deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #0 of 29: 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
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #1 of 29: 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
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #2 of 29: 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
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #3 of 29: Mary Eisenhart (marye) Sat 18 Oct 03 17:28
    
Heh. Brick by brick the wall evolves.
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #4 of 29: 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.
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #5 of 29: 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")?
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #6 of 29: 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.
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #7 of 29: 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.
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #8 of 29: 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."
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #9 of 29: 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. 
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #10 of 29: 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.
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #11 of 29: 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."
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #12 of 29: Tom Kozal (tkozal) Tue 21 Oct 03 12:43
    
ohh, and the "Saul" mentioned is St. Paul, before his conversion. Acts
8 has more.
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #13 of 29: David Gans (tnf) Tue 21 Oct 03 20:34
    

Thanks, Tom!
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #14 of 29: 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....
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #15 of 29: 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.
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #16 of 29: 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.)
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #17 of 29: 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.
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #18 of 29: 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.
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #19 of 29: 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"?
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #20 of 29: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Fri 24 Oct 03 11:29
    
Yes!
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #21 of 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...
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #22 of 29: 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.
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #23 of 29: 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
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #24 of 29: David Gans (tnf) Sun 26 Sep 04 17:05
    



My friend’s 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
  
deadsongs.vue.174 : Saint Stephen
permalink #25 of 29: 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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