deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #0 of 46: David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 8 Sep 03 09:44
    
Uncle John's Band
w: Hunter m: Garcia
AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/uncle.html
LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/UNCLEJB.HTM
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #1 of 46: Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 8 Sep 03 19:08
    
Uncle John's Band 
Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission.

Well the first days are the hardest days, don't you worry any more
'Cause when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door
Think this through with me, let me know your mind
Wo-oh, what I want to know is, are you kind?

It's a buck dancer's choice my friend, better take my advice
You know all the rules by now, and the fire from the ice
Will you come with me, won't you come with me?
Wo-oh, what I want to know, will you come with me?

God damn, well I declare, have you seen the like?
Their walls are built of cannon balls
Their motto is "don't" tread on me"

Chorus 1:
Come hear Uncle John's Band, playing to the tide
Come with me or go alone
He's come to take his children home

It's the same story the crow told me, it's the only one he knows
Like the morning sun you come and like the wind you go
Ain't no time to hate, barely time to wait
Wo-oh, what I want to know, where does the time go?

I live in a silver mine and I call it beggar's tomb
I got me a violin and I beg you call the tune
Anybody's choice, I can hear your voice
Wo-oh, what I want to know, how does the song go?

Chorus 2:
Come hear Uncle John's Band, by the river side
Got some things to talk about
Here beside the rising tide

[chorus 1]

Wo-oh what I want to know, how does the song go?

[chorus 2]
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #2 of 46: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Mon 16 Aug 04 12:48
    
Folks,

Woah... recorded in a small room by a single mic in the audience, date
and location unknown, but presumably in the days between Keith and
Donna and Brent (listen to the vocals and keys and tell me if you've
got a clue). Might be just post "Blues for Allah".

Jazz-grass blown up into smithereens.

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~billpannifer/ujb.mp3

Enjoy!
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #3 of 46: Gary Burnett (jera) Mon 16 Aug 04 14:12
    
Well, it's a very fun listen, especially with that Miles Davis jam,
but it ain't the Dead.

Following the link backwards, it's a cover band called the Cosmic
Charlies.  Here's the home page:

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~billpannifer/cosmic.htm

And here's a page with lots more mp3 files:

http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~billpannifer/csounds.html
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #4 of 46: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Mon 16 Aug 04 14:54
    
Aw'right... that's a mighty fine fix in the mix. The music flows even
over thse tin ears!
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #5 of 46: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Wed 18 Aug 04 10:13
    
Heh... back-trackin' thru the web, it appears that I was at that show,
not long after dumb ol' Garcia's demise. I remember thinking, this is
the best Dead cover band I'd ever heard.

Brame damage ;-)
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #6 of 46: David Gans (tnf) Fri 23 Dec 05 10:28
    

From a reader in England:



I noticed the comments in UJB about the Cosmic Charlies.  I thought
people might be interested to hear that the Charlies did a gig after a Ratdog
show in London in July 2002 at which Kenny Brooks kindly sat in on China
Cat> I Know You Rider.  Go to
http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~billpannifer/sets2001.html

and scroll down to Wed 6 July, 12-Bar Club, Denmark Place, WC2 for photos
and the MP3 of Kenny with the Cosmic Charlies.
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #7 of 46: from SUSAN WISEMAN-GIBEAUT (tnf) Sat 8 Jul 06 18:05
    



Susan Wiseman-Gibeaut writes:


I just read the Uncle John's Band is a tribute song to Rolling Thunder, whose
white name is/was John Pope.  That would explain the Appalachian, and indian
allusions you  have listed in the song.  It also mentions that the Billy Jack
movies were based on Rolling Thunder, and that the Bob Dylan led the Rolling
Thunder Review.  "RT" also gives an invocation in Micky Heart's Rolling
Thunder album.  You can read this for yourself in the forward of Rolling
Thunder Speaks, A Message for Turtle Island, edited by Carmen Sun Rising
Pope.  Peace.
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #8 of 46: Christian Crumlish (xian) Sun 9 Jul 06 16:25
    
I've come to be convinced over the year's that Uncle John is largely
John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers and to a lesser extent Jerome
John Garcia.
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #9 of 46: Lightning in a Box (unkljohn) Sun 9 Jul 06 16:40
    
That's what I've always thought/heard.
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #10 of 46: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Sun 9 Jul 06 18:24
    
Dang! I thought it was about you <unklejohn> !
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #11 of 46: David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 10 Jul 06 09:43
    
It's about everyone!
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #12 of 46: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Mon 10 Jul 06 10:02
    
Aye!
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #13 of 46: *%* (jewel) Mon 10 Jul 06 10:30
    
Billy Jack?  What are the parallels between Rolling Thunder and Billy Jack?
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #14 of 46: Brendan Riley (bpriley) Thu 13 Jul 06 23:29
    
It's about my famous uncle, John Phillips, an heroic NYC fireman who
fought fires in the Empire State Building and on the famous French
ocean liner Le Normandie, which was mothballed in Brooklyn and caught
fire from a welder's torch when it was in the final stages of being
converted into a troop carrier (WWII); Uncle John was photographed
doing a sailor dive from the deck of the listing Normandie, some 60'
into Brooklyn harbor.  He later retired and became a collector and
master repairer of
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #15 of 46: Lightning in a Box (unkljohn) Fri 14 Jul 06 06:04
    
Don't leave us in suspense.........
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #16 of 46: Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 24 Sep 07 03:21
    
(Copied from another thread). This quote from a Bob Weir interview in
Uncut magazine from May 2007 gives a new perspective on the "Are you
kind?" line:

"Robert Hunter wrote lyrics for Workingman’s Dead. He could use fewer
words, and say more, than anyone. 'Are you kind?', was, I assumed, a
sci-fi allusion. 'Kind' meaning 'my kind', 'humankind.' In the context
of Workingman’s Dead, it meant: 'Are you simpatico … In solidarity with
other working men?'"
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #17 of 46: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Fri 28 Sep 07 10:43
    
I always took it to mean "(our) kind". The working people have no
country.

Now, of course, it has been heavily draped with kindness.
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #18 of 46: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Thu 16 Apr 09 07:31
    
In regard to "don't tread on me":

In the fall of 1775, the British were occupying Boston and the young
Continental Army was holed up in Cambridge, woefully short on arms and
ammunition. At the Battle of Bunker Hill, Washington's troops had been
so low on gunpowder that they were ordered "not to fire until you see
the whites of their eyes." 

In October, a merchant ship called The Black Prince returned to
Philadelphia from a voyage to England. On board were private letters to
the Second Continental Congress that informed them that the British
government was sending two ships to America loaded with arms and
gunpowder for the British troops. 

Congress decided that General Washington needed those arms more than
General Howe. A plan was hatched to capture the British cargo ships.
They authorized the creation of a Continental Navy, starting with four
ships. The frigate that carried the information from England, the Black
Prince, was one of the four. It was purchased, converted to a
man-of-war, and renamed the Alfred. 

To accompany the Navy on their first mission, Congress also authorized
the mustering of five companies of Marines. The Alfred and its sailors
and marines went on to achieve some of the most notable victories of
the American Revolution. But that's not the story we're interested in
here. 

What's particularly interesting for us is that some of the Marines
that enlisted that month in Philadelphia were carrying drums painted
yellow, emblazoned with a fierce rattlesnake, coiled and ready to
strike, with thirteen rattles, and sporting the motto "Don't Tread on
Me."

from Founding Fathers.info at

http://www.foundingfathers.info/stories/gadsden.html
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #19 of 46: David Gans (tnf) Fri 17 Apr 09 08:32
    
Thirteen rattles?  I thought it was a rattlesnake in 13 segments.
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #20 of 46: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Fri 17 Apr 09 10:28
    
That was the "divided we fall" cartoon, the thirteen segments
represented the 13 colonies, same as the rattles, but I believe it was
in relation to the Indian Wars, not the War of Independence.
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #21 of 46: David Dodd (ddodd) Wed 30 Sep 09 15:55
    
Posted on behalf of Silver Mind:

Here's a question for Robert Hunter about the lyrics to "Uncle John's
Band." It would be wonderful to get an answer directly from Robert
Hunter (if you're reading this forum ...), but maybe someone else has
read an interview or heard Robert discussing it, or otherwise knows the
lowdown.

It's a simple question about the inspiration for a famous line in a
famous song. "I live in a silver mine, and I call it Beggar's Tomb."
Much has been written about possible sources, such as in Hungarian folk
music, for the name "Beggar's Tomb," but I'm actually interested in
the silver mine. There are instances of people living in mines, but I'm
wondering if there is a specific reference in fact or fiction or
fantasy or folklore, of someone actually living in a silver mine, that
influenced or inspired this line. If so, who/where/when/what?

-- Silver Mind
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #22 of 46: David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 7 Nov 11 14:05
    
Posted on behalf of an author who didn't want his name used:

Consider the lines "Call it 'Beggar's Tomb'" and "Beg you call the
tune."  Note that, phonetically, they are nearly the same line, but
exchanging the syllable "beg" for the word "call."  Clever wordplay by
Hunter. -- pjl
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #23 of 46: Christian Crumlish (xian) Mon 7 Nov 11 18:54
    
i always love Hunter's wordplay around phonetics, including lines that
allude to more familiar/expected phrases ("going where the wind don't
blow so strange/maybe off on some high cold mountain chain" instead of
"range" for example and there are many others)
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #24 of 46: coal will turn to gray (comet) Mon 7 Nov 11 20:48
    
That was such a senior moment; Forgetting he already used practically
the same words in the previous verse. He was way ahead of his time.
  
deadsongs.vue.209 : Uncle John's Band
permalink #25 of 46: Alex Allan (alexallan) Tue 8 Nov 11 03:46
    
It's "range" not "chain" in Hunter's Box Of Rain lyric book, though it
sounds as if Garcia sang "chain", and that's what's printed in the
sheet music.
  

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