deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #0 of 26: (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
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #1 of 26: 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
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #2 of 26: 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
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #3 of 26: 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.
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #4 of 26: 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.").
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #5 of 26: 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
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #6 of 26: 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.
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #7 of 26: 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
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #8 of 26: David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 19 Apr 04 15:35
    
Yeah, heck, I'd only be 93!
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #9 of 26: 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.
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #10 of 26: David Gans (tnf) Mon 3 May 04 09:26
    
I have always thought of "Saint Angel" as a reference to Los Angeles.
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #11 of 26: 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
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #12 of 26: 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.
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #13 of 26: 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.
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #14 of 26: David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 3 Aug 04 08:51
    
I love it when people turn things around like this! Thanks, Julie!
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #15 of 26: 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) )).
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #16 of 26: 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.
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #17 of 26: Lightning in a Box (unkljohn) Sat 19 Mar 05 14:43
    
Nice. Thanks.
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #18 of 26: 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
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #19 of 26: 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
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #20 of 26: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Tue 29 Mar 05 07:14
    
OK, another plump for Mexico!
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #21 of 26: 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
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #22 of 26: 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.

 
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #23 of 26: 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. 
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #24 of 26: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Mon 4 Feb 08 10:54
    
Oh yeah, spellcheck!
  
deadsongs.vue.23 : Black Peter
permalink #25 of 26: 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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