David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 8 Sep 03 09:38
The Stranger (Two Souls In Communion) w&m: McKernan AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/soul.html LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/TWOSOULS.HTM
Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 8 Sep 03 20:15
The Stranger (Two Souls in Communion) Lyrics: Ron McKernan Music: Ron McKernan Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission. What are they seeing, when they look in each other's eyes? What are they feeling, when they see each other's smile? Is it a love I've never known - or an emotion that I've outgrown? Did I take a wrong turning on life's winding road? Won't somebody help me find the right way to go? My life need some correction, alteration in direction Won't somebody comfort me for a while - yes, I'm lost What is the secret of this tie that binds? Two souls in communion, both body and mind Is it special magic, or just the nature of things? Conceived of great spirit, not for beggars but kings You who have found it, please help me along I'm a man, I'm a man, - I'm not made out of stone My needs they are simple, I don't want many things, But I truly want to fly on those wings of love one more time. That's all I need (fly up, fly home) I want to fly on them wings (fly up, fly home) I want to fly on them wings of love (fly up, fly home) I'm a stranger here (fly up, fly home) Won't somebody help me now (fly up, fly home) I wake up early in the morning (fly up, fly home) you know I never saw you babe (fly up, fly home) I just can't seem to understand Can't seem to understand what's wrong (fly up, fly home) What I wanna do is take a little ride with you, on the wings of love Woh-oh one more time, one more time.
David Gans (tnf) Wed 13 Jun 07 14:53
Charity writes: I've been listening to the song Two Souls In Communion from 4/24/72 and I don't know the actual written lyrics, but these are some of the differences I've noticed: Is it a love I've never known I also agree with This tie that binds My needs they are simple, I don't want many things
David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 23 Dec 13 14:22
My post about the song on "Greatest Stories Ever Told," the blog I'm writing for dead.net: Read the original post, subsequent commentary, and add your own comments at http://www.dead.net/features/greatest-stories-ever-told/greatest-stories-ever- told-stranger Pigpens composition, The Stranger (Two Souls in Communion) was shrouded in obscurity for years. Back in 1997, I had a very fun circular exchange about the authorship of the song: Alex Allan wrote to me asking if I had any firm info on whether Pigpen wrote the song; I wrote to David Gans, who said he didnt know, and suggested I ask Alan Trist; Alan Trist wrote back saying he wasnt sure, and would look into it; David Gans wrote me a few days later to say that he had had a phone call from Dennis McNally asking about the songs authorship, because Alan Trist had been asking about it! At that point, David suggested that Dennis ask Phil. Eventually, the question was resolved. Ron McKernan is now officially named as the composer and lyricist of the song, which the Dead broke out on March 21, 1972, at the Academy of Music in New York City. They took it to Europe and it was played a total of 12 times, with the final performance taking place on May 26, 1972 at the Strand Lyceum in London. (This was the next-to-last song ever sung by Pigpen in concert with the band. He appeared in one more show, back in the USA at the Hollywood Bowl, but did not sing.) I love Pigpens singing on the song, captured in a number of live releases, but never laid down, as far as I know, in a studio setting. (This makes it part of that whole 1972-era set of songs that never received studio treatment. Sources indicate that Pigpen did quite a bit of work on a solo album, but it was never released. Apparently excerpts from this album circulate, although I havent heard them. I wonder if The Stranger was one of those songs?) He captures in words, and conveys musically, the longing for love we all feel. In the case of the songs narrator, its from the perspective of a single person, not in a love relationship, wondering what the secret is that brings two people together, and why he is on the outside looking in. What are they seeing, when they look in each others eyes? And later: You who have found it, please help me along. Im sure many of us have been in this positionwondering if capital L Love is even a real thing? As he asks in the song: What are they feeling, when they see each other smile? Is it love, I dont knowor an emotion that Ive outgrown? Even if weve experienced it, love can seem to be a chimera once its gone, and its easy to begin to doubt that it is even real. Theres a wonderful line in the John Prine song The Sins of Memphisto, with the line: Sittin on the front porch, drinkin Orange Crush, wonderin if its possible for me to still blush. I think that gets at the same thing. In the absence of love, even if weve felt it before, it seems just plain unreal, or impossible. And hearing Pigpen sing this, whether or not it is a first-person reality for Pigpen in real life, serves a function of creating empathy for those who are in that positionsomething we would all do well to keep in mind. I think this is an important function in the work of the Dead generallyengendering empathy for people in difficult, desperate, or dire positions. Outlaws and desperados, hypochondriacs, bereaved spouses, all take their place in our subconscious as the words permeate through the songs. Really, it doesnt have to be conscious at all. One recurring theme in the comments on these posts has been that people never really thought the words were necessary to consider in order to love the songs, and thats true, sure. But dont you think they seep in, on their own, and lodge somewhere in there, in our deeper selves? So that when we see a down and out guy on the street, we can think of Wharf Rat or Mission in the Rain, and perhaps have a little different perspective? And maybe, when we are crazy newly in love and out in public, it might be worth considering the feelings of those who have no such joy in their lives right now, and maybe just tone it down a notch in public? I think maybe so. Suffering comes in many forms, and each of us can do some part, through empathy, to relieve that suffering. Given the larger perspective of this love songthat is, a song more about Love, generally, than many love songs which might be about a particular relationship situation, its not surprising, really, that Pigpen has elevated the rhetoric to include invoking the divine. Conceived of Great Spirit, Two souls in communion, and The tie that binds all carry non-secular weight, and this religious language makes me wonder if Pigpen was considering his own mortality when he wrote the song. Blest Be the Tie That Binds, a 19th Century hymn with 18th Century words by John Fawcett, opens with this verse: Blest be the tie that binds Our hearts in Christian love; The fellowship of kindred minds Is like to that above. And it concludes: From sorrow, toil and pain, And sin, we shall be free, And perfect love and friendship reign Through all eternity. Pigpen, the frontman known for his bawdy encouragement of his audiences to turn on their love light and hook up with the person next to them, shows us a completely different side with The Stranger. Love, with a capital L. Its a song for eternity, indeed.
coal will turn to gray (comet) Thu 26 Dec 13 12:58
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