• May 9, 2013
    http://www.dead.net/features/greatest-stories-ever-told/greatest-stories-ever-told-eyes-world
    Greatest Stories Ever Told - "Eyes Of The World"

    By David Dodd

    Here’s the plan—each week, I will blog about a different song, focusing, usually, on the lyrics, but also on some other aspects of the song, including its overall impact—a truly subjective thing. Therefore, the best part, I would hope, would not be anything in particular that I might have to say, but rather, the conversation that may happen via the comments over the course of time—and since all the posts will stay up, you can feel free to weigh in any time on any of the songs! With Grateful Dead lyrics, there’s always a new and different take on what they bring up for each listener, it seems.(I’ll consider requests for particular songs—just private message me!)

    “Eyes of the World”

    Given that last week’s post was “Estimated Prophet,” it seems appropriate to move right into “Eyes of the World.” The two became almost inextricably linked through hundreds of concert performances, and I’ve always wondered a bit about that…the musical progression didn’t seem particularly natural, with the disintegrating jam out of Estimated eventually giving way to Garcia’s invocation of Eyes via its easily-identified set of opening chords.

    Thinking about the juxtaposition of the two songs, we have “Estimated Prophet,” with its maniacal raving deluded character, very much inwardly-focused, and then, bam: “Wake up!” as the chorus begins in “Eyes of the World.” Of course, the prophet in Estimated does accuse his listeners with the line “you all been asleep, you would not believe me...” but “Eyes” seems to say that the sleeper may have been the prophet.

    Or, as usual, maybe I read too much into these things.

    “Eyes of the World” is a Robert Hunter lyric set by Jerry Garcia. It appeared in concert for the first time in that same show on February 9, 1973, at the Maples Pavilion at Stanford University, along with “They Love Each Other,” “China Doll,” “Here Comes Sunshine,” “Loose Lucy,” “Row Jimmy,” and “Wave That Flag.” Its final performance by the Dead was on July 6, 1995, at Riverport Amphitheatre, in Maryland Heights, Missouri, when it opened the second set, and led into “Unbroken Chain.” It was performed 381 times, with 49 of those performances occurring in 1973. It was released on “Wake of the Flood” in November, 1973.

    (I have begun to notice something I never saw before in the song statistics in Deadbase—the 49 performances in 1973 made me look twice at the song-by-song table of performances broken out by year in DeadBase X, which clearly shows the pattern of new songs being played in heavy rotation when they are first broken out, and then either falling away entirely, or settling into a more steady, less frequent pattern as the years go by. Makes absolute sense!)

    Sometimes criticized, lyrically, as being a bit too hippy-dippy for its own good, “Eyes of the World” might be heard as conveying a message of hope, viewing human consciousness as having value for the planet as a whole. There are echoes in the song of a wide range of literary and musical influences, from Blaise Pascal to (perhaps) Ken Kesey; from talk of a redeemer to the title of the song itself.

    Pascal seems to me to be the most significant echo. In his Penseés, published in 1680, he wrote: “The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know.” Hunter mirrors that thought with “The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own.” Going outside of the reason of the mind can allow an awakening. “You don’t have time to call your soul a critic, no” Hunter has Garcia sing. Hunter is asking us to trust in something that we can’t comprehend.

    And then, he points to our daily lives and concerns and environment, such as the birds, which we might wonder about (where the heck do they go in the winter, anyway...and how do you pronounce “nuthatch”?). Sometimes things are fairly ordinary. Sometimes we live in no extraordinary way—just “no particular way but our own.”

    In an interview, Hunter made an interesting statement about the “songs of our own,” which appear twice in “Eyes of the World.” He said that he thinks it’s possible each of us may have some tune, or song, that we hum or sing to ourselves, nothing particularly amazing or fine, necessarily, that is our own song. Our song. I know I have one—it’s a tune I think I’ve been humming to myself when I’m out walking by myself or just abstractedly doing some chore, for well over 30 years. Whenever I think to try to capture it, it’s gone—I really can’t sing it on command, but there it is, when I stop paying attention to it directly. I’d love to hear if others of you reading this have had a similar experience of having a “song of your own.”

    I love the evocation of the song “Goodnight, Irene,” in the lines...

    Sometimes we live no particular way but our own
    Sometimes we visit your country and live in your home
    Sometimes we ride on your horses
    Sometimes we walk alone
    Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own.

    Goodnight Irene’s lines:

    Sometimes I live in the country
    Sometimes I live in town
    Sometimes I take a great notion
    To jump in the river and drown.

    (Thinking about these Goodnight Irene lines, in turn, makes me think of Ken Kesey, and his novel Sometimes A Great Notion, and David Gans and his song “River and Drown”:
    Let's go down to the river and drown
    Ain't nothin' shakin' in this old town
    Get out on the highway and follow that sound
    Come on down to the river and drown)

    Once again, that’s just how my brain works—maybe it’s how everyone’s brain works—and I just tend to let it wander and have its fun.

    The title has an antecedent, in a novel, Eyes of the World, by the obscure Harold Bell Wright (1914), which was subsequently made into a film twice, in 1917 and again in 1930. From what I can tell, the relationship ends with the title, although I admit that I have never made it through the book.

    The song leaves plenty of room for our own interpretation of certain lines and sections. The verse about the redeemer fading away, being followed by a clay-laden wagon. The myriad of images of birds, beeches, flowers, seeds, horses....

    So, let’s hear it—and don’t hold back (no calling your soul a critic, no)—what does the song say to you? Does it have any particular relationship to “Estimated Prophet” outside of being a good musical companion? Which wins out in your inner arguments, your reason or your heart? Or, maybe, they are aligned in your life.

    And while you’re at it, since it seems to have become a theme of these conversations, what is your favorite “Eyes of the World” and why?

    Wake up!

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By David Dodd

Here’s the plan—each week, I will blog about a different song, focusing, usually, on the lyrics, but also on some other aspects of the song, including its overall impact—a truly subjective thing. Therefore, the best part, I would hope, would not be anything in particular that I might have to say, but rather, the conversation that may happen via the comments over the course of time—and since all the posts will stay up, you can feel free to weigh in any time on any of the songs! With Grateful Dead lyrics, there’s always a new and different take on what they bring up for each listener, it seems.(I’ll consider requests for particular songs—just private message me!)

“Eyes of the World”

Given that last week’s post was “Estimated Prophet,” it seems appropriate to move right into “Eyes of the World.” The two became almost inextricably linked through hundreds of concert performances, and I’ve always wondered a bit about that…the musical progression didn’t seem particularly natural, with the disintegrating jam out of Estimated eventually giving way to Garcia’s invocation of Eyes via its easily-identified set of opening chords.

Thinking about the juxtaposition of the two songs, we have “Estimated Prophet,” with its maniacal raving deluded character, very much inwardly-focused, and then, bam: “Wake up!” as the chorus begins in “Eyes of the World.” Of course, the prophet in Estimated does accuse his listeners with the line “you all been asleep, you would not believe me...” but “Eyes” seems to say that the sleeper may have been the prophet.

Or, as usual, maybe I read too much into these things.

“Eyes of the World” is a Robert Hunter lyric set by Jerry Garcia. It appeared in concert for the first time in that same show on February 9, 1973, at the Maples Pavilion at Stanford University, along with “They Love Each Other,” “China Doll,” “Here Comes Sunshine,” “Loose Lucy,” “Row Jimmy,” and “Wave That Flag.” Its final performance by the Dead was on July 6, 1995, at Riverport Amphitheatre, in Maryland Heights, Missouri, when it opened the second set, and led into “Unbroken Chain.” It was performed 381 times, with 49 of those performances occurring in 1973. It was released on “Wake of the Flood” in November, 1973.

(I have begun to notice something I never saw before in the song statistics in Deadbase—the 49 performances in 1973 made me look twice at the song-by-song table of performances broken out by year in DeadBase X, which clearly shows the pattern of new songs being played in heavy rotation when they are first broken out, and then either falling away entirely, or settling into a more steady, less frequent pattern as the years go by. Makes absolute sense!)

Sometimes criticized, lyrically, as being a bit too hippy-dippy for its own good, “Eyes of the World” might be heard as conveying a message of hope, viewing human consciousness as having value for the planet as a whole. There are echoes in the song of a wide range of literary and musical influences, from Blaise Pascal to (perhaps) Ken Kesey; from talk of a redeemer to the title of the song itself.

Pascal seems to me to be the most significant echo. In his Penseés, published in 1680, he wrote: “The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know.” Hunter mirrors that thought with “The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own.” Going outside of the reason of the mind can allow an awakening. “You don’t have time to call your soul a critic, no” Hunter has Garcia sing. Hunter is asking us to trust in something that we can’t comprehend.

And then, he points to our daily lives and concerns and environment, such as the birds, which we might wonder about (where the heck do they go in the winter, anyway...and how do you pronounce “nuthatch”?). Sometimes things are fairly ordinary. Sometimes we live in no extraordinary way—just “no particular way but our own.”

In an interview, Hunter made an interesting statement about the “songs of our own,” which appear twice in “Eyes of the World.” He said that he thinks it’s possible each of us may have some tune, or song, that we hum or sing to ourselves, nothing particularly amazing or fine, necessarily, that is our own song. Our song. I know I have one—it’s a tune I think I’ve been humming to myself when I’m out walking by myself or just abstractedly doing some chore, for well over 30 years. Whenever I think to try to capture it, it’s gone—I really can’t sing it on command, but there it is, when I stop paying attention to it directly. I’d love to hear if others of you reading this have had a similar experience of having a “song of your own.”

I love the evocation of the song “Goodnight, Irene,” in the lines...

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own
Sometimes we visit your country and live in your home
Sometimes we ride on your horses
Sometimes we walk alone
Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own.

Goodnight Irene’s lines:

Sometimes I live in the country
Sometimes I live in town
Sometimes I take a great notion
To jump in the river and drown.

(Thinking about these Goodnight Irene lines, in turn, makes me think of Ken Kesey, and his novel Sometimes A Great Notion, and David Gans and his song “River and Drown”:
Let's go down to the river and drown
Ain't nothin' shakin' in this old town
Get out on the highway and follow that sound
Come on down to the river and drown)

Once again, that’s just how my brain works—maybe it’s how everyone’s brain works—and I just tend to let it wander and have its fun.

The title has an antecedent, in a novel, Eyes of the World, by the obscure Harold Bell Wright (1914), which was subsequently made into a film twice, in 1917 and again in 1930. From what I can tell, the relationship ends with the title, although I admit that I have never made it through the book.

The song leaves plenty of room for our own interpretation of certain lines and sections. The verse about the redeemer fading away, being followed by a clay-laden wagon. The myriad of images of birds, beeches, flowers, seeds, horses....

So, let’s hear it—and don’t hold back (no calling your soul a critic, no)—what does the song say to you? Does it have any particular relationship to “Estimated Prophet” outside of being a good musical companion? Which wins out in your inner arguments, your reason or your heart? Or, maybe, they are aligned in your life.

And while you’re at it, since it seems to have become a theme of these conversations, what is your favorite “Eyes of the World” and why?

Wake up!

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Given that last week’s post was “Estimated Prophet,” it seems appropriate to move right into “Eyes of the World.” The two became almost inextricably linked through hundreds of concert performances, and I’ve always wondered a bit about that…the musical progression didn’t seem particularly natural, with the disintegrating jam out of Estimated eventually giving way to Garcia’s invocation of Eyes via its easily-identified set of opening chords.

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I think I have 2. I don't know when or if they will pop up again,and now that you've brought it to my mention,I'm not even sure if I'll be able to catch myself humming or thinking them. It's interesting that they only occur when you are not thinking about them.It will be an interesting experiment.
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Maybe the time has come to lay my cards down today. I really do live in the northwest corner in the legal state of Washington. I met the Lady back in 77 and lost at love by the end of 77.. again (she won again). I was crazy in love and space travelling at the time, but I was never crazy at a concert nor did I stand in the backstage door looking wild eyed. Since I had a ticket, I came in through the front door….It was easier that way. The concerts and the Dead saved me, which I am eternally Grateful. If I told you all that went down, it would take a long while, but I will try to be brief and to the point here. Does the Dead’s music have meaning and purpose? Yes, there is absolutely no other way to say this. Are the characters real? Yes, the soldier and the sailor do live in the northwest corner, along with Jefferson, Franklin, Lincoln and the rest of the crazies from the class of 76. As Stella Blue says, “it all rolls into one”. We all see these songs from “our own” point of view and each song gives each person a different perspective on their own life and how to change their own life. Hopefully, we find love and acceptance and peace of mind in our time. The messages of the songs are always simple, but the journey is a long strange trip and in the end we will be Grateful Dead for hearing these songs that open our eyes. Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile. Enjoy the Ride!!!
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I think that the Branford Marsalis version from 3/29/90 is one of the favorite versions of "Eyes." I also like 7/8/78 from Red Rocks. The Red Rocks version was prob the first one I ever had, on cassette. The day I first acquired the tape, I played it in my car, and really started grooving to it. Unfortunately, the 45 minute tape side ran out right in the middle of the jam, and side two was the start of the drums. I was bummed. Luckily I now have a digital copy and I'm happy. What a great "Eyes". And sounds even better complete!! Perhaps I'll go re-listen to it right now!!
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...except I'd reverse the order. First 7-8-78, then 3-29. A tie could be debated, but I agree those 2 are absolute tippy-tops in my book as well.
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The "Sometimes" lines are among my favorite of Hunter's lyrics, and I've never stopped to try to understand why. I'm not going to here, either, but they just resonate, especially the "songs of our own." I think that I have a number of songs of my own...every once in a while I'll catch one of them and think, "Hey I'm writing a song! Need some words!" And then, you're right, it's gone. Is the difference between a songwriter and the rest of us that they can capture those melodies? How many times have you heard or read "The song wrote itself" from someone describing where a tune came from?
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Mainly because of the line "sometimes we ride on your horses," I always thought these lyrics were about Mickey Hart and all the stuff that happened with his father and the band. Mickey was obviously very affected by what happened considering he left the band for a few years. Anyways, I like to think that it was a message from Hunter to Hart. July 31st, 1974. (Dave's Picks 2) Is probably my favorite Eyes of the World. I don't think they even start singing until about 5 minutes in. Not to mention the beautiful segue into a great China Doll...
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The Grateful Dead Movie version of "Eyes" is also very memorable. I've been addicted to my DVD copy of The Grateful Dead Movie ever since I ordered it from Dead.net, and have watched it again & again..... that "Eyes" is definitely a highlight. Plus I love the interjected interviews with the fans.... Iggy's poem ('mama hated diesel so bad!!!!) and John Williams & Sam Hughes argument over the filming. Man, I wish that Winterland was still standing. I would have loved to see a show there.
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That You Are The Eyes Of The World. An American student of a Tibetan Dzog-chen teacher translated the title of a Tibetan text with this line. It is a perfect metaphor for a type of enlightenment. I'm not sure if the translator was a deadhead too, most probably.
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this has always been one of my favorite songs, and lyrics. Sums it all up so nicely.
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Always one of my favorite GD songs. 2/9/73's is SWEET. i remember the first time i heard it...evening with some light in the sky...being amazed. It made me realize how awesome the GD are. (this was a LONG time ago.) 2/9/73 would make a great release, DaL!!! (probably, say it all together now, "it's not in the vault.") wings a mile long...think about that. 10/19/74's Eyes is tremendous. 6/9/76 12/31/76 6/10/73 6/17/91 5/13/83 so many. I never did like the hyper fast ones that came out of estimated in the early 80s. When they slowed it back down in 90 i was very pleased.
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The studio version of Eyes of the World came out on the Wake of the Flood album. I was quite fortunate to have seen the band play Eyes FOUR (4) times in 1973: in Champaign, Watkins Glen, Cincinnati and in Cleveland. My all-time favorite version is from Louisville on 6/18/74. Standing in front of Jerry, leaning on the stage at Freedom Hall was a once in a lifetime experience. I only wish I'd brought my camera! The jazzy crescendo with up and down bass riffs made those 1973-1974 performances unforgettable.
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it has never GRABBED me for whatever reason. It's not BAD or anything. Maybe it's too short? I dunno. I gotta listen again. Is it on the Road Trips release? Of course, if I had been at the show leaning on the stage, I might have a different perspective. 6/16/74 is nice.
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This is probably my favorite Dead song, although it's almost impossible to narrow it down.I love it from every era but especially 73, 74 and really love when Phil's Stronger Than Dirt jam is connected to it.
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Dont know why, but one of my favorite versions of eyes. this song speaks so much to me of a way of life!
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Can you suggest a really good Eyes with the Stronger Than Dirt jam? Im sure I've heard one before, but I never know what anyone is talking about.
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Isn't the last time they did it RT 4.5 Boston Music Hall? Not sure, but I think it's in there...p.s.nevermind, it's not I just listened. Try the Winterland '74 ones...
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I've thought about the notion of the "sometimes" verse and maybe it's simply saying that always and never, both absolutes, just gotta wait for some other time! A few fav Eyes are 2/15/73 - Jerry's best chord ever? G-Ted's 6/18/74, too. I love the one from 8/13/75 and 9/03/77 is another. Happy Momma's Day moms.
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Have always loved this song and it has always seemed really clear to me that this song is reminding us the we are the creators of our lives each and every day.
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Favorite eyes of the world is from 2/19/73 international amphitheater, it's soooo soulful and perfect. I also think 10/17/73 is a phenomenal performance, especially the "stronger than dirt part," Didn't even realize that was stronger than dirt. Whatever, anyway I think eyes of the world is seriously one of the most incredible songs/jams of all time. it's a part of my soul.

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The Eyes finale jam isn't really Stronger Than Dirt. It's as close or closer to the jam riff in the middle of Unbroken Chain, I've always thought, though it isn't that either. It's its own thing, though it prefigures Stronger Than Dirt in general territory. And yeah, that Boston Hall '76 one includes another related phrase from those original '73/'74 finales that they dropped thereafter, too. Who knows why? This song is one of the most sublime the band ever manifested lyrically, with music equally suited to the sentiment. It's a beautiful idea--waking up to realize you're the Eyes of the World--that embodies exuberance, grace, and responsibility, largeness and smallness, all in one. Mustin, if you can obtain a copy of Dick's 28, there are two great versions on there........and just plain and simple, one of the best releases ever. Other fine released examples would be the two on Road Trips 2.3 (Wall of Sound), Dick's 31 (my favorite 74 release?), and the GD Movie Soundtrack....whose version you can see them performing in the movie : ) Maybe you know all this and were looking for something rarer.
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Great song,they played it at my very first Dead show(3/19/90) and its a song I have always loved for the jams and the tight instrumentation. My 2 favorites are 6/9/76(Road Trips) 7/31/74(DaP 2)..Like a lot of Dead songs, you never get tired of hearing it!
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As a 17 year old seeing the Dead for the first time, after about a year of trying and missing, I can safely say that Eyes was the best moment of what was a great day. I have for all time the vision and aural sense of that well-paced and blazing Eyes; it's in my mind's eye and it will never burn out. More than any tune played that day, it pulled me deeper into the music, not for weeks or months but for years.
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When I first heard "Eyes", it hit me like a ton of hippie sunshine. What band could make this sound? Only one. For me, the groove has to be just right. The first live one I liked was that Great American Music Hall version later featured on One From the Vault. It has that key-shifting jam, whatever you want to call it. Then the one in the GD movie grabbed me even more. Then on and on, with myriad variations on that jammy part. Those are definitely my faves. But as others have said, don't miss the one from 6/9/76 (RT 4.5) where the first 8 minutes are taken up with the jam that previously was found at the end of the song. What got into them that night? The song proper is a bit too speedy for its own good but do not miss the way Jer sings those first few lines.
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Danc,I was 17 as well at Englishtown and this is when I “Got It”, my third show, up all night and started moving forward after the break, found a milk crate about 100’ from the massive stage, the Half-Step in the first set gave me chills, but this Eyes just transcended space and time that day, (It was my first dance song at my wedding, some 23 years later) and continues to inspire me.
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Recovering from hernia surgery yesterday, so forgive percocet sloppiness... Agreed that the 73-74 versions are tops, but the one on DP3 deserves a mention - that cool Estimated > Eyes > backwards Wharf Rat... been a while since i played that, but i recall the Eyes intro being 4 minutes of bouncy bliss. David Dodd - I love these posts! I especially like learning about the influneces - I never knew about the eponymous book, for example. Thanks! EDIT - woops, still loopy i guess... the eyes intro is as good as i remember - tho 3 mins not 4... but oops i was remembering the bacwards terrrapin after wr...
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Thank you all for the thoughtful responses to this post. I am continuously amazed, even though I should be used to it by now, by the level of intensity with which we Deadheads listen, and then form our opinions. I am wondering about one thread of the comments, and that has to do with the early jam which did resemble Stronger Than Dirt in some ways, but was definitely its own thing. Does anyone have a title for that jam that might have been semi-"official"? And does anyone know why it was dropped? I get the sense that elements of songs that made things more complex were frequently dropped from live performance--in fact, entire songs were dropped or rarely played for that reason. Also: I am open to suggestions for the topic of this week's upcoming blog post. I would like for it not to be a Jerry tune, but am open to any other suggestions / requests! Thanks again!
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Tons of Steel. I'm serious. Not just because I love it, but because I've always thought that it was a quintessentially Grateful Dead song for which Brent did not get sufficient credit.
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I second the notion of Tons of Steel. Not because I love the song, but in support of Marye and to shine a little light on Clifton Hangar.
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Glad for a Brent song. Being a very young Deadhead, it took me a really long time to get into all of Brent's Songs. But even way back when, I always liked Tons of Steel.

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That's funny, Claney, I was just listening to Dick's 3 a few days ago and noted that long intro! Was driving to work, so I was thinking it was the middle of the song and that I'd lost my place on the verses, when the first verse begun : ) Great one, indeed. Tons of Steel.........sure! So glad to hear that Marye loves it, given the raunch of some of the lyrics (but isn't that all the classic blues metaphors, anyway?).... A really well put-together song musically, I always enjoyed it, and seemed like the band did, too (Bob used to put harmonies on it live). Then it disappeared from the repertoire almost overnight.... I guess to make room for that next batch of Brent tunes?, the crown jewel of which was Blow Away. Having caught one of the only Gentlemen Starts, I always thought that was a lost gem, too.
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Oh yes, I love Tons of Steel. While we're on the subject of Brent songs, I would love to eventually see a blog on "I Will Take You Home." Maybe it is having a four year old daughter, or maybe it is the fact that I always recall the picture of Brent smiling down at his little girl while he plays... but I love this tune.
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I see the key paradox in the song as the idea that we are the eyes of the world, and yet each heart has its own seasons, evenings and songs. This seems to be saturated with psychedelic wisdom, and evokes an early morning expedition when the world chuckles and sparkles the within you / without you nature of existence.
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I love these lyrical commentaries. Please keep them coming. It's hard to pick a favorite Eyes. I absolutely love Eyes from 74' with the extended form (i.e. GD movie, 6/16/74, 7/31/74, 5/21/74 etc.) but in terms of uniqueness and just crazy energy I have to go w/ 10/31/79 Nassau. Brent and Jerry are just on fire, I lover the disco beat on it and it's followed by probably my fav. GD space ever (I'm usually not a fan of drums and space but on this show they were smoking. 10/31/79 is just all together one of the best shows I've ever heard and for me the best part is the Eyes.
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I agree about art having a personal meaning beyond the artist's interpretation. Here is mine; I have always thought that the song was about the narrator contemplating birds and their place in the world. It starts off with the narrator explicitly wondering about the life of nuthatch. Then as an epiphany, begins to realize that birds don't have time to worry about all the stuff that humans do such as vanity, criticisms, etc and he begins to see himself as a bird. They only follow their hearts and sing them out in no particular way but their own, but this puts them beyond control of their environment. Humans affect their environment and because we are aware, some of us redeem our injustices of habitat destruction by being conservationists. But, they and their wagons of clay fade away in the great circle of life, like the habitat of flowers that burst into bloom and decay and just like when the night is close on the heels of the day. In the end, life is fleeting. Enjoy yourself, but keep that in mind. The birds don't have to. They just do what they do. And maybe we should too. Sometimes we visit your country or live in your home. Sometimes we ride on your horses and sometimes we walk alone. They are the song that the morning brings. Maybe we are not so different from wild birds after all. I love the Grateful Dead.
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    musoikos
    1 year 9 months ago
    Eyes
    I agree about art having a personal meaning beyond the artist's interpretation. Here is mine; I have always thought that the song was about the narrator contemplating birds and their place in the world. It starts off with the narrator explicitly wondering about the life of nuthatch. Then as an epiphany, begins to realize that birds don't have time to worry about all the stuff that humans do such as vanity, criticisms, etc and he begins to see himself as a bird. They only follow their hearts and sing them out in no particular way but their own, but this puts them beyond control of their environment. Humans affect their environment and because we are aware, some of us redeem our injustices of habitat destruction by being conservationists. But, they and their wagons of clay fade away in the great circle of life, like the habitat of flowers that burst into bloom and decay and just like when the night is close on the heels of the day. In the end, life is fleeting. Enjoy yourself, but keep that in mind. The birds don't have to. They just do what they do. And maybe we should too. Sometimes we visit your country or live in your home. Sometimes we ride on your horses and sometimes we walk alone. They are the song that the morning brings. Maybe we are not so different from wild birds after all. I love the Grateful Dead.
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    hrobertson11
    4 years 6 months ago
    10/31/79
    I love these lyrical commentaries. Please keep them coming. It's hard to pick a favorite Eyes. I absolutely love Eyes from 74' with the extended form (i.e. GD movie, 6/16/74, 7/31/74, 5/21/74 etc.) but in terms of uniqueness and just crazy energy I have to go w/ 10/31/79 Nassau. Brent and Jerry are just on fire, I lover the disco beat on it and it's followed by probably my fav. GD space ever (I'm usually not a fan of drums and space but on this show they were smoking. 10/31/79 is just all together one of the best shows I've ever heard and for me the best part is the Eyes.
  • rrussell8
    5 years 6 months ago
    Mystic Eyes
    I see the key paradox in the song as the idea that we are the eyes of the world, and yet each heart has its own seasons, evenings and songs. This seems to be saturated with psychedelic wisdom, and evokes an early morning expedition when the world chuckles and sparkles the within you / without you nature of existence.
  • claney
    5 years 6 months ago
    Brent Songs
    Oh yes, I love Tons of Steel. While we're on the subject of Brent songs, I would love to eventually see a blog on "I Will Take You Home." Maybe it is having a four year old daughter, or maybe it is the fact that I always recall the picture of Brent smiling down at his little girl while he plays... but I love this tune.
  • antonjo
    5 years 6 months ago
    5-22-77
    That's funny, Claney, I was just listening to Dick's 3 a few days ago and noted that long intro! Was driving to work, so I was thinking it was the middle of the song and that I'd lost my place on the verses, when the first verse begun : ) Great one, indeed. Tons of Steel.........sure! So glad to hear that Marye loves it, given the raunch of some of the lyrics (but isn't that all the classic blues metaphors, anyway?).... A really well put-together song musically, I always enjoyed it, and seemed like the band did, too (Bob used to put harmonies on it live). Then it disappeared from the repertoire almost overnight.... I guess to make room for that next batch of Brent tunes?, the crown jewel of which was Blow Away. Having caught one of the only Gentlemen Starts, I always thought that was a lost gem, too.