(alexallan) Wed 10 Sep 03 23:58
Brown Eyed Women w: Hunter m: Garcia AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/brown.html LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/BROWNEYD.HTM
Alex Allan (alexallan) Wed 10 Sep 03 23:59
Brown-Eyed Women Lyrics: Robert Hunter Music: Jerry Garcia Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission. Gone are the days when the ox fall down Take up the yoke and plough the fields around Gone are the days when the ladies said "please Gentle Jack Jones won't you come to me" Chorus Brown-eyed women and red grenadine The bottle was dusty but the liquor was clean Sound of the thunder with the rain pouring down And it looks like the old man's getting on Nineteen twenty when he stepped to the bar Drank to the dregs of the whiskey jar Nineteen thirty when the wall caved in He made his way selling red-eyed gin [chorus] Delilah Jones was the mother of twins Two times over and the rest were sins Raised eight boys, only I turned bad Didn't get the lickings that the other ones had [chorus] Tumble-down shack in Big Foot County Snowed so hard that the roof caved in Delilah Jones went to meet her God And the old man never was the same again Daddy made whiskey and he made it well Cost two dollars and it burned like hell I cut hickory just to fire the still Drink down a bottle and you're ready to kill [chorus] And it looks like the old man's getting on
The WELL is not involved in any aspect of (jstraw) Wed 17 Sep 03 10:00
I was referred here after registering surprise that the phrase "the rest was sins" engendered some controversy. Is this true?
Neil (nlg) Wed 17 Sep 03 11:12
I've always understood it to simply mean they were conceived out of wedlock. Never heard anyone use "sins" as short for singles (as opposed to twins). I'd be interested to know whether anyone has any references to such a use, though given Hunter's fertile mind, it is entirely possible he intended that use, or a double-entendre of some sort.
The WELL is not involved in any aspect of (jstraw) Wed 17 Sep 03 11:21
I take it to mean the same thing you do.
Tom Kozal (tkozal) Wed 17 Sep 03 11:56
We have been doing this lately, great fun to sing, especially the ooos' on the bridge, if you do that version, We take "Two times Over" as twice married, and "Sins" as being out of wedlock. I always get an image of a trailer park in my mind when I sing this...
neil (nlg) Wed 17 Sep 03 12:09
I think "two times over" could mean twice married. It could also mean that she had two sets of twins. I'm gonna be agnostic on that one, as either one makes sense, depending on how you read the two lines: "mother of twins two times over" would to me indicate two sets of twins. But "mother of twins. Two times over and the rest were sins," could mean two marriages and a bunch of kids out of wedlock. Heck, maybe it means both! I've always viewed this as a story being told from the youngest child's perspective. But that's me reading into the line "didn't get the lickins that the other ones had." IME with large families, the youngest always seems to be raised with the least discipline. That would also make sense if he was the last, one of the "sins," and mom was tired and older, and daddy was always off in the woods cooking up another batch of whiskey. When I hear the song, it always reminds me of some backwoods parts of the south, where everyone seems to have an relative running a still. I don't see the trailer park, since there's a mention of a "tumble down shack in Bigfoot County." I see a somewhat typical, perhaps stereotypical, lower class clan in the back woods of Georgia, Alabama, West Virginia, or somewhere like that. Anyone ever check to see if there is a Big Foot County somewhere?
David Dodd (ddodd) Wed 17 Sep 03 12:55
I did check on that. Take a look at http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/brown.html#bigfoot for the results of my search.
Melinda Belleville (mellobelle) Wed 17 Sep 03 13:09
We often use the term 'Bugfuck' for a place deemed the middle of nowhere, backwoods, out in the boonies, etc. I kinda always thought of 'Bigfoot county' as being the polite version of 'Bugfuck'.
David Dodd (ddodd) Wed 17 Sep 03 13:49
Wow! That's great. Is it a regional expression, do you think? I could go look it up in the Dictionary of American Regional English...
David Gans (tnf) Wed 17 Sep 03 14:01
"Bigfoot County" to me evokes the Sierra of Northern California.
Noah Weiner (noahbw) Wed 17 Sep 03 16:44
Here around Chicago, our term is/was "Bumblefuck" to describe a town way way out there.
neil (nlg) Wed 17 Sep 03 16:52
I've heard "bumfuck" used in that context since way back when.
Man Out of Time (adamice9) Thu 18 Sep 03 03:41
"east kabumfuck" is used in Pittsburgh.
Marked from the Day I was Born (ssol) Thu 18 Sep 03 09:21
Without any real scholarship, just recollection of where various terms for the Yeti/Bigfoot/Abominable Snowman/Sasquatch have come from, "Bigfoot" seems to indicate north west US. The guy that created the famous "footprint" hoax, I recall came from Washington or Oregon.I think that semi-famous movie of the Sasquatch (aka Southern Bigfoot) came from Alabama or Mississippi (sp? Do I get points if I spelled that right?). It'll take some searching to verify any of this. It's on my long list of Hunter reference mysteries ;-) Calling all Cryptozoologists!
neil (nlg) Thu 18 Sep 03 10:22
Yes, Bigfoot is a north/northwest phenom. But if <ddodd>'s transcription of the lyrics is as accurate as he usually is, Hunter says "Big Foot County" rather than "Bigfoot County." Given the references to making homemade whiskey, I still get the feeling of a more southern geographic region. In the Northwest, while I'm sure there were moonshiners, the most common form of homemade booze was, and has been for over a hundred years, hard cider from apples. Besides, our protagonist "cut hickory just to fire the still." Hickory is an Eastern U.S. species. See the distribution maps at: <http://climchange.cr.usgs.gov/data/atlas/little/> So, this most likely could not have been going down in the Northwest.
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Fri 19 Sep 03 08:48
Great detective work. "Snowed so hard that the roof caved in" tho... down south? Could be, I suppose. Another Hunter lyrical mystery to keep us busy.
Melinda Belleville (mellobelle) Fri 19 Sep 03 08:56
Well, it snows pretty damn hard over in the hills of E.Ky and down the Appalachian chain into Tn. That's probably why this song always evoked E.Ky. to me. Moonshine, Big Foot(Bugfuck) county, too many kids, Daddy making moonshine, snows on hillside shanties....
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Fri 19 Sep 03 09:12
Hmmmmm... forgot about Appalachia. My image of the south is a bit twisted from having flown over most of it between Virginia and Alabama.
Tom Kozal (tkozal) Fri 19 Sep 03 11:15
As someone who has lived in Appalachia, I never thought he was talking about anything else. Rural highland eastern Tennessee or KY, or W.Va comes to mind. And it will snow, very hard.
David Dodd (ddodd) Fri 19 Sep 03 13:56
This is great! Cryptogeography! I like the results.
Melinda Belleville (mellobelle) Fri 19 Sep 03 15:19
Snows so hard, the schools close down.....for weeks at a time. Where 'bouts did you live, Tom?
waves of violet go crashing and laughing (sffog) Fri 19 Sep 03 19:12
my take is Delilah Jones was married to Gentle Jack Jones until she passed on she had two sets of twins from him after that her other 4 kids came from affairs probably because Gentle Jack Jones indulged too much in his product and could not get it up anymore
AZanimal (zepezauer) Fri 19 Sep 03 22:39
Pardon a slight nitpick, but I've consulted Hunter's Box of Rain book, and it confirmed what my ears have always heard: it's "gently, Jack Jones", not "Gentle Jack Jones".
conjecture (comet) Sat 20 Sep 03 21:03
Maybe Jerry decided gently was unsingable.
AZanimal (zepezauer) Sun 21 Sep 03 11:04
Possible; he did make such changes to other songs, but as I say, it always sounded like "gently" to me anyway. I could be wrong, but I think if perns listen closely they will hear the "ee" sound on the end.
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