inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #51 of 127: Steve Silberman (digaman) Thu 22 Dec 05 22:33
    
Nice answer, David.
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #52 of 127: Michael D. Sullivan (avogadro) Fri 23 Dec 05 00:07
    
David, we had an early Christmas (going out of town) and I was very
pleased to get a copy of the book as a present from my daughter.  What
a fine piece of work!
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #53 of 127: Pat Adams (scarlet) Fri 23 Dec 05 11:26
    
Quick hit from my Post-It collection:

That line in New Speedway Boogie - 'I don't know but I been told'  - 
always makes me think of the Army cadence song that next refers to the 
chilliness of Eskimo women's nether parts. 

Was Hunter in the Army? 
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #54 of 127: Dave Waite (dwaite) Fri 23 Dec 05 13:18
    <scribbled by dwaite Fri 23 Dec 05 13:18>
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #55 of 127: gazorninblat (dwaite) Fri 23 Dec 05 13:21
    
""I don't know but I've been told" is a cadence that talks about many loose
women depending on who calls the cadence, not just eskimo women.

opening an Army Thread....
"Don't tread on me" from Uncle Johns Band....

Army Basic Training facilities use (or used to use) that the same Gadsden
Flag as their standard that was origionally designed, as you mention for the
American Navy's Commander in Chief.
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #56 of 127: Pat Adams (scarlet) Fri 23 Dec 05 13:24
    
Meaning no offense to any women anywhere...I honestly tried for days to
remember an alternate line, but never having marched in cadence myself,
came up blank.  Wonder what they say these days.
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #57 of 127: David Dodd (ddodd) Fri 23 Dec 05 14:10
    
Hi Pat,

Hunter _was_ in the National Guard. So maybe that's a connection! Fun
idea. Just one of many many places in the Hunter lyric body of work in
which the "I don't know" phrase is used. 

From Digital Tradition:
//www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=5488" class="hft-urls">http://www.mudcat.org/@displaysong.cfm?SongID=5488

(I would've quoted it on the site, but this is a family conference,
right?)
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #58 of 127: Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Fri 23 Dec 05 14:30
    
"I don't know but I've been told" comes up in lyrics for several
artists -- I believe Springsteen and Petty, among others.
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #59 of 127: Christian Crumlish (xian) Fri 23 Dec 05 16:52
    
sounds like a folk lyric too
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #60 of 127: Christian Crumlish (xian) Fri 23 Dec 05 16:53
    
or blues... jimmy page sings "i don't know but i been told / big
legged woman ain't got no soul" in black dog
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #61 of 127: Carl LaFong (mcdee) Fri 23 Dec 05 17:03
    
It's possible that the whole "I don't know, but I been told" thing
followed a really weird path.  I'd be curious to know if it was a black
field chant before it morphed into a basic training cadence song.
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #62 of 127: Gary Lambert (almanac) Fri 23 Dec 05 17:29
    

It turns up in lots of old blues and gospel tunes as well.
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #63 of 127: Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Fri 23 Dec 05 17:36
    
Googling 'lyric' and the phrase also turns up Bob Dylan, Liz Phair,
and others.
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #64 of 127: Pat Adams (scarlet) Fri 23 Dec 05 17:49
    
It's a peculiar turn of phrase, too. The speaker seems to be disavowing 
whatever the next line is. Sort of the old school "Just sayin'".
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #65 of 127: Christian Crumlish (xian) Fri 23 Dec 05 17:57
    
yeah, sounds like a stab at plausible deniability...
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #66 of 127: David Dodd (ddodd) Fri 23 Dec 05 22:06
    
I love this! Then there are the other uses of "i don't know" in
Hunter, most notably, I think: "I don't know, don't really care..."
from "Ripple." Similar, but different.
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #67 of 127: David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 27 Dec 05 08:39
    
Hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing holiday weekend. Mine was
great--I have two kids, ages 6 and 9, so their reactions and wonderment
were a source of delight.

Okay, so now I'm ready for further questions and topics of
conversation! Pat? Another post-it?
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #68 of 127: Pat Adams (scarlet) Tue 27 Dec 05 11:04
    
This Post-It says "The ants go marching one by one" and "99 bottles of 
beer on the wall" --- More counting songs like The Eleven
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #69 of 127: David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 27 Dec 05 11:43
    
Counting songs: there are entire books on this topic! And a fun genre
it is. Counting songs seem, somehow, related to marching songs. (The
ants go marching one by one...) And then there are the alphabet
songs--the abc's we all think of...

One thing I think Hunter may have been trying to do with these kinds
of evocative references was to bring up a feeling of childhood in us as
we listened to the lyrics. Being child-like within the context of a
listening experience has value: we are open to learning, or even,
perhaps, more likely to learn. Is it possible to induce a state of
"learnability" by evoking a state of being more closely approximating
childhood? I am probably projecting, here, but my own experience as a
concert listener was definitely influenced by these kind of subtle
cues: nursery rhyme snippets, counting songs, abc songs, children's
book references, etc. 
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #70 of 127: gazornblat (dwaite) Tue 27 Dec 05 17:00
    
Touch of Grey give me just that childhood rememberance feeling - I also
think the muscial score during the several repeats of "ABCs" helps to
contribute to that felling...
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #71 of 127: David Dodd (ddodd) Wed 28 Dec 05 09:09
    
Another major point: the music so often is just exactly perfect with
the words. From "Mountains of the Moon" to "Days Between."
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #72 of 127: David Gans (tnf) Wed 28 Dec 05 10:13
    

That is the greatness of these songwriting teams.  And part of the fun was
being able to sit in on the growth of the songs, and of the collection of
songs.
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #73 of 127: David Dodd (ddodd) Wed 28 Dec 05 12:18
    
Yes, because we all noticed how songs matured or changed in
performance or upon revival after long retirement. Amazing.
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #74 of 127: David Dodd (ddodd) Fri 30 Dec 05 08:31
    
Let's see...December 30! Used to be a hotbed of activity time for us
Deadheads. Anybody catch Phil last night?

Seriously, though, I supposedly have one more day as the featured
conversation on inkwell.vue, and would be glad to carry on the
conversation today, and beyond today, if anyone has something to add or
say. 
  
inkwell.vue.261 : David Dodd, Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
permalink #75 of 127: David Gans (tnf) Fri 30 Dec 05 09:32
    

We can carry this conversation on as long as we like!
  

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