deadsongs.vue.179 : Shakedown Street
permalink #0 of 6: David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 8 Sep 03 09:34
    
Shakedown Street
w: Hunter m: Garcia
AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/shak.html
LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/SHAKEDOW.HTM
  
deadsongs.vue.179 : Shakedown Street
permalink #1 of 6: Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 8 Sep 03 20:28
    
Shakedown Street 
Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission.

You tell me this town ain't got no heart
(Well, well, well, you can never tell)
The sunny side of the street is dark
(Well, well, well, you can never tell)
Maybe that's 'cause it's midnight
And the dark of the moon besides
Maybe the dark is from your eyes
(Maybe the dark is from your eyes)
Maybe the dark is from your eyes
(Maybe the dark is from your eyes)
Maybe the dark is from your eyes
(Maybe the dark is from your eyes)
You know you got such dark eyes

Chorus
Nothing shaking on Shakedown Street
Used to be the heart of town
Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart
You just got to poke around

You think you've seen this town clear through
(Well, well, well, you can never tell)
Nothing here could interest you
(Well, well, well, you can never tell)
It's not because you missed out
On the thing that we had to start
Maybe you had too much too fast
(Maybe you had too much too fast)
Maybe you had too much too fast
(Maybe you had too much too fast)
Maybe you had too much too fast
(Maybe you had too much too fast)
And just overplayed your part

[chorus]

Since I'm passing your way today
(Well, well, well, you can never tell)
I just stopped in 'cause I want to say
(Well, well, well, you can never tell)
I recall your darkness
When it crackled like a thunder cloud
Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart
(Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart)
Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart
(Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart)
Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart
(Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart)
I can hear it beat out loud

[chorus]
  
deadsongs.vue.179 : Shakedown Street
permalink #2 of 6: from RICK BRENNER (tnf) Sat 26 Jan 13 09:59
    
RICK BRENNER writes:

Song Meaning:In the '70's there were some people who were disappointed
in the "new Dead" and criticized them that they weren't as good as
they were in the 60's and early 70's. This song is clearly a response
to that.
 
"Town" and "Shakedown Street" = Grateful Dead
"You tell me this town ain't got no heart."
Then: "Maybe the dark is from your eyes", meaning maybe it's your
stupid fault that you don't like the new stuff. The hate is coming from
inside you, you are projecting that onto the Dead.

"Nothin' shakin' on Shakedown Street. Used to be the heart of town.
Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart. You just gotta poke
around."
Meaning nothing good coming from the Dead these days, whereas they
used to be the greatest, the "heart of town". But don't give me that
crap, just open your mind and listen! Just because it's different,
doesn't mean it's no good.

"It's not because you missed out on the thing that we had to start."
This addresses the very often heard refrain from people that were
upset they weren't around for the early hay days of the Dead.

Then there is the piece de resistance: it's a disco song! I think they
must have did that on purpose as well. Of course they are going to get
criticized for doing disco! So they write a song about being unduly
and unfairly criticized and they put it to a disco song! FANTASTIC!
These boys sure are creative! You gotta love it!

Obvious, isn't it?

Rick
  
deadsongs.vue.179 : Shakedown Street
permalink #3 of 6: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Sat 26 Jan 13 15:42
    
Totally, Rick, you have gotta love it! I think that Shakedown Street
is part of the meta-history that constitutes one of the main strands
that runs through the Grateful Dead songbook. Another strand is the
mystical journey of The Fool.
  
deadsongs.vue.179 : Shakedown Street
permalink #4 of 6: coal will turn to gray (comet) Sun 27 Jan 13 16:52
    
While I agree with Alex that the song could be a message to carping
deadheads, I really doubt that Hunter or Garcia would have such a
limited listener universe in mind. 

My take is that Garcia was a product of the Mission district in SF and
that he grew up in the decay of a once beautiful urban core. This was
something that was going on everywhere in the US in the sixties and
seventies. I think the band playing so many faded urban center venues
was part of their committment to fighting the decay. 

So I always hear the song as a head's up to those who had written off
the urban core of our cities and the people, mostly people of color,
that they should look a little deeper. 
  
deadsongs.vue.179 : Shakedown Street
permalink #5 of 6: David Gans (tnf) Mon 28 Jan 13 09:54
    
That is an almost absurdly generour interpretation!  Me, I see the cover
of the album and I know it's as dialogue among insiders.  :^)
  
deadsongs.vue.179 : Shakedown Street
permalink #6 of 6: coal will turn to gray (comet) Mon 28 Jan 13 22:16
    
While it is definitely out of style today; I recall your darkness,
when it cracked like a thunder cloud.

And I'm unabashedly with those latecomers who ask, what's so funny
about peace, love, and understanding?
  



Members: Enter the conference to participate


Non-members: Please enter your comment or question:
All non-member comments are read before posting. All spam is discarded.

Your email address:
We will only use this email address to contact you for clarification.

Your real name:
Your name will be used to identify your comment if it is posted.



Subscribe to an RSS 2.0 feed of new responses in this topic RSS feed of new responses

 
   Join Us
 
Home | Learn About | Conferences | Member Pages | Mail | Store | Services & Help | Password | Join Us

Twitter G+ Facebook