David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 8 Sep 03 09:32
Saint Stephen w: Hunter m: Garcia, Lesh AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/stephen.html LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/SAINTSTE.HTM
Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 8 Sep 03 20:33
Saint Stephen Lyrics: Robert Hunter Music: Jerry Garcia/Phil Lesh Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission. Saint Stephen with a rose In and out of the garden he goes Country garland in the wind and the rain Wherever he goes the people all complain Stephen prosper in his time Well he may, and he may decline Did it matter, does it now? Stephen would answer if he only knew how Wishing well with a golden bell Bucket hanging clear to hell Hell half way twixt now and then Stephen fill it up and lower down, and lower down again Lady finger, dipped in moonlight Writing "What for?" across the morning sky Sunlight splatters dawn with answers Darkness shrugs and bids the day goodbye Speeding arrow, sharp and narrow What a lot of fleeting matters you have spurned Several seasons with their treasons Wrap the babe in scarlet colours, call it your own Did he doubt or did he try? Answers a-plenty in the by and by Talk about your plenty, talk about your ills One man gathers what another man spills Saint Stephen will remain All he's lost he shall regain Seashore washed by the suds and the foam Been here so long he's got to calling it home Fortune comes a-crawling, Calliope woman Spinning that curious sense of your own Can you answer? Yes I can But what would be the answer to the answer man? -----(William Tell Bridge)----- High green chilly winds and windy vines in loops Around the twined shafts of lavender They're crawling to the sun Underfoot the ground is patched With climbing arms of ivy wrapped Around the manzanita stark and shiny in the breeze Wonder who will water all the children of the garden When they sigh about the barren lack Of rain and droop so hungry 'neath the sky William Tell has stretched his bow Till it won't stretch no furthermore And/or it will require a change that hasn't come before
David Gans (tnf) Sat 18 Oct 03 09:06
From Dana Lee: didnt know how to submit things into the annotated grateful dead lyrics.. somehow i got here but i though maybe this would be handy.. according to www.subprofile.com/index.php Random Fact: (Refresh) St. Stephan is the patron saint of bricklayers. these sites are awesome, keep them going Dana lee
Mary Eisenhart (marye) Sat 18 Oct 03 17:28
Heh. Brick by brick the wall evolves.
fractured parables (comet) Sun 19 Oct 03 15:59
Is this a mysterious song? I'm a little rusty, but it seems to follow the biblical storyline of Stephen's Christian evangelizing, inquisition, and martyrdom. "Sunlight splatters dawn with answers". Stephen answered his inquisitors but his answers do not persuade them, "what would be the answer to the answer man?" He appears in Acts as the first Christian martyr, and appropriate to the times Stephen is stoned to death.
My name is obviously wasted (xian) Sun 19 Oct 03 22:40
haven't some claimed this is an allegory for Steven Gaskin ("The Farm")?
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Mon 20 Oct 03 08:47
So the story goes. I think both Gaskin and Hunter are vague on the matter, if not dismissive of the notion, but my memory may be faulty (go figure). There's a shrine to St. Stephan (Steven) in Prague. Somewhere in my mountains of photo albums, I have a photo of one of the stained glass windows in the Shrine. If I can find it, I'll post a link after scanning it. There's also a rather funny etching of the Defenistration (throwing out the window) of Prague in that same album, when at the height of the Catholic/Protestant Schism tossing heretics out and down to the sewage-guttered streets from a second floor window was standard operating proceedure. Ye ol' Life is stranger than even Hunter's early lyrics.
fractured parables (comet) Mon 20 Oct 03 13:46
I suppose to be clear I should say that I don't mean to suggest this is a song with a simplistic, pro-Christian meaning. I think Hunter simply took the anti-materialistic, anti-establishment message of the biblical Stephen and adapted it for the Sixties. With hair so long... Like the messianic metaphor of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the idea of persecution for exposing the hypocrisy of society is secular and universal.
David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 20 Oct 03 14:03
Nice. I do remember clearly Hunter's answer when asked who the song was about: "St. Stephen."
Tom Kozal (tkozal) Tue 21 Oct 03 12:38
and since this is the Well, and most readers are probably not familar with this: Acts 6 8 Now Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen, 10 but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke. 11 Then they instigated some men to say, "We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God." 12 They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, accosted him, seized him, and brought him before the Sanhedrin. 13 They presented false witnesses who testified, "This man never stops saying things against (this) holy place and the law. 14 For we have heard him claim that this Jesus the Nazorean will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us." 15 All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel. Acts 7 all of Acts 7 is Stephens speech, but here is the end: 48 Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says: 49 'The heavens are my throne, the earth is my footstool. What kind of house can you build for me? says the Lord, or what is to be my resting place? 50 Did not my hand make all these things?' 51 "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always oppose the holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors. 52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They put to death those who foretold the coming of the righteous one, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become. 53 You received the law as transmitted by angels, but you did not observe it." 54 When they heard this, they were infuriated, and they ground their teeth at him. 55 But he, filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 3 56 and he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." 57 But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, 4 and rushed upon him together. 58 They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him. The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60 Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them"; and when he said this, he fell asleep.
Tom Kozal (tkozal) Tue 21 Oct 03 12:40
St Stephen is challenging the existing mindset and rules of the day, and got killed for it. Very 60's ya know.
Tom Kozal (tkozal) Tue 21 Oct 03 12:42
This really was a break with the Jewish rules, and after the death of Christ, this is one of the first killings of a believer recorded. There is also this comment: "Stephen's speech represents Luke's description of Christianity's break from its Jewish matrix. Two motifs become prominent in the speech: (Acts 7:1) Israel's reaction to God's chosen leaders in the past reveals that the people have consistently rejected them; and (Acts 7:2) Israel has misunderstood God's choice of the Jerusalem temple as the place where he is to be worshiped."
Tom Kozal (tkozal) Tue 21 Oct 03 12:43
ohh, and the "Saul" mentioned is St. Paul, before his conversion. Acts 8 has more.
David Gans (tnf) Tue 21 Oct 03 20:34
Tom Kozal (tkozal) Wed 22 Oct 03 04:35
David, some day I am going to do a whole study on Christian influences in Hunters Lyrics, if I ever have the time..... Very much out of american protestantism circa 1845 it seems to me....
David Gans (tnf) Wed 22 Oct 03 08:17
I wonder if he'd be at all open to discussing it with you. I'd be glad to broach the subject with him when you're ready to do it.
David Dodd (ddodd) Wed 22 Oct 03 08:36
Could be but the first in a long series of interviews with Hunter on his influences... I'd like to get into that line myself! (Behind Tom.)
Tom Kozal (tkozal) Thu 23 Oct 03 08:30
There are actually 9 St Stephens, 7 were Popes of the Middle Ages. The two main ones are ST. Stephen the matyr, and St Stephen of Hungary, also King of Hungary. "Saint Stephen with a rose" Nothing on the rose yet "In and out of the garden he goes " The early disciples and apostles, even during Jesus' time, were known to use various "Gardens" as their base, for sleeping, etc.. Many NT references I could dig out. "Country garland in the wind and the rain" Not much here yet "Wherever he goes the people all complain" St Stephen, the proto-wookie. Many of the early disciples were known for their wild unkempt appearance. Many wore just one shift or robe, no multi-layers, but the single fabric of a beggar. No luxuries like perfumed baths either...There are eyewitness, non NT accounts of this (Eusebius, etc..) Plus we have the various complaints by the Jews laid out in Acts above. Many complaints about his and others preaching what to many Jews was heretical and blasphemous.
fractured parables (comet) Thu 23 Oct 03 23:19
The biblical analog may have the least to offer in terms of understanding Hunter's meaning, after setting the ironic theme of the protagonist's persecution/martyrdom. More mysterious Hunter references are the horticultural. St Stephen "with a rose" is Hunter's way of transforming the biblical metaphor, with the rose as a common secular symbol of love. Hunter doesn't praise "St" Stephen without the rose. This suggests the song is for love children, contemporary iconoclasts, namesakes perhaps but not Stephen of the book. The garden is the natural wilderness of the earth, the state of grace being destroyed by modern civilization and development. We could visit (go in and out of) the garden, but no longer live there. The country garland, the flowering of love, was beset by wind and rain, the disparagement by the cynics and older generation, who all complained. Fortune comes a calling, a powerful fate confronts our generation, following it's muse (caliope woman) who helps us to question and form our own radically different understanding. But like St Stephen, the message of love is misunderstood and persecuted. By using the symbol of the martyred Stephen, Hunter seems to be framing his appeal for understanding to those conservative and powerful forces in familiar language. Just like St Stephen, Just like Jerico.
Tom Kozal (tkozal) Fri 24 Oct 03 04:49
I also think that the coupling of St. Stephen -> The Eleven has always been fascinating. For here are two powerful images from very early Christianity, coupled together. Although mentions of "the Eleven", the apostles less Juda Iscariot, actually occur BEFORE the story of St. Stephen. Do we need a topic for "The Eleven"?
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Fri 24 Oct 03 11:29
David Dodd (ddodd) Fri 24 Oct 03 13:33
Topic 68 is The Eleven. There's a topic for every song, and they're organized alphabetically. If you're using engaged, click on the "Num" column, and they'll pop up in alpha order. If you're in PicoSpan, just hit b for browse...is it silly for me to be giving these instructions? Just let me know...
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Fri 24 Oct 03 16:13
Nope... not silly... I'm just tired and losing clues like so many bread-crumbs in the forest full.
David Gans (tnf) Fri 24 Oct 03 16:31
If you're using picospan (the text interface), you can search for topics in a conference with the ctop command, e.g. -> ctop elev deadsongs.vue.68 The Eleven
David Gans (tnf) Sun 26 Sep 04 17:05
My friends and I thought that the line what will be the answer to the answer man was a riddle or a koan with the answer being a question. Thus everything is a circle with no end or beginning. ashley
doo-dah manque (xian) Mon 27 Sep 04 08:48
a friend of mine always insisted it was just '60s cosmic-hipster-speak "but what would be the answer to the answer, man?"
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