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deadsongs.vue.208 : Unbroken Chain
permalink #0 of 15: David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 8 Sep 03 09:44
    
Unbroken Chain
w: Petersen m: Hunter
AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/chain.html
LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/UNBROKEN.HTM
  
deadsongs.vue.208 : Unbroken Chain
permalink #1 of 15: Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 8 Sep 03 19:09
    
Unbroken Chain 
Lyrics: Bobby Petersen
Music: Phil Lesh

Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission.

Blue light rain, whoa, unbroken chain
Looking for familiar faces in an empty window pain
Listening for the secret, searching for the sound
But I could only hear the preacher and the baying of his hounds

Willow sky, whoa, I walk and wonder why
They say love your brother but you will catch it when you try
Roll you down the line boy, drop you for a loss
Ride out on a cold railroad and nail you to a cross

November and more as I wait for the score
They're telling me forgiveness is the key to every door
A slow winter day, a night like forever
Sink like a stone, float like a feather

Lilac rain, unbroken chain
Song of the Saw-Whet owl
Out on the mountain it'll drive you insane
Listening to the winds howl

Unbroken chain of sorrow and pearls
Unbroken chain of sky and sea
Unbroken chain of the western wind
Unbroken chain of you and me
  
deadsongs.vue.208 : Unbroken Chain
permalink #2 of 15: Lightning in a Box (unkljohn) Sun 14 Sep 03 08:37
    
Well, this is the song that got me on the bus in 1974. I didn't see my 
first show until 1978, but this got me into buying albums and checking the 
band out. 

Me and one of my closest friends, Mike, and several others were sitting 
around in his apartment in Hampton, Va. the summer of 1974 and were 
listening to about a half dozen different albums dropping on the 
turntable. I think John Prine's album with "Illegal Smile" on it was one 
of them. It was a loud, boisterous group of folks having fun and I wasn't 
paying attention to what was playing. After awhile, the room got quiet and 
I found myself captivated by a long (nearly 7 minutes) sonic adventure 
that started at one place, went other places, and I could feel it coming back 
around to rejoin the place it started, and then it finished. I'd never 
been exposed to that kind of music before. I was amazed. I broke the 
silence by saying, "Who in the hell was THAT?" and Mike's girlfriend (now 
wife of over 25 years) said, "There's nobody like the good ole Grateful 
Dead".
  
deadsongs.vue.208 : Unbroken Chain
permalink #3 of 15: Steven Solomon (ssol) Sun 14 Sep 03 11:55
    
Hee!

http://arts.ucsc.edu/GDead/AGDL/chain.html#owl for info on the "song
of the Saw Whet owl", thanks to David Dodd and "Birds of North
America", by Chandler S. Robbins, et al.
  
deadsongs.vue.208 : Unbroken Chain
permalink #4 of 15: Christian Crumlish (xian) Sun 14 Sep 03 12:34
    
Quoting myself, re a live Phil & Friends performance - my review
currently archived at http://thedeadbeat.com/Phil%20&%20Friends/8-8-98 
 ...

Unbroken Chain! At last. Phil named his foundation after this song. It
already carries all that voodoo baggage. I half-expected them to break
it out a 2/27. Then I realized, it ain't easy. I'd caught one of the
better, if not the best, versions in '95, the one at Shoreline, and
even it was tentative, labored, a weary triumph. This time, there was
no hesitation at the threshhold of each new section, and Phil sang it
beautifully. Yes, he muffed a few lines but he really put the song
across for me. I was consumed with a vision. Certain lyrics in the song
put me in mind of the Beats (specifically, "they say love your
brother/but you'll catch it when you try" and "ride you out on a cold
railroad/and nail you to a cross") - and I realized that Bobby
Petersen, who wrote the song's lyrics, was another of those figures who
bridged the old North Beach Beat scene and the Haight-Ashbury Hippie
moment. Suddenly, I understood the image of the unbroken chain, heard
the lyrics as a manifesto, a claim to a great lineage, a shadow
culture, a loyal opposition down through the ages. Here the beat went
on. My vision had other corridors. Some of the stuff I saw then is in
the works even now....
  
deadsongs.vue.208 : Unbroken Chain
permalink #5 of 15: David Gans (tnf) Sun 14 Sep 03 13:47
    <scribbled by tnf Sun 14 Sep 03 13:47>
  
deadsongs.vue.208 : Unbroken Chain
permalink #6 of 15: Melinda Belleville (mellobelle) Sun 14 Sep 03 19:04
    
I thought the vers. I heard at the '95 LV show was wonderfully done.
Once the crowd stopped roaring and you could actually hear it again.

Altho' the look on the security guys faces, the ones at the front of
the stage, was priceless when the crowd roared.

I was so happy to have heard this live by them, finally.  It's been
one of my favorites since I first heard it.
  
deadsongs.vue.208 : Unbroken Chain
permalink #7 of 15: Lightning in a Box (unkljohn) Mon 15 Sep 03 19:38
    
I finally got to hear it live, just once, at Charlotte in 95 with Hornsby 
on grand piano. I think it's the first show I just let go and cried at.
  
deadsongs.vue.208 : Unbroken Chain
permalink #8 of 15: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Tue 24 Feb 04 08:34
    
I note that the lyrics in post # 1 contain a typo:

"Looking for familiar faces in an empty window pain"

when of course it is "empty window pane", with its allusion to window
pane acid (thin gelatin squares infused with LSD).

Happy Trails
  
deadsongs.vue.208 : Unbroken Chain
permalink #9 of 15: David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 24 Feb 04 11:16
    
Right. Good catch!
  
deadsongs.vue.208 : Unbroken Chain
permalink #10 of 15: Julie Ellen Anzaldo (jewel) Wed 25 Feb 04 09:51
    
I always thought it was "in any empty window pane"
  
deadsongs.vue.208 : Unbroken Chain
permalink #11 of 15: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Thu 26 Feb 04 13:29
    
Amobuguity, anyone?
  
deadsongs.vue.208 : Unbroken Chain
permalink #12 of 15: Lightning in a Box (unkljohn) Thu 26 Feb 04 15:53
    
They are very good at that! I should have posted this over at So Many 
Roads, but

So many roads to ease my soul
So many roads tease my soul
  
deadsongs.vue.208 : Unbroken Chain
permalink #13 of 15: Brian Penney (bpenney) Thu 20 May 04 05:30
    
my money's on jerry saying "tease" at least once.
  
deadsongs.vue.208 : Unbroken Chain
permalink #14 of 15: Lightning in a Box (unkljohn) Sat 22 May 04 12:18
    
Yeah, I think he alternated it.....saying whatever he was feeling at the 
time.
  
deadsongs.vue.208 : Unbroken Chain
permalink #15 of 15: everybody look what's going down (xian) Mon 24 May 04 07:38
    
I may have been hallucinating <snrk> but at Shoreline I at one point
thought he was saying "so many roads to fill my soul" and possibly even
"so many roads fulfill my soul" but probably not...
  



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