahead. Get
real lost in those pages, those images, the many notions, whatever you
find around whatever corner any given day.

Anyhow, I don't even have to second <pauli> or <comet>. Your voice is
more in tune with the subject than mine often is: ;-) Have at it.
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #11 of 32: *%* (jewel) Tue 19 Sep 06 14:31
    
That comment <pauli> refers to on the annotated site actually originated
here on the Well, back in 1991.
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #12 of 32: Bryan Miller (bamfinney) Tue 19 Sep 06 17:17
    
Ah, you wrote it right?
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #13 of 32: Bryan Miller (bamfinney) Tue 19 Sep 06 17:17
    
A very nice piece. I enjoyed reading it.
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #14 of 32: *%* (jewel) Wed 20 Sep 06 09:17
    
It seems I wrote it, yes.  I'm glad you enjoyed it.
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #15 of 32: David Dodd (ddodd) Wed 20 Sep 06 13:53
    
It seems that all this life, was just a dream...row row row your boat,
Jimmy, row row row...
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #16 of 32: Bryan Miller (bamfinney) Wed 20 Sep 06 14:48
    
Gently down the raging waterfall1
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #17 of 32: Paul B. Israel (pauli) Wed 20 Sep 06 19:21
    
very cool didn't realize that you were the julie who wrote that jewel
I didn't make it here until 1992.
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #18 of 32: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Tue 10 Oct 06 06:14
    
From Howard Reich and William Gaines' biography of Jelly Roll Morton,
Jelly's Blues (Da Capo, 2003):

"Once he felt he had the audience on his side, Morton even dared to
sing the ribald lyrics he had heard back in New Orleans at the start of
the century ('Mama, mama, look at sis, up on the levee doin' the
double twist')." p 204
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #19 of 32: David Gans (tnf) Tue 10 Oct 06 09:19
    

Interesting.

I wonder what the double twist is.
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #20 of 32: David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 10 Oct 06 11:55
    
Ribald, he sez. Hmmmm. The imagination runs amok.
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #21 of 32: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Wed 11 Oct 06 08:07
    
Jelly Roll Morton was known as the "windin' boy" for a particular
pelvic motion at which he was proficient.
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #22 of 32: from JONATHAN GAL (tnf) Mon 18 Jun 07 20:19
    



Jonathan Gal writes:




I think that Bryan Miller's perception of Row Jimmy as a spiritual journey is
very interesting, and - the more I think about it - very accurate and "right
on."  I'd like to add some thoughts that complement that interpretation and
develop it a bit further.

If, as Bryan suggests, life is a spiritual journey that may "get there, I
don't know" then perhaps the lyrics of Row Jimmy go on to suggest that music
is one of the spiritual "boats" that we can use to "get there".    Taking
this a step further, the title of the song (and the theme of the chorus) Row
Jimmy could be sort of a coded way of saying "Play Jerry"  .... Like we are
on a spiritual journey, we don't know if we will get there, but we are
counting on you, Jimmy (aka Jerry), to row the spiritual boat (play the
guitar/music), and we hope you will lead us there.

So, I say, Play Jerry, Play (Row, Jimmy, Row).  Give us a spiritual direction
through your music.

"Here's a Half Dollar, if you dare.  Double twist when you hit the air."
The person is happy (doing a double twist) when he/she receives a half
dollar.  Why?  Because the half dollar can be put into the jukebox to play
some music!

But, they tore the the old jukebox down, so that person ends up disappointed.
 The disappointment that the person feels about not being able to hear music
is so great that it makes a broken heart seem "not so bad" in comparison.

So, I say, Play Jerry, Play (Row, Jimmy, Row).  Give us a spiritual direction
through your music!

And, its been sad and disappointing in town without the jukebox .... so sad
that it makes a broken heart not feel so bad ... Not only is it sad, but it
even feels like money is worth less (two bit piece don't buy no more, not so
much as it done before) without the jukebox (or music) in town (in our
lives).

And, so, as always, we plead "Play, Jerry, Play" (Row, Jimmy, Row) and we
hope, though we are certainly not guarranteed (gonna get there, I don't know)
that we reach some sort of spiritual destination that brings us
enlightenment, or even just simple happiness.

FWIW!!!

jlglex
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #23 of 32: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Wed 20 Jun 07 08:12
    
Interesting, and resonates well I think. "Hit the air" could be the
leap into the unknown required of a neophyte, with the "double twist"
constituting advice to do so with abandon and joy.
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #24 of 32: from JONATHAN GAL (tnf) Wed 20 Jun 07 20:23
    


Jonathan Gal writes:



Whether neophyte or old veteran, "double twist when you hit the air" simply
refers to joy and a "spring in the step" that comes over a person when
listening to good music.

The way I see it, the half dollar fires up the jukebox and starts to music,
which leads to the double twist when you hit the air."

But, after they tore the jukebox down, "a two bit piece don't buy no more,
not so much as it done before."  In other words, money is not worth as much,
if there is no jukebox into which to place it.

And, the money could also be a representation of life itself.

Translation: life is not worth as much without music.

And then back to the refrain ... play, Jerry, play!

As the refrain repeats towards the end of the song, the music picks up and
gets a little more funky..... that is Jerry and the band responding to the
plea for music that comes through in the lyrics ... a plea for music that
gives us a "spring in the step" a.k.a. "a double twist when we hit the air."
  They respond by putting a little more lift in the music ... a little more
jump ... a little more funk ... a little more of that "double twist when you
hit the air" kind of feeling.

Hunter pleads, Jerry responds.
  
deadsongs.vue.171 : Row Jimmy
permalink #25 of 32: from JONATHAN GAL (tnf) Wed 20 Jun 07 20:46
    


Jonathan:



As I think about more, Row Jimmy seems to make an excellent song to lead into
a more up tempo and funky dance 'tune, like maybe Shakedown Street.

They could've used that repeating refrain, with the accelerating funkiness at
the end of Row Jimmy as a musical introduction to a more funky song that
continues to accelerate that funkiness, like Shakedown Street.

That would be an interesting transition.  Don't think I've every heard
them play that combo.
  

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