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deadsongs.vue.200 : Throwing Stones
permalink #0 of 9: David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 8 Sep 03 09:41
    
Throwing Stones
w: Barlow m: Weir
AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/throwing.html
LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/THROWING.HTM
  
deadsongs.vue.200 : Throwing Stones
permalink #1 of 9: Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 8 Sep 03 19:59
    
Throwing Stones 
Lyrics: John Barlow
Music: Bob Weir

Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission.

Picture a bright blue ball just spinning, spinning free
Dizzy with eternity
Paint it with a skin of sky, brush in some clouds and sea
Call it home for you and me
A peaceful place, or so it looks from space
A closer look reveals the human race
Full of hope, full of grace, is the human face
But afraid we may lay our home to waste

There's a fear down here we can't forget
Hasn't got a name just yet
Always awake, always around
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down
Ashes, ashes, all fall down

Now watch as the ball revolves and the night-time falls
And again the hunt begins and again the blood wind calls
By and by, again, the morning sun will rise
But the darkness never goes from some men's eyes
(Well I know)
It strolls the sidewalk and it rolls the streets
Staking turf, dividing up meat
Nightmare spook, piece of heat
It's you and me, you and me

Click flash blade in ghetto night
Rudy's looking for a fight
Rat cat alley, roll them bones
Need that cash to feed that Jones
And the politicians throwing stones
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down
Ashes, ashes, all fall down

Commissars and pinstripe bosses roll the dice
Anyway they fall, guess who gets to pay the price?
Money green, or proletarian gray
Selling guns instead of food today
So the kids they dance and shake their bones
And the politicians throwing stones
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down
Ashes, ashes, all fall down

Heartless powers try to tell us what to think
If the spirit's sleeping then the flesh is ink
History's page will be neatly carved in stone
The future's here, we are it, we are on our own
On our own, on our own, we are on our own

If the game is lost, then we're all the same
No one left to place or take the blame
We will leave this place an empty stone
Or that shining ball of blue we call our home

So the kids, they dance, they shake their bones
And the politicians throwing stones
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down
Ashes, ashes, all fall down

Shipping powders back and forth
Singing black goes south and white comes north
And the whole world full of petty wars
Singing I got mine and you got yours
While the current fashions set the pace
Lose your step, fall out of grace
The radical, he rant and rage
Singing someone got to turn the page
And the rich man in his summer home
Singing just leave well enough alone
But his pants are down, his cover's blown
And the politicians throwing stones
So the kids, they dance, they shake their bones
'Cause it's all too clear we're on our own
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down
Ashes, ashes, all fall down

Picture a bright blue ball just spinning, spinning free
It's dizzying, the possibilities

Ashes, ashes, all fall down
[Ashes, ashes, all fall down]
Ashes, ashes, all fall down
[Ashes, ashes, all fall down]
Ashes, ashes, all fall down
[Ashes, ashes, all fall down]
Ashes, ashes, all fall down
[Ashes, ashes, all fall down]
[etc]
  
deadsongs.vue.200 : Throwing Stones
permalink #2 of 9: David A. Mason (mntnwolf) Sat 18 Sep 04 02:52
    
over in [gd] a year or so ago, i wrote a decent analysis of the
"If the spirit's sleeping then the flesh is ink" line...
Would anybody know how to find that, and re-copy it over here?
Thanks...
  
deadsongs.vue.200 : Throwing Stones
permalink #3 of 9: Freakishly Happy (izzie) Sat 18 Sep 04 07:33
    

that'd be cool, mntnwolf.  I've wondered about that line for a long time!
  
deadsongs.vue.200 : Throwing Stones
permalink #4 of 9: neatly carved in stone (xian) Sat 18 Sep 04 12:01
    
i've always loved that line, knowing what ink is for a writer (song-
or otherwise)
  
deadsongs.vue.200 : Throwing Stones
permalink #5 of 9: neatly carved in stone (xian) Sat 18 Sep 04 12:03
    
i also love the way hunter effortlessly evokes idioms and metaphors
and sayings but always dares to remake them, never resting on the
received meaning or sounds.

for example, "if the spirit's sleeping then the flesh is ink" clearly
echoes without restating "the spirit's willing but the flesh is weak"
  
deadsongs.vue.200 : Throwing Stones
permalink #6 of 9: Gary Burnett (jera) Sat 18 Sep 04 17:33
    
But oh so different.  It's one thing to say that the flesh is without
strength, but another to say that it is only an instrument in the act
of being written ... if the spirit's sleeping, then the flesh is just
something that is used by others to say what *they* want to say.

At least that's how I always heard that line.
  
deadsongs.vue.200 : Throwing Stones
permalink #7 of 9: David Gans (tnf) Sun 19 Sep 04 00:06
    

Here is it, David:

gd.2121: Your Favorite Grateful Dead Line


gd.2121.596: sink like a stone, float like a feather...  (mntnwolf)  Tue 11 Mar 03 04:50

 > "If the spirit's sleeping then the flesh is ink" 
 Well, "ink" has often been used in literature in phrases like "his
 heart was dark as ink" "a mind as black as ink" "the inky darkness"
 right?  (from back in the days when all ink was black).  Refers to
 evil, darkness, hatred, lack of (in)sight & such -- the opposite of
 "light" and all its synonyms.
 
 "The flesh" is the opposite of spirit and (speaking traditional 
 Christian here) is supposed to be its servant.  Means our actual 
 body and by extension its actions, behavior.  Without the proper 
 guidance of the spirit, the flesh tends towards corruption, evil.
 Without inspiration of what is sacred (the "Holy Spirit"), the 
 flesh does the work of the Devil...  becomes "ink".
 
 The preceding line speaks of "powers" (the PTB) that "try to tell 
 us what to think" -- we can infer that the line in question means
 two ways, simultaneously:
  1. the spirit(s) of the Powers is asleep, so their actions are evil.
  2. if we do permit them to "tell us what to think" [Fox News], our 
    own spirits are then "sleeping", so our resulting behavior then
    becomes inky-evil or at least fails to resist evil's advancement.
 
 
 The next two lines are a different thought -- that hindsight makes 
 history look determined, but it isn't, we have Free Will -- the 
 destruction of the Earth is not inevitable, we can change the course.
 
 
  
deadsongs.vue.200 : Throwing Stones
permalink #8 of 9: David A. Mason (mntnwolf) Sun 19 Sep 04 00:58
    
Thanks, Ganzo.  18 months ago plus a week, who wouldda thunk?
Anyway, i still stand by that analysis...
  
deadsongs.vue.200 : Throwing Stones
permalink #9 of 9: Christian Crumlish (xian) Tue 21 Sep 04 09:59
    
<jera>, i agree with your analysis. didn't mean to equate the line and
the idiom it rhythmically recalls.
  



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