Category Archives: Music

More Kindness

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In the late 90s, when I was in my late 20s, I worked the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.

For folks who never heard of it, Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_Womyn%27s_Music_Festival) says,

The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival…was an international feminist music festival held every August from 1976 to 2015 in Oceana County, Michigan, USA, near Hart Township, in a small wooded area known as “The Land.” The event was completely built, staffed, run and attended by women. The 40th Festival, in August 2015, was the last one.[2]

Several of my lady friends had worked at the festival, some for multiple years. After hearing their stories of music and empowered women, I decided I wanted to work there too. I applied for a short crew position and was given a spot on the Disabled Access Resource Team (DART).

Some of my experiences at the festival were wonderful. Three times a day, I lined up in the workers’ dining area and received a plate of delicious food. I became friends with many delightful women and engaged in hours of stimulating conversation. I attended a workshop on bisexuality and found I wasn’t the only bisexual woman among the thousands of lesbians. I also listened to incredible music.

All these years later, I only remember one of the performances I witnessed that August in Michigan. Her name was Toshi Reagon. She was a woman of color in her mid-30s, and she sang and played her acoustic guitar. I liked the way she sounded.

I ended up with her CD Kindness. I can’t remember if I  bought it at the festival or if I ordered it later from the Ladyslipper catalog. (Read more about Ladyslipper’s support of women’s music here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/10/03/cold-rain-and-snow/ or on the Ladyslipper website: https://www.ladyslipper.org/.) I do remember listening to that CD over and over and over again.

One of my favorite songs on the CD is called “Kindness.” To this day, I love to hear Toshi sing

If you are down and troubled

and you have not got a dime

you can come over to my house

and this is what you will find

there ain’t much to go around

but I will give you my hand

if you are down and troubled

and you have not got ten cents

because I believe in kindness

I believe in sweetness

I believe in peace and love

that is all I’ve been thinking of

Every since I titled my last blog post “Kindness,” I’ve been thinking of Toshi Reagon and singing her song of the same name. If you believe in kindness, sweetness, peace, and love, take four minutes and twenty seconds and have a listen to this wonderful song.

Valentine’s Day Advice

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Since today is Valentine’s Day and I’m not qualified to speak about romance, I’ll let the Grateful Dead offer advice in matters of love through the video for their song “Foolish Heart.”

If you want to follow along with the singing, here are the lyrics from https://play.google.com/music/preview/Tcu6tifbkyp3snodrbo6j7ijoym?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-lyrics&u=0#:

Carve your name
Carve your name in ice and wind
Search for where
Search for where the rivers end
Or where the rivers start
Do everything that’s in you
That you feel to be your part
But never give your love, my friend,
Unto a foolish heart

Leap from ledges
Leap from ledges high and wild
Learn to speak
Speak with wisdom like a child
Directly from the heart
Crown yourself the king of clowns
Or stand way back apart
But never give your love, my friend,
Unto a foolish heart

Shun a friend
Shun a brother and a friend
Never look
Never look around the bend
Or check a weather chart
Sign the Mona Lisa
With a spray can, call it art
But never give your love, my friend,
Unto a foolish heart

A foolish heart will call on you
To toss your dreams away
Then turn around and blame you
For the way you went astray
A foolish heart will cost you sleep
And often make you curse
A selfish heart is trouble
But a foolish heart is worse

Bite the hand
Bite the hand that bakes your bread
Dare to leap
Where the angels fear to tread
Till you are torn apart
Stoke the fires of paradise
With coals from hell to start
But never give your love, my friend
Unto a foolish heart

Unto a foolish heart [Repeats]

Built to Last
”Foolish Heart was released on the final Grateful Dead studio album Built To Last which came out in 1989.  It was written by Jerry Garcia (music) and Robert C. Hunter (words). The video was directed by Gary Gutierrez .

According to http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0349359/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm, Gutierrez graduated

from the San Francisco Art Institute, [and] apprenticed at John Korty’s Mill Valley studio as an animator of children’s films, creating and directing live action and animation for Sesame Street and The Electric Company.

(So there folks, is the connection between The Grateful Dead and Sesame Street I always suspected existed.)

[He] create[d] the 8 minute animated opening for The Grateful Dead Movie…

Gutierrez also directed the music video for the Grateful Dead song “Touch of Grey,” which was the introduction to the Dead for many people, especially those of the MTV generation.

The American Book of the Dead
The American Book of the Dead by Oliver Trager says the movie footage in the “Foolish Heart” video is from a 1903 film by Georges Méliès called Kingdom of the Fairies.

According to http://www.earlycinema.com/pioneers/melies_bio.html,

Maries Georges Jean Méliès was born in Paris in 1861…

Méliès’ principle contribution to cinema was the combination of traditional theatrical elements to motion pictures – he sought to present spectacles of a kind not possible in live theatre.

He pioneered the first double exposure (La caverne Maudite, 1898), the first split screen with performers acting opposite themselves (Un Homme de tete, 1898), and the first dissolve (Cendrillon, 1899)…He was also one of the first filmmakers to present nudity on screen with “Apres le Bal”.

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kingdom_of_the_Fairies) says of the film,

…film historian Georges Sadoul suggested that the film was freely adapted from La Biche au Bois, a popular féerie by the brothers Goignard, which had been first produced in March 1845 at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin and which was frequently revived throughout the nineteenth century.[4] A publication on Méliès’s films by the Centre national du cinéma cites Charles Perrault‘s story “Sleeping Beauty” as the most direct inspiration for the film, with the seven fairies in that tale reduced to four.[4]

The film’s cast includes Georges Méliès as Prince Bel-Azor, Marguerite Thévenard as Princess Azurine, and Bleuette Bernon as the fairy Aurora.

I like the whimsical, but also slightly creepy vibe of this video.  Skeletons playing records, Victorian era toys, ghostly band members, black and white film footage of devils with pitchforks and torches, Bob Weir’s hair, I like all of these aspects of the video while they make me a bit uncomfortable too.

 

The Holiday Song That’s Not Ok

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Trigger warning: This post discusses sexual assault in general and as a possibility between people in a song.

The Poet and the Activist and I were sitting in the pupusería. We’d finished eating our pupusas and were lingering over books and postcards to be written. Because it was December, holiday music was blasting through the dining room.

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” started playing.

Do you know this song? It goes like this:

I really can’t stay (but baby, it’s cold outside)
I’ve got to go away (but baby, it’s cold outside)

This evening has been (been hoping that you’d drop in)
So very nice (I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice)

My mother will start to worry (beautiful what’s your hurry?)
My father will be pacing the floor (listen to the fireplace roar)

So really I’d better scurry (beautiful please don’t hurry)
But maybe just a half a drink more (put some records on while I pour)

The neighbors might think (baby, it’s bad out there)
Say what’s in this drink? (no cabs to be had out there)

I wish I knew how (your eyes are like starlight now)
To break this spell (i’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell)

I ought to say, no, no, no sir (mind if I move in closer?)
At least I’m gonna say that I tried (what’s the sense in hurtin’ my pride?)

I really can’t stay (oh baby don’t hold out)
But baby, it’s cold outside

I simply must go (but baby, it’s cold outside)
The answer is no (but baby, it’s cold outside)

Your welcome has been (how lucky that you dropped in)
So nice and warm (look out the window at this dawn)

My sister will be suspicious (gosh your lips look delicious)
My brother will be there at the door (waves upon the tropical shore)

My maiden aunts mind is vicious (gosh your lips are delicious)
But maybe just a cigarette more (never such a blizzard before)

I’ve gotta get home(but baby, you’d freeze out there)
Say lend me a coat(it’s up to your knees out there)

You’ve really been grand (I thrill when you touch my hand)
But don’t you see? (how can you do this thing to me?)

There’s bound to be talk tomorrow (think of my lifelong sorrow)
At least there will be plenty implied (if you got pnuemonia [sic] and died)

I really can’t stay (get over that old out)
Baby, it’s cold
Baby, it’s cold outside

I hate this song! I said,

Me too! the Poet said. Let’s get out of here!

We gathered up our things and hurried out. The song chased us out of the building!

Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby,_It’s_Cold_Outside) says “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was  written by Frank Loesser in 1944. Although it’s been around for over half a century, I don’t remember it from my childhood. We never sang it in music class. It was never part of any holiday production at school. Elvis didn’t sing it on the Christmas cassette which was a staple of my family’s holiday seasons growing up. Maybe it was just a little risque for children or Elvis. It seems to have grown more popular in the last few years, especially after Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett sang it in that Barnes & Noble commercial. Even with my limited Christmas celebrating, it’s difficult to get through the season without hearing it. In fact, on the same day the song chased us from the restaurant, we heard it again not two hours later as we strolled through a cactus garden decked out in lights and strange winter-themed inflatable decorations.

If you don’t know the song, here’s how the aforementioned Wikipedia article explains it:

The lyrics in this duet are designed to be heard as a conversation between two people, identified as “mouse” and “wolf” on the printed score; they have returned to the wolf’s home after a date, and the mouse decides it is time to go home, but the wolf flirtatiously invites the mouse to stay as it is late and “it’s cold outside.” The mouse wants to stay and enjoy herself, but feels obligated to return home, worried what family and neighbors will think if she stays.[5] Every line in the song features a statement from the mouse followed by a response from the wolf, which is musically known as a call and response song.

I’m not sure where exactly the author of the Wikipedia article gets the idea “[t]he mouse wants to stay and enjoy herself…” Here’s what I notice the “mouse” saying: “I really can’t stay.” “[W]hat’s in this drink?” “I wish I knew how [t]o break this spell.” “I simply must go.” “The answer is no.” To me, those are not the things a person who wants to stay would be saying.

I didn’t know that people in the song are referred to as the “mouse” (usually the woman) and the “wolf” (usually the man) until I did some research for this post. The fact that wolves eat mice gives this song sinister connotations I hadn’t even considered when I originally took a dislike to this song.

I call this song “A Date Rape Christmas,” even though there are no actual references to December 25 or sexual assault. I don’t mean to make light of sexual assault or acquaintance rape. When I refer to the song as “A Date Rape Christmas, I’m trying to get people to think about what’s going on between the singers. The woman wants to leave. The man is trying to convince her to stay, ostensibly so they can have sex. (If he were only worried about her safety while traveling in inclement weather, he’d be singing about making up a bed for her on the couch.) He won’t take no–even multiple declarations of no–as an answer. He won’t accept no means no.

Ignoring no is at the root of sexual assault. Sure, the male singer hasn’t assaulted the female singer–yet. I shudder to think about what might happen later, if the woman decides to stay over after all, but decides she doesn’t want to engage in sexual activity. Will she be accused of asking for it because she doesn’t want to go out in bad weather?

Apparently, I’m not the first person to criticize this song. According to the previously quoted Wikipedia article,

Although some critical analyses of the song have highlighted parts of the lyrics such as “What’s in this drink?” and his unrelenting pressure to stay despite her repeated suggestions that she should go home,[2] others noted that cultural expectations of the time period were such that women were not socially permitted to spend the night with a boyfriend or fiance, and that the female speaker states that she wants to stay, while “what’s in this drink” was a common idiom of the period used to rebuke social expectations by blaming one’s actions on the influence of alcohol.[3]

Well, ok, maybe the cultural expectations for men and women in the 1940s (and 1950s and 1960s and 1970s) were different than they are today. But if the cultural expectations are different now than they once were, why are we still listening to a song that reinforces the outdated expectations?

The author of the Wikipedia article says ,”the female speaker states that she wants to stay.” but I can’t find such a statement anywhere in the song. The only really positive thing I can find the female singer saying is “This evening has been [s]o very nice,” but that’s hardly a strong statement of wanting to stay.

The song also sets the bad example of someone not standing up for her own needs and desires. Yes, the woman is saying no, but why doesn’t she stand up, put on her coat and leave? Why does she stick around while he tries to convince her?

Maybe she really does like the guy. Maybe she does want to stay over. Maybe she wants to have sex with the guy. Fine. Just own it! Just say yes! But stop with the games! And stop with the song that teaches girls to play games and boys to keep pushing the issue after the girl says, The answer is no!

Yes, the song reflects the attitudes about the relationship between men and women in the age it was written. Men pursue. Good girls have to be convinced. It’s dated and sexist and I don’t need to be bombarded with it while the holiday spirit is being forced on me.

I think we need a new winter song that goes something like this:

Person #1: Hey, baby, it’s cold outside. The weather’s terrible. Why don’t you stay over?

Person #2: That sound great! Can I sleep in your bed with you?

Person #1: Sure! And I was hoping we’d do more than sleep.

Person #2: Me too! Let’s go!

I think the plot makes for a sexier song.

Thanks to https://play.google.com/music/preview/Tid4ear26rb3dtx6ivobskk3dxi?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-lyrics for song lyrics.

 

 

 

Play Me, I’m Yours (Part 3)

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The last Play Me, I’m Yours piano I discovered was my favorite because it had a writing theme! This black and white piano, located at the Arizona Museum of Natural History, was decorated with flowers and the reasons why people write.  Some reasons people gave for writing:

I write to right my wrongs. img_5874

I write because the pen is my weapon.

I write to say, “I was here.”

I write because my ancestors weren’t allowed to.

I write to honor my second chances.

I write to relieve myself from pain.

I write to speak my mind, even when my voice shakes.

While researching this post, I discovered the community group responsible for this piano was Phonetic Spit. According to their website (http://phoneticspit.org/about-us/founders-artists/),

Through the intersections of Literary Arts, Youth Development, and Social Justice programs, Phonetic Spit creates Brave Space to empower young and emerging adults to find, develop and publicly present their voices as agents of societal change.

img_5873I can understand how a group of young people interested in the literary arts, publicly presenting their voices, and societal change would use this opportunity to tell the world why writing is important to each of them.

According to the Street Pianos webpage (http://streetpianos.com/mesa2016/pianos/4-arizona-museum-of-natural-history/) dedicated to this piano (#4), the artist who did the work on it was Tomas Stanton. A Phoenix New Times article (“100 Creatives” http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/arts/8-tomas-stanton-6551318 ) from 2012 called Tomas Stanton

a poet, writer, teaching artist, and community activist. He says he’s a self-taught artist dedicated to advancing the art of spoken word through fusion with theatre and dance.

Stanton is co-founder of Phoenix’s premiere youth spoken word ensemble, Phonetic img_5870Spit. He uses hip-hop pedagogy to inspire youth to boldly express themselves through poetry, dance, theatre, and graffiti. His work and teaching style is rooted in his childhood experiences of poverty and single parent household, political issues, identity, and love.

This piano’s Street Pianos webpage also says it was donated by the First United Methodist Church of Mesa and was sponsored by Two Men And A Truck.

My favorite words on this piano read, “Your Voice Matters.” This message is important to everyone who may feel silenced in the current political climate. Every voice matters. Some will say the only voices that matter come from the throats of the rich or the males or the people with light skin. This is not the true.  The truth is every voice matters. My voice matters and your voice matters. Let’s all speak our minds, even when our voices shake.

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I took all of the photos in this post.

If you missed the other posts about the Play Me, I’m Yours pianos, here’s a brief summary from http://www.streetpianos.com/:

Touring internationally since 2008, Play Me, I’m Yours is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. Reaching over 10 million people worldwide – more than 1,500 street pianos have already been installed in over 50 cities across the globe, from London to New York, bearing the simple instruction Play Me, I’m Yours.

Located on streets, in public parks, markets and train stations the pianos are temporarily available for everyone to play and enjoy. Play Me, I’m Yours invites the public to engage with, activate and take ownership of their urban environment. Decorated by local artists and community groups, the pianos create a place of exchange and an opportunity for people to connect.

 

 

Play Me, I’m Yours (Part 2)

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The second Play Me, I’m Yours piano I encountered during my evening stroll along Main Street in Mesa, AZ was in front of the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum. This one was looked like a cloudy blue sky, and the sides shimmered in the late afternoon sun.

If you missed previous posts, http://www.streetpianos.com/ says,

Touring internationally since 2008, Play Me, I’m Yours is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. Reaching over 10 million people worldwide – more than 1,500 street pianos have already been installed in over 50 cities across the globe…

Sparkling side view of piano #11

Sparkling side view of piano #11

According to his website (http://www.lukejerram.com/about/),

Luke Jerram’s multidisciplinary practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations and live arts projects. Living in the UK but working internationally for 19 years, Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects which have excited and inspired people around the globe.

Jerram has a set of different narratives that make up his practice which are developing in parallel with one another. He is known worldwide for his large scale public artworks.

The Street Pianos webpage (http://streetpianos.com/mesa2016/pianos/11-mesa-contemp-arts-museum/) dedicated to this piano (#11) says it was decorated by artists Kyllan Maney and Erin Peters and the Creative Catalyst team. It was donated by Mesa Arts Center and sponsored by Advanced Eyecare of Arizona.

Back view of piano #11

Back view of piano #11

What I didn’t know until I looked at the aforementioned webpage dedicated to this particular piano is that it was lit up at night. How cool is that! (Very cool, I think. I wish I had seen it all lit up.) The area behind the panel that reads “Play Me, I’m Yours” apparently glowed electric lavender, and a bright blue light shone from underneath.

The white and blue color scheme reminded me of clouds in a blue sky. I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the serene sky imagery and the gliding birds next to the shimmery shake of the sparkles on the sides. (Are the shimmers meant to represent the stars in the night sky?)

Again, I wished I could play this piano, but I made myself content with simply striking a few keys and and enjoying the art.

I took all of the photos in this post.

Bird detail from piano #11

Bird detail from piano #11

Play Me, I’m Yours (Part 1)

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In the spring of 2016, I was exploring the public art on Main Street in Mesa, Arizona. One of the coolest things I saw was a Pepto-Bismol pink piano labeled “Play Me, I’m Yours.” What was this about? I had no idea, but loved the presence of a piano out on the street available for anyone to play. As I walked further east on Main Street, I encountered two more street pianos. Very interesting, I thought. I figured the pianos were part of downtown Mesa’s permanent sculpture collection and didn’t think much more about them until I sat down to write this post.

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Front view of piano #6

According to the Street Pianos website (http://www.streetpianos.com/),

Touring internationally since 2008, Play Me, I’m Yours is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. Reaching over 10 million people worldwide – more than 1,500 street pianos have already been installed in over 50 cities across the globe, from London to New York, bearing the simple instruction Play Me, I’m Yours.

Located on streets, in public parks, markets and train stations the pianos are temporarily available for everyone to play and enjoy. Play Me, I’m Yours invites the public to engage with, activate and take ownership of their urban environment. Decorated by local artists and community groups, the pianos create a place of exchange and an opportunity for people to connect.

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Back view of piano #6

It’s really cool to find out the pianos I encountered are part of a global phenomenon. But wait, it gets better!

The page of the Street Pianos website dedicated to Mesa (http://streetpianos.com/mesa2016/) says,

Mesa Arts Center presented Play Me, I’m Yours, from March 1 until April 9 2016, as part of the celebrations of a major milestone: 10 years at their beautiful location in Downtown Mesa, AZ.  24 playable and artistically enhanced pianos were featured, in Downtown Mesa and at other satellite locations throughout the city.

What? Those pianos were there for a limited time only, and I got to see them? How cool is that? (Very cool, I think.)

I’m going to do three blog posts about the three Play Me, I’m Yours piano I encountered in Mesa.

Today I am writing about piano #6, which was located on Main Street, east of MacDonald. According to the Street Pianos website (http://streetpianos.com/mesa2016/pianos/6-main-street-east-of-macdonald/, where you can also view videos of people playing this piano),it was decorated by artist: Kyllan Maney  and students of the New School For The Arts and was donated by Myrna Horton.

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Left side view of piano #6

According to Kyllan Maney’s website (http://www.kyllanmaney.com/about/), she

works with aspects of nature that reminds her of the feelings of tranquility, discovery, spirituality and awe that exist when looking at plants and objects closely.  The visual foundation of Kyllan’s work is rooted in scientific illustrations, religious icons, human relationships and inspiration from past and current artists. Kyllan enjoys the inventive, creative process of working with mixed media, oil painting and large scale murals.

There’s so much I like about this piano. I think its bright, eye-catching color is grand. I like the individual portraits decorating it. As I said before, I think it is so cool to see pianos out and about, available for anyone to play.

Unfortunately, I don’t know how to play the piano. Music lessons were not something my parents

Right side view of piano #6

Right side view of piano #6

could afford when I was a kid, and by the time I took a piano class in high school, it was too late. I realized I basically have no musical talent, and it was going to take way more effort than I was willing to exert to learn to play the piano (or anything else).

That evening in Mesa, I was sad I couldn’t sit down and coax a song from this instrument, but I was glad to know it was out there waiting for someone more talented than I .

I took all the photos in this post.

To read more about public art in Mesa, go here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/10/07/the-big-pink-chair/, here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/10/15/booked-for-the-day/, and here: http://www.rubbertrampartist.com/2016/11/14/quackers/.

Detail from piano #6 for all my Bowie homies.

Detail from piano #6

(Cold) Rain and Snow

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I first heard The Be Good Tanyas sing “Rain and Snow.”

I’d bought their CD Blue Horse on a whim. I hadn’t heard any of their music before, hadn’t even heard of the group, but I was intrigued by what I read about the CD in the catalog.

If I were ordering CDs from a catalog–and that’s what I remember–it must have been the late 1990s or the early 2000s. When I had some extra dollars back then, I’d sometimes ordered CDs from the Ladyslipper catalog.

(While researching this post, I was glad to discover that Ladyslipper Music is still around. According to their website [https://www.ladyslipper.org/],

Ladyslipper is a North Carolina non-profit, tax-exempt organization which has been involved in many facets of women’s music since 1976. Our basic purpose has consistently been to heighten public awareness of the achievements of women artists and musicians, and to expand the scope and availability of musical and literary recordings by women.)

If you’ve never heard of the The Be Good Tanyas, this is what the group’s website (http://www.begoodtanyas.com/about) has to say:

Alt folk trio The Be Good Tanyas have achieved cult status since the band’s luminous debut Blue Horse, an album named one of 2002’s top 50 releases by Q magazine (UK), firmly established the group on the Americana music scene. With subsequent releases, Chinatown and Hello Love, the band has met with ever growing critical and fan acclaim, garnering 4 star reviews in Rolling Stone and MOJO magazine and selling out concert halls across North America and Europe.

Frazey Ford, Trish Klein and Samantha Parton; three women with gorgeous, haunting and plaintive voices accompanied by rustic, sparse and soulful instrumentation, high lonesome harmonies, and intelligent song-writing.

One of the songs on Blue Horse is called “Rain and Snow.” It’s a lament about a hard life. A memorable couplet:

Well I married me a wife
She gave me trouble all my life

I particularly enjoyed the female singer wailing about her wife in the days before the legalization of same sex marriage.

Years later, when I started listening to the Grateful Dead, I was surprised to hear that group singing about the same troublesome wife. They’re doing that Be Good Tanyas song, I thought, until I realized a split second later that my chronology was wrong. Of course, the Grateful Dead had done it first.

The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
According to The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics by David Dodd, the first documented performance of “Cold Rain and Snow” by the Grateful Dead was February 23, 1966. The song was recorded on the band’s eponymous 1967 debut album.

Dodd explains,

This tune comes from the Eastern-mountain music tradition, most likely the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina or Virginia. Rarely recorded, this white blues has long been popular among old-timey music groups. Pegging an “original” version is impossible, since it dates back (at least) to the nineteenth century and is “folk” music in the truest sense.

So to call “Cold Rain and Snow” a Grateful Dead song is a bit of an exaggeration, although the band did the arrangement of their version.

And it’s not a Be Good Tanyas song either, as I originally thought for over a decade. It’s an American song, by and about the mountain folks of the South.

One day, not so long after I showed up at the Bridge, when I was living out of a backpack and had few possessions to my name, I told Man Kim I’d thought The Be Good Tanyas had done the song first, until I heard the Dead singing it. He asked me if I wanted to hear The Be Good Tanyas’ version. Being starved for music, I enthusiastically said yes. He cued up the song on his MP3 player, and I stood next to his car to hear the song waft from his speakers. It was a small kindness of the sort that got me through those hard times.

Grateful Dead
Blue Horse