David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 8 Sep 03 09:23
New Potato Caboose w: Petersen m: Lesh AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/newp.html LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/NEWPOTAT.HTM
Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 8 Sep 03 21:04
New Potato Caboose Lyrics: Bobby Petersen Music: Phil Lesh Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission. Last leaf fallen, bare earth where green was born Above my doorknob, two eagles hang against a cloud Sun comes up blood red Wind yells among the stone All graceful instruments are known When the windows all are broken And your love's become a toothless crone When the voices of the storm sound Like a crowd Winter morning breaks, you're all alone The eyes are blind Blue visions are all a seer can see And touching makes the flesh to cry out loud This ground on which the seed of love is sown All graceful instruments are known
David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 16 Sep 08 09:15
An upcoming auction at Butterfield and Bonham's contains a handwritten sheet of these lyrics in Pigpen's handwriting. Some variants, in particular in the first verse, where Pigpen has completely different words: Here's the description from the catalog online (there's also an image of the sheet, which I hope to post to the annotated lyrics site soon): A Ron "Pig Pen" McKernan page of handwritten lyrics for The Grateful Dead song, 'New Potato Caboose,' circa 1968 Penned on a single sheet of paper in blue ballpoint ink by Pig Pen (though lyrics were conceived of by Bobby Petersen), piece reads in full "Last leaf fallen, bare earth / Where green was, bone/ Above Madonna two eagles hang / Against a cloud / Sun comes up blood red - wind / Yells among the stone. / All graceful instruments are / known / When the windows all are broken and / Your love's become a toothless crone / When the voices of the storm sound / Like a crowd / Winter morning breaks you're / All alone. / All G I A K --- / The eyes are blind blue visions / All a seer can own / And touching makes the flesh to cry / out loud - / This ground on which the seed of / Love is sewn / All G - .0" (Please note paper is folded a number of times and is yellowed due to age.) 11 x 8 1/2in Estimate: $3,000 - 5,000
David Gans (tnf) Tue 16 Sep 08 10:51
Shoulda been "sown."
David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 16 Sep 08 13:15
Right. But I like the alternatives in the first verse to what we've been saying are the words. "Above my doorknob" and "Black Madonna" are the two versions of the line given by Pigpen as "Above Madonna". And having the earth be "bone" makes more sense than "born." I hope this scrap of paper can wind up in the UCSC archive--I checked, and they're interested in doing some bidding, but they don't have good monetary resources yet. There's also a Vince Welnick archive of personal papers that should REALLY go into the UCSC archive if they can swing it. Let the guitars and posters and photos go elsewhere, but these handwritten pieces belong in a library.
Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Thu 18 Sep 08 14:32
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Fri 26 Sep 08 06:26
This is an important find, is there a process for feedback to Ice Nine and ajudication?
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Fri 26 Sep 08 08:29
Robin, are you suggesting that Ice Nine might have ownership rights to Pigpen's original lyrics? Owning and controlling a Copyright and ownership of this artifact are not the same thing. If Ice Nine (or anyone else) wants to buy this artifact, then we have a different issue, just as owning the artifact does not impart the publishing benefits accrued through copyright. This said, finding a home for this item in the UCSC archives sounds like a fine idea.
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Fri 26 Sep 08 08:51
No, I'm suggesting that Ice Nine should update the copyrighted lyrics.
Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Fri 26 Sep 08 09:05
that makes sense
David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 30 Sep 08 15:53
Also: not a Pigpen lyric! A Bobby Petersen lyric, in Pigpen's hand. I've sent the news to Ice Nine, and suggested to UCSC that they try to purchase this, and also Vince Welnick's papers, which are also in the auction. They're short on cash, so both things will probably wind up in private hands. Argh.
Robin Russell (rrussell8) Mon 6 Oct 08 06:36
David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 6 Oct 08 10:41
Looking at the auction site last night, it appears that no one purchased this item. Wonder what happens to it now? (No one seems to have bought the Welnick archive, either. Hmmmm.)
David Gans (tnf) Mon 10 Sep 12 16:41
<scribbled by tnf Mon 10 Sep 12 16:50>
David Gans (tnf) Mon 10 Sep 12 16:50
Looking at the AGDL page and listening to several live performances, I have no idea where "Black Madonna" came from. Bob clearly sings "above" - and sometimes is sounds like he's singing "my doorknob" and other times it sounds more like "Madonna." I would like to think Petersen would have written "Madonna," referring to Mt Madonna in central California. But on 10/13/68, Weir sings "above my doorknob." I remember Dan Healy saying that this was a reference to an ac- tual door at 710 Ashbury.
David Gans (tnf) Mon 10 Sep 12 16:55
3/1/69: "Above my doorknob."
David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 17 Sep 12 16:34
I always heard "above my doorknob" too--I think the "Black Madonna" reference came from a printed version of teh song somewhere...I can track it down I'm sure. (I'm sure....)
David Gans (tnf) Mon 17 Sep 12 16:52
Don't trouble yourself on my account. I've heard Bobby sing "above my doorknob in nearly a dozen performances.
Christian Crumlish (xian) Mon 1 Oct 12 16:01
always my understanding, and a story about the stained glass on the door too.
David Dodd (ddodd) Tue 2 Oct 12 16:30
Yeah, but Bobby sings the wrong words frequently...
Alex Allan (alexallan) Wed 3 Oct 12 03:16
The songbook "Grateful Dead Anthology Volume 1" had the lyrics as "Black Madonna ...", even though it doesn't appear Bobby ever sang that.
from EMILY FOSTER (tnf) Fri 16 Nov 12 10:32
Emily Foster writes: <http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/meditations/blackmdn.html> Very revealing, particularly when Benko states the relationship between; earth is not only the source of fertility and new life. It is also an agent of death ... "everything comes from earth and returns to it." This is ultimately what lies behind the saying of Paul, "What you sow does not come to life unless it dies." so basically, I agree that the lyric is "black Madonna".
David Gans (tnf) Tue 9 Apr 13 17:26
Bobby clearly sings "Above Madonna" in the '67 live shows.
Christian Crumlish (xian) Sun 14 Apr 13 06:07
does he pronounce it "Ma-doe-na"? I always here a long "o" in the versions I've listened to, which is as strange a way to pronounce Madonna as "nut-thatch" or "ci-cayda" are for their respective words.
David Gans (tnf) Sun 14 Apr 13 09:28
More like MAD-donna in the early ones.
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