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deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #26 of 55: Melinda Belleville (mellobelle) Wed 24 Sep 03 09:38
    
Well, most of it doesn't make sense to me.  And if I keep hearing
something in the lyrics that doesn't make sense in the context of what
else I'm hearing, I take a visit over to David Dodd's site and read the
lyrics.

The surreality of the translated lyrics puts them in the same realm
with the sillyness of Phish's lyrics.  

Yes, I find the phonetic interpretations interesting enough and
amusing in many cases, but I'd want to know what is really trying to be
said.

<slipped by xian>
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #27 of 55: David Dodd (ddodd) Thu 25 Sep 03 11:08
    
To allow this topic to drift even further, I think of the Beatles' Italian
foray on Abbey Road, which has always been a pleasant little oasis of not
having to listen for meaning, just listening to the music, in the middle of
all the stuff about Mr. Mustard and Polythene Pam.
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #28 of 55: Christian Crumlish (xian) Fri 26 Sep 03 10:32
    
Right, but it's not Italian, though. It's a kind of imaginary
Mediterranean esperanto-esque jargon, no? Or is it real Italian?
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #29 of 55: David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 29 Sep 03 13:41
    
I wonder! Let me go poke around on some Beatles sites.
Also: side note. Elia Kazan passed away yesterday. I mention him here
because he directed On the Waterfront--a possible source for the character
of August West.
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #30 of 55: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Mon 29 Sep 03 14:32
    
Ooooh... yes!

Adios, Elia K. A brave fellow in his profession and politics.Wasn't he
one of the guys that stood up to the McCarthy Inquisition?

Fwiw, my limited understanding of Italian and Spanish makes me think
that that Beatles' lyrical fumferrol was Quando Mucho Nonsensico Meo
Latinate Laminate con Vinyl Groovea, Mea Culpa Mucho.
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #31 of 55: David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 29 Sep 03 15:14
    
Sun King, Italian lyrics

Here comes the sun king
Here comes the sun king
Everybody's laughing
Everybody's happy
Here comes the sun king

Quando paramucho mi amore de felice carathon
Mundo paparazzi mi amore cicce verdi parasol
Questo abrigado tantamucho que canite carousel

as quoted on numerous websites...anyone know enough Italian to vouch for
this?
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #32 of 55: AZanimal (zepezauer) Mon 29 Sep 03 16:33
    
driftage . . .

> Adios, Elia K. A brave fellow in his profession and politics.Wasn't
he one of the guys that stood up to the McCarthy Inquisition?

You have the right context, but it was actually just the opposite:  he
rather infamously caved and named names.  There was a controversy many
years later when he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Oscar,
many felt it was inappropriate under the circumstances.

Don't know much Italian, but that looks like real words (or some of
them anyway) strung together semi-randomly.  The middle line, e.g., is
something like "The world of photographers, my love, (something) green
umbrella".
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #33 of 55: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Tue 30 Sep 03 07:24
    
Thanks for the reminder on Kazan. Now I remember the controversy.
Anyhow, pardon the drift.
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #34 of 55: David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 30 Sep 03 09:37
    
Yes, guilty of driftage as charged.
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #35 of 55: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Thu 2 Oct 03 08:31
    
I stand ready for the Gallow Rope. Make it quick and Gopod hav mercy
on all our souls.
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #36 of 55: David Gans (tnf) Sat 4 Oct 03 08:26
    

I think the "Italian" in "King" is intended to be gibberish.  For example, I
always saw the last line as "Cuesto abrigado tantamucho que can eat it
carousel."
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #37 of 55: Mary Eisenhart (marye) Sat 4 Oct 03 14:11
    
I hear "carousel" as a heavily Castilian "corazon," myself, but many
years back ISTR an official lyric sheet (Beatles songbook?) in which
the whole bit was quite clearly gibberish.
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #38 of 55: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Tue 9 Mar 04 07:41
    
Getting back to the docks, I'd be interested in hearing how Well
dwellers interpret this couplet:

"Everyone said
I'd come to no good, I knew I would Pearly, believe them"

In the versions that I've heard, the "Pearly, believe them" comes over
as an imprecation rather than as a stoic observation in the sense of
"unfortunately, Pearly believed them, which was a contributing factor
to our current estrangement". In my reading, it is more "listen to
them, Pearly, they are right and you'll do yourself no good hanging
around with the likes of me".

Despite this advice, Pearly stays true (at least in the mind of August
West), inspiring August's hope for the future and his dreams of
getting his life on to a new track (in sh'allah).

Happy Trails
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #39 of 55: David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 9 Mar 04 16:57
    
Always wondered about this, too!
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #40 of 55: Christian Crumlish (xian) Mon 3 May 04 10:13
    
No, I hear it:

Everyone said I'd come to no good.
I knew I would.
Pearly believed them.

That is, they said he would come to no good, and Pearly believed them,
while he privately also knew it was true?
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #41 of 55: Alex Allan (alexallan) Tue 4 May 04 21:24
    
I think xian is right (it is "believed" not "believe")

In "Box Of Rain" Robert Hunter lays it out as

Everyone said
I'd come to no good
I knew I would
Pearly believed **them**
[with "them" in italics]
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #42 of 55: ex-ee-en (xian) Wed 5 May 04 09:19
    
so that implies

"I knew I would [come to *some* good but] / Pearly believed them"
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #43 of 55: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Wed 5 May 04 12:21
    
Is there something going on here between the "Box of Rain" Hunter
versions and the Ice Nine versions that are posted at the start of each
of these threads as the text for the discussion? There seem to be a
number of discrepancies cropping up. Are they just typos from the
transcriptions or are the Ice Nine "as sung" vs the Hunter "as
written"? It seems from the various sources that Garcia was not averse
to messing with Hunter's lyrics, whether in the interests of
singability, brevity or enhanced ambiguity.
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #44 of 55: David Dodd (ddodd) Thu 6 May 04 09:05
    
Right. You find these discrepancies constantly between as-published Ice
Nine, as-published Box of Rain, as-sung anywhere anytime, and as-transcribed
for the teleprompter via Hunter. I doubt we'll ever see anything carved in
stone, and even those items carved in stone wear in the rain, scale in the
thaws...
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #45 of 55: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Fri 7 May 04 05:57
    
I think it is healthy that the songs vibrate with enigmas,
contradictions, mysteries and ambiguities.

Note that, with this post, Wharf Rat surges past Brown Eyed Women in
the traffic magnet stakes. I was listening to the 22 May 77 Pembroke
Pines Wharf Rat>Terrapin>Dew on DP#3 yesterday, an experience that is
very hard to beat.
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #46 of 55: Alex Allan (alexallan) Sat 8 May 04 02:55
    
Some of the discrepancies are typos that we're trying to correct. But
the more interesting ones are ambiguities/second thoughts/variations
etc.
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #47 of 55: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Mon 21 Jun 04 13:14
    
Eddie Free Joe <mz> found this fantastic reference and posted in the
Media Mentions board:

Historical Plaque Dedicated  
 
In 1837 a runaway slave named Augustus West arrived in the Greenfield
area and along with local farmer Alexander Beatty, authored a story
that has become a part of both the area's and the nation's history. To
raise money to purchase his own land, West and Beatty devised a scheme
to travel back south, sell West back into slavery, help him escape and
then split the profits. On at least three documented occasions the two
employed this money making scam and their story became the basis for a
1971 Hollywood film, The Skin Game, starring James Gardner and Louis
Gossett, Jr. 

West used his profits to purchase land near the intersection of Bonner
and Barrett Roads in Fayette County. Some distance from the road he
built a "mansion" and the dirt road leading up to his front door became
known as Abolition Lane. 

In the years that followed, at least twelve cabins were constructed on
West's land and these became temporary residences for other runaway
slaves who needed a place to live and work as they stole their way
further north to freedom. 

Some of these folks chose to remain in the area thus adding the very
familiar surnames of Ford, Rickman, Cannon and others to our
community's list of historical families. According to a descendent of
August West, Joyce Saulsberry-Dennis (jsd9angel@aol.com), the Cannon
family married into the West family and today it is the Cannons who
remain Greenfield's connection to this part of our history. 

Much of what we know today about the property of August West came as
the result of the work of Washington Court House history teacher, Paul
LaRue and many of his  students. For a number of years LaRue and his
students have been conducting archeological surveys of the property and
tracing the involvement of it and other properties in the area's
Underground Railroad activities. They have also been successful in
getting the federal government involved and an even more in-depth study
is underway.

In 2003 the Ohio Bicentennial Committee was looking for twenty
instances of Ohio's involvement in the Underground Railroad to honor
with an official historical marker. The story and efforts of August
West was chosen to be honored and with the coordination of the
Greenfield Historical Society and the City of Greenfield, a site next
to the Chapel in the Greenfield Cemetery was selected.

On Saturday, December 20, 2003 members of the community, the
historical society and the Cannon family met to unveil and dedicate the
marker honoring August West. Following the unveiling a ceremony was
held at the Traveler's Rest where Judge James Cannon, Paul LaRue, Jim
Beatty and Mayor Lanny Bryant thanked all those involved in making this
acknowledgement and dedication a reality.
 
The site is
http://www.highland-ohio.com/august%20west%20dedication.htm
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #48 of 55: David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 22 Jun 04 14:03
    
Wow! That's fabulous! I remember seeing The Skin Game at a movie theater in
Reno while my parents were gambling, and thinking it was the funniest movie
I ever saw. I'm wondering now if the character has that name--time to go
check IMDB.
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #49 of 55: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Wed 23 Jun 04 05:40
    
The release date of the movie is interesting as well.
  
deadsongs.vue.221 : Wharf Rat
permalink #50 of 55: Lightning in a Box (unkljohn) Sat 29 Apr 06 16:59
    
I came across this today while I was searching for something else.

The Wharf Rat
By Fitz-James O'Brien


                             I.
The wharf  is silent and black, and motionless lie the the ships;
The ebb-tide sucks at the piles with its cold and slimy lips;
And down through the tortuous lane a sailor comes singing along,
And a girl in the Gallipagos isles is the burden of his song.


                            II.
Behind the white cotton bales a figure is crouching low;
It listens with eager ears, as the straggling footsteps go.
It follows the singing sailor, Stealing upon his track,
And when he reaches the river-side, the wharf rat's at his back.


                           III.
A man is missing next day, and a paragraph tells the fact;
But the way he went, or the road he took, will never, never be be tracked!
For the lips of the tide are dumb, and it keeps such secrets well,
And the fate of the singing sailor boy the wharf rat alone can tell.
  

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