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deadsongs.vue.47 : Crazy Fingers
permalink #0 of 3: David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 2 Sep 03 15:04
    
Crazy Fingers
w: Hunter m: Garcia
AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/crazy.html
LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/CRAZYFIN.HTM
  
deadsongs.vue.47 : Crazy Fingers
permalink #1 of 3: Alex Allan (alexallan) Tue 2 Sep 03 18:46
    
Crazy Fingers 
Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission.

Your rain falls like crazy fingers
Peals of fragile thunder
Keeping time
Recall the days that still are to come
Some sing blue

Hang your heart on laughing willow
Stray down to the water
Deep sea of love
Beneath the sweet calm face of the sea
Swift undertow

Life may be sweeter than this, I don't know
See how it feels in the end
Maybe Lady Lullaby sing plainly for you
Soft, strong, sweet and true

Cloud hands reaching from a rainbow
Tapping at the window
Touch your hair
So swift and bright, strange fingers of light
Float in air

Who can stop what must arrive now?
Something new is waiting
To be born
Dark as the night you're still by my side
Shine inside

Gone are the days we stopped to decide
Where we should go, we just ride
Gone are the broken eyes we saw through in dreams
Gone, both dream and lie

Life may be sweeter than this, I don't know
See how it feels in the end
Maybe Lady Lullaby sing plainly for you
Soft, strong, sweet and true

Midnight on a carousel ride
Reaching for the gold ring
Down inside
Never could reach it, just slips away
But I try
  
deadsongs.vue.47 : Crazy Fingers
permalink #2 of 3: posting for BILL HOLICKY (tnf) Fri 2 Mar 12 14:54
    
Bill Holicky writes:


Hunter has said that this is a loose collection of haiku type verses
connected mostly or only by mood.  I always felt there are three themes
– lost love (perhaps through death?), enlightenment/transformation
(maybe through sadness, and maybe of lost love), and just rain as a
symbol for the mood.  A loved one dying has a possibility (especially
when you remember he used the same theme for that in Box of Rain for
Phil’s father), but the last third support a relationship that’s gone
through a change (rather than being lost.).  If they really are
unrelated, as Hunter states, then perhaps it’s both.
 
Your rain falls like crazy fingers
Peals of fragile thunder keeping time
 
I love the concept of rain “keeping time” like a drum.  Interesting
part here is why he uses the word “your”.  That always made me wonder
if he’s comparing the rain to someone’s tears.  And comparing raindrops
to fragile thunder? – you can just hear it, and it gives the sound an
importance, a depth.
Recall the days that still are to come
Some sing blue

This is compelling – the memory of a  past sad time that will repeat –
and brings to mind the possibility of tears from the first stanza. 
Throughout this song there is a thread of relationship trouble, or lost
love/death, or something of the kind.  Blue before, blue after,
something else transformative now.

Hang your heart on laughing willow
Stray down to the water
Deep Sea of Love

This has been compared to the traditional line “hang your harp on a
weeping willow.”  Hunter loved these twists of traditional lines. 
Again, this uses the water theme to reflect falling in love.  Lose your
heart and jump in.

Beneath the sweet calm face of the sea
Swift undertow

And here is the trouble/heartbreak lurking below the happy attraction,
and this is what is causing the transformation throughout the song.

Life may be sweeter for this, I don't know
See how it feels in the end
May Lady Lullaby sing plainly for you
Soft, strong, sweet and true

This is the most beautiful thought in a beautiful song – that no
matter the price, love is worth it, that it makes life deeper and
sweeter and better no matter any resultant heartache or heartbreak. 
“See how it feels in the end.”

Cloud hands reaching from a rainbow
Tapping at the window touch your hair

Rain again – rain as hands reaching from a rainbow.  Only Hunter.

So swift and bright
Strange figures of light
Float in air

From above, the sun is out (rainbow) so this is the flash of raindrops
through the air when the sun is lighting them up. 

Who can stop what must arrive now?
Something new is waiting to be born

Here’s the immediate reference to the Yeats poem “slouching towards
Bethlehem to be born” about the second coming.  In that, Yeats makes it
cataclysmic.  Here, Hunter makes it positive with the main refrain and
the next two stanzas.  Triumph of hope.  Very sweet.  Anyway, this
calls up the transformation of emotional enlightenment – this event
changed his world, and now a new understanding comes forth.  Of course
– life may be sweeter for this…

Dark as the night 
You're still by my side
Shining side

Hope.  Even in the despair.

Gone are the days we stopped to decide
Where we should go
We just ride

Enlightenment, or relationship maturity.  No more worries and frets –
living in the now.  Taoism.  Just ride.

Gone are the broken eyes we saw through in dreams
Gone - both dream and lie

Again, the enlightenment of being removed from the shackles of the “in
love” relationship dream.  No false dreams or constructs, no lies, no
hopes, just the truth, and the now.  And reality.

Life may be sweeter for this I don't know
Feels like it might be alright
While Lady Lullaby sings plainly for you
Love still rings true

“Feels like it might be alright.”  An affirmation that the price of
love was worth it.

Midnight on a carousel ride 
Reaching for the gold ring down inside

Apparently, old carousels used to have a prize in the middle you would
try to grab as you went by.  Regardless, the reference seems to be to
love or enlightenment, with the carousel being the ups and downs of
life.  Trying to achieve the real Love on the dark filled merry go
round of our lives.  All described in 12 words.

Never could reach 
It just slips away but I try

The Buddhists know this one – life is sadness.  The achievement is
fleeting, and can’t be fully grasped on this earth.
 
But we try.
  
deadsongs.vue.47 : Crazy Fingers
permalink #3 of 3: *%* (jewel) Wed 7 Mar 12 08:28
    
Very nice.
  



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