(alexallan) Wed 10 Sep 03 23:50
Black Peter w: Hunter m: Garcia AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/pete.html LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/BLACKPET.HTM
Alex Allan (alexallan) Wed 10 Sep 03 23:51
Black Peter Lyrics: Robert Hunter Music: Jerry Garcia Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission. All of my friends come to see me last night I was laying in my bed and dying Annie Beauneu from Saint Angel Say "the weather down here so fine" Just then the wind came squalling through the door But who can the weather command Just want to have a little peace to die And a friend or two I love at hand Fever roll up to a hundred and five Roll on up, gonna roll back down One more day I find myself alive Tomorrow maybe go beneath the ground See here how everything Lead up to this day And it's just like any other day That's ever been Sun going up and then The sun going down Shine through my window And my friends they come around Come around, come around The people might know, but the people don't care That a man can be as poor as me Take a look at poor Peter, he's lying in pain Now let's come run and see Run and see Run and see Run, run and see, and see
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Tue 24 Feb 04 12:06
I always took it to be "San Angel", rather than "Saint Angel" as shown in Post #1. San Angel is a neighbourhood in Mexico City, named for a Carmelite college that was set up there in the 17th century. The other interesting hunt is for the origin of "Annie Beauneu" (as per Post #1) or "Annie Bonneau" as I hear it. My guess is that it is an imagined character name, like August West, but maybe not. Happy Trails
Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 12 Apr 04 20:41
Hunter's lyric book, "Box Of Rain" has it as "Saint Angel," which is why we've kept that spelling. David Dodd might be interested in "San Angel" to go with the suggestion of "San Angelo" on his Annotated Lyrics Site. Again, "Beauneu" is how Hunter spells it, though I agree that "Bonneau" sounds closer to what Jerry sang.
David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 13 Apr 04 12:48
That's the problem with putting these dang words into cold hard type--it makes for too much rigidity! Hunter would be first to say that all alternate hearings are valid. I think you could fill a book with alternate versions of any given line (my favorite being "buckle up and buckle down: do yourself a favor.").
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Thu 15 Apr 04 12:24
David, True, but the many variants of say, "Me and My Uncle", demonstrate that the oral tradition still works to some extent. I guess the thing to do is keep adding the various alternate readings and rationales into your Annotated document. Happy Trails
David Dodd (ddodd) Thu 15 Apr 04 15:41
I guess so...I do love the variants. Who wouldn't? I'd love to get into a time machine and listen to some 18 year old in the year 2050 singing, say, Ripple.
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Mon 19 Apr 04 13:14
Well, let's not forget that Garcia said you could sense the time traveler tourists at Woodstock. I have not given up all hope of making it to 2050 even without a time machine. Happy Trails
David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 19 Apr 04 15:35
Yeah, heck, I'd only be 93!
Christian Crumlish (xian) Mon 3 May 04 09:08
Is there a Saint Angel in Louisiana? Bonneau (no matter how you spell it) sounds like a Cajun or Creole name to me.
David Gans (tnf) Mon 3 May 04 09:26
I have always thought of "Saint Angel" as a reference to Los Angeles.
from SIMON FLUENDY (tnf) Fri 30 Jul 04 11:26
Simon writes: Hi, I was look a the annotaed dead lyrics which I see are currently not being updated but there are discussions at well. A note on the line in the song Black Peter: 'Who can the weather command?' There is an old story about a competition between the sun and the wind about which is stronger. The challenge is to remove a travellers coat. The wind goes first but no matter how hard he blows, the traveller just wraps the coat tighter. Nae luck. The the sun has a try. And the sun shines as hard as he can on the traveller who quickly pulls his coat off and eventually throws it over the hedge. hey ho simon
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Mon 2 Aug 04 12:51
Then there is the story of King Canute ordering the tide not to wet his feet.
Julie Ellen Anzaldo (jewel) Mon 2 Aug 04 12:59
I always heard this not as who can command the weather, but more literally as who can the weather command? It reminds me of a saying in my little budda book: "Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure an sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a great tree in the middle of them all." The line for me asks me to ask myself: "does the weather command you?" "are you a tree or are you a victim to your circumstances?" or something like that. It reminds me that there is something substantive within me that can resist the throes of the weather and be strong by connecting to that source. Something I sorta needed to be reminded about about now - thanks.
David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 3 Aug 04 08:51
I love it when people turn things around like this! Thanks, Julie!
from NICK (tnf) Fri 26 Nov 04 09:12
Nick writes: Hello, I hope that this can somehow make it to the annotated black peter page. Let there be help on the way. Anyway, in reference to the janis joplin lyric, I applaud the imparted knowledge. My point is that she is Talking and not singing at this point and she says "tomorrow... as we dis- cvover on the 'train', tomorrow never gets here. It's all the same fucking day... MAN !" It is very chilling, as you can feel the agony in her soul. Moreover, she is discussing not having someone around that, as she explains, she would really like to have around. p.s. it always helped me to cherish every show after the coma jerry had, facing the reality that anyday could be the last. Fare thee well nick ((lastly, special to me as a survivor of nearly lost existence (wharfrat) )).
annie? (saikung-cwb) Thu 17 Mar 05 18:21
I spent almost 2 weeks in January at the deathbed of my beloved stepdad. Helping to nurse him, and then staying by him while he breathed his last. I found myself thinking about (or singing) this song quite a bit. I find the first lines to be so poignant, because there he is, a man dying and people come to see him, and what we say to the dying is so inadequate. Just as Annie says "the weather down here is so fine" - inanities, but we must say something. But, the person dying, is dying alone, despite people running and coming to accompany the dying person onto the road. The sun coming up and down & the Janis Joplin rap on "it's all the same fucking day" it's also in Ecclesiastes: "The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course....What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." So, it's fascinating. In this song, we are all Annie & friends, until it's time for us to be Peter ourselves.
Lightning in a Box (unkljohn) Sat 19 Mar 05 14:43
from PAUL KENISTON (tnf) Sat 26 Mar 05 18:12
Greetings, This is my first post after enjoying my first plunge into The Well. Regarding " but who can the weather command?" Before answering the question, let's consider it's impetus. " Just then the wind came squalling through the door" This resonates in me with the third chapter of John's Gospel. v. 8 " the wind bloweth where it listeh, and thou hearest the sound thererof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the spirit " The wind alludes to the spirit of life whose presence can be ignored, or resisted, but never avoided. For poor Peter the question is of the utmost importance. His ability to have any command of the spirit of his life is in vain. Now he must lay it down and let the spirit command him. Paul Keniston Dallas, Texas
from PETE GRILL (tnf) Mon 28 Mar 05 21:10
Pete Grill writes: > A PBS documentary on Frida Kahlo may have indirectly shed light on the > somewhat obscure whereabouts of Annie Beauneu, immortalized friend of Black > Peter. Kahlo and Diego Rivera both lived and worked in the town of San An- > gel, in Mexico City. This would corroborate Annie Beauneu's assessment of, > "the weather down here so fine." -PG
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Tue 29 Mar 05 07:14
OK, another plump for Mexico!
from MARK L. REID (tnf) Thu 1 Sep 05 11:30
Mark L. Reid writes: Could Hunters reference to Saint Angel be somehow connected to the Saint Angel castle of Rome? No idea who Annie would be though. Her last name is of French decent obviously. There is a town in Auvergne France named Saint Angel. http://www.alovelyworld.com/webitaly/htmgb/rome.htm The imposing Saint Angel castle was in the beginning a grandiose mausoleum, from Etruscan inspiration, designed by the Hadrian emperor for itself and its successors (130-139). The funeral urns of all the emperors, from Hadrian to Septime Severe (211), were deposited there. Sincerely, Mark L. Reid
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Mon 4 Feb 08 05:17
Back by request, this is from the "people sure are nice around here" topic <gd2356> that welcomed <billybaggs> to The Well: <masonskids> asks what the story is behind "Black Peter" This is my response: The people might know, but the people dont care, That a man can be as poor as me. Take a look at poor peter, hes lying in pain, Now lets come run and see, run and see, Run and see, run, run and see, and see. It's interesting how this mostly first person deathbed song shifts its Point-of-View in the last stanza. There's the feeling that Peter thinks no one cares--despite the fact that all of his friends had come to see him the night before--to the POV of the town kids turning Black Peter's plight into one of a spectacle. Hunter does a great job with these vacillations of mood and POV of capturing a feverish, delusional state. <jstrahl>, in the same topic responded that he didn't think there was any contradiction between Black Peter talking about how no one cared in the last stanza and the first stanza when he had to endure his friends who came to see him. They, too, were just there to gawk and Annie Bonneau only wants to talk about the weather being just fine while he is burning up with fever. <jera> agrees with this interpretation by <jstrahl> To this, I responded: That does make sense! And amplified by the neighbor kids at the end. "Black Peter" is a great vignette.
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Mon 4 Feb 08 10:54
Even so, Peter wants "a friend or two ... at hand". The whole lyric is a fine balance of contracdictions. The one that really gets to me is: See here how everything Lead up to this day And it's just like any other day That's ever been This really does capture aspects of my psychedelic experience, the simultaneous sense of being at the centre of things and of being a molecular component.
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Mon 4 Feb 08 10:54
Oh yeah, spellcheck!
Anthony W. Correll (anthonycorrell) Mon 4 Feb 08 17:46
I feel the same, during my first Dead show, that moment hit me like a ton of bricks, and it was all there, courtesy of Hunter, right from the beginning: the "now" is the most important thing, but it's just the same as any other "now" (that's ever been). I've been trying to digest it for 20 years, best just to try to remember.
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