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scar1et_f1re
Platinum Boarder
Posts:4900
R U Kind?

Black Throated Wind

#50395 3 years ago
At a recent Dark Star Orchestra show (Westbury NY - 2011) they played an entire show from Amsterdam, (1972 I believe). They happened to play a black throated wind that night, which blew my mind. I must have seen the dead do it a dozen or more times, but I never "got it" Until I heard DSO do it. Now I am hooked / obsessed trying to figure out what Barlow meant by the song. I even emailed John Barlow a couple of months ago, but no reply. I may try contacting him on Twitter, he send out tweets almost ever day (a cool guy to follow imo - another living legend).

I called into David Gans show of XM / Sirius a month or so ago and David said he envisions the Black Throated Wind is dirty smokestacks. Somethimes I agree, but other times I'm not so sure. Literly, the lyrics are "The black-throated wind keeps on pouring in With its words of a life where everything's new" etc. Not so sure smokestacks fit there.

IMO, the song is about Barlow being on the road, hitchhiking, but he is also obsessed with his woman ("Drowning in You"). I also know that Barlow is now separated / divorced from his wife, and imo his woman problems was one of the main themes in this song.

Does this song make any of you guys / gals wonder what it's about? Or do you have any thoughts? To me, this is now one of the deads finest tunes. A hidden gem. And gosh darn it, they surprised me with Comes a time in Bethel (My #1 song lately), followed by Black Throated Wind at Jones Beach.

Here's a recording of my brief call with David Gans that someone was kind enough to upload for me. BTW, you guys and gals may want to call into the show. It's on Sunday at ~ 4:40 - 6PM eastern time (double check the time if you want to call, you can see the site on facebook and maybe dead.net). They replay the show on Monday & ??? I had a friend record it on an i-phone and then upload it to youtube.





Bringing me down, I'm running aground
Blind in the light of the interstate cars
Passing me by, the buses and semis
Plunging like stones from a slingshot on Mars

But I'm here by the road, bound to the load
That I picked up in ten thousand cafes and bars
Alone with the rush of the drivers who won't pick me up
The highway, the moon, the clouds, and the stars

The black throated wind keeps on pouring in
With its words of a life where nothing is new

Ah, Mother American Night, I'm lost from the light
Oh I'm drowning in you

I left Saint Louis, City of Blues
In the midst of a storm I'd rather forget
I tried to pretend it came to an end
'Cause you weren't the woman I once thought I'd met

But I can't deny, that times have gone by
Where I never had doubts or thoughts of regrets
And I was a man when all this began
Who wouldn't think twice about being there yet

The black throated wind whispering sin,
And it speaks of a life that passes like dew
It forced me to see
That you've done better by me
Better by me than I've done by you

Now what's to found, racing around
You carry your pain wherever you go
Full of the blues, and trying to lose
You ain't going to learn what you don't want to know

So I give you my eyes, and all of their lies
Please help them to learn as well as to see
And capture a glance, whoa and make it a dance
Of looking at you looking at me

The black throated wind keeps on pouring in
With its words of a life that could almost be true
Ah, Mother American Night, here comes the light
I'm turning around that's what I'm going to do
Going back home that's what I'm gonna do

Some alternative words were tested out in 1990 but did not last:

Verse 2
Well, it's me and the road, yeah, we're unlocking the code
That will lead us to some as yet unforseen bar
Alone with the rush of the drivers who won't pick me up
The highway, the moon, the clouds and the stars

But I'm here by the road, yeah, unravelling the code
That will lead us to some as yet unforseen bar

Verse 3
The black-throated wind keeps on pouring in
Like a siren it promises everything new
Ah, Mother American Night, invisible light
Ohhh, I'm flying in you

The black-throated wind keeps on pouring in
With its words of a life where everything's new

Verse 4
I left St Louis, the City of Blues
On a screaming blue bender I'd rather forget
With no scars that show, the keys to the road
A couple of tens and some stale cigarettes

Verse 5
But I can't deny that times have gone by
Nothing is left but thoughts of regret
When I was a man, with so much in hand
That a bird in the bush would be singing there yet

But I can't deny that times have gone by
When being with her was as good as it gets

Verse 6
The black-throated wind, whispering sin
And speaking of life that passes like dew
It's led me to see if you want to be free
Have your way with each day as its granted to you

Verse 7
What's to be found, racing around
You carry your blues to the edge of the sky
Think a coyote could care about birds in the air?
Think a raven thinks coyotes should learn how to fly?

We drew lines all around us when I was down
So now mine turns out to go right to the sky

Verse 8
So I give you my eyes, they were just a disguise
Anyway where I'm going it's too dark to see
Yes, and toss me to Chance and watch me dance
Choreography certain as bats on the breeze

So I leave you my eyes ...

Verse 9
The black-throated wind keeps on pouring in
With it's words of a lie I think just might be true
Oh, Mother American Night, here comes the light
I'm going right on ahead, that's what I'm gonna do

The black-throated wind keeps on pouring in
The prophet that promises everything new
Ah, Mother American Night, come wrong or come right
I will always go onward in you
FFF! Family is Forever!!!

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
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wlewis
Platinum Boarder
Posts:6472

Re: Black Throated Wind

#50504 3 years ago
the guy splits with girl for whatever reason, most likely her kicking him out to the streets...what sucks so bad is that he didn't see it coming, he doesn't fully understand the situation..and now he realizes how much he took for granted...and possibly face the reality she is better of without him
who else is gonna bring you, a broken arrow?
maredwar
Junior Boarder
Posts:133

Re: Black Throated Wind

#50543 3 years ago
While he's on the side of the road sucking in fumes he realizes he's the one that screwed up but he was blaming everything on her.

I tried to pretend it came to an end
'Cause you weren't the woman I once thought I'd met

It forced me to see
That you've done better by me
Better by me than I've done by you
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Gr8fulauditors
Junior Boarder
Posts:184

Re: Black Throated Wind

#50545 3 years ago
Where did those extra verses come from?Anybody have Weir singing them?
At least I'm still enjoying the ride !!!!!
DancingBear
Senior Boarder
Posts:306

Re: Black Throated Wind

#50548 3 years ago
dude...i love BTW as well......and i would have to concur wit the others fully.

My all time favorite version is when Furthur did it at binghamton
Can't talk to you without talkin' to me. Were guilty of the same ol' things.
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arjanstar
Junior Boarder
Posts:51

Re: Black Throated Wind

#50549 3 years ago
Been there!

I LOVE BTW!!!! Probably my favorite Bobby tune... I "got it" well after Jerry passed on, listening to a bootleg. I suddenly heard the verse: I give you my eyes, and all of their lies.... looking at you, lookin at me" And I thought about how we project things on the people close to us and sometimes it can be hard to tell in a tense situation if it is "you" or "me" with the issue. Plus, what a wonderful prayer: "please help them to look as well as to see" Nails it!

I go through phases of listening to it over and over. Sometimes I listen to many versions in a row while I'm on a long ride. I just love it!
Feel good music in your soul. Make your body want to Rock and Roll!
illuminaughty
Platinum Boarder
Posts:1555

Re: Black Throated Wind

#50561 3 years ago
my all time fav. hitchhiking song. i sing it to myself whenever im out there, with the drivers that wont pick me up..
Chester
Moderator
Posts:32992
More or less in line

Re: Black Throated Wind

#50563 3 years ago
Gr8fulauditors wrote:
Where did those extra verses come from?Anybody have Weir singing them?


From the complete annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics;
"First performance, march 5th 1972, at winterland in San Francisco. It was played failry regularly until 1974,
then dropped from the repertoire, until march 16th 1990. It remained something of a concert rarity, as Weir and Barlow
experimented with a new set of words for awhile, eventually returning to the original lyrics."

I remember the new lyrics from a performance in Albany March 26th, 1990. Which was my first BTW.
I can't come down, it's plain to see.
I can't come down, I've been set free.
Who you are, and what you do,
don't make no difference to me.
Last Edit: 3 years ago by Chester.
MushroomMan
Platinum Boarder
Posts:8140

Re: Black Throated Wind

#50564 3 years ago
great song, I'm hoping for it at one of the 3 acoustic shows I'm attending....

www.tristudios.com/default/index/detail/id/12

-love that version, I've watched it so many times
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Chester
Moderator
Posts:32992
More or less in line

Re: Black Throated Wind

#50565 3 years ago
Always one of my favorites. I was only able to attend one Furthur show in the spring, and it was that Binghamton show.
I think "Black throated wind" is just a reference to the night. Being alone. On the road. The night "whispering sin. With it's
words of a life where nothing is new". Who hasn't felt that way?
I can't come down, it's plain to see.
I can't come down, I've been set free.
Who you are, and what you do,
don't make no difference to me.
Last Edit: 3 years ago by Chester.
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