Sunday, March 10, 2013

Beware: Candyman

Grateful Dead: Candyman (music only)
Grateful Dead: Candyman (interview)
Candyman: purchase link @ amazon

Searching through the SMM archives to see if this song had been done before, I found that although we have nigh on 20 Grateful Dead posts, this isn’t one of them. (Incidentally, to search SMM, type in your browser.)

Mississippi John Hurt, singing about the Candy Man back in 1928, warned his (lady) listeners “..dont stand too close … “ because the Candy Man had a stick of candy “just nine inch long”. The Grateful Dead, for their part, tell us to “Look out, look out” … “when I get back to Memphis, be one less man alive …” On your guard!

Actually, the Candyman’s reputation is either as a womanizer who’ll take your girl or alternatively, as a drug dealer who'll waste your life and take your money for his goods. In short, someone you definitely want to beware of. The Dead lyrics include references to both. In the interview above, Bob Weir calls the character of their version a “roomy persona”. Make of that what you will, but keep in mind that the date is ~ 1970.

The Dead's Candyman appeared first on their 1970 release American Beauty along with various other songs warning you about things you might want to steer clear of, for example, “Friend of the Devil.”

For your listening pleasure, I took the liberty of chopping up the original file hosted at into two parts: extracting the song itself from the longer file that begins with an interview with Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia – so’s you can choose to listen to them separately. You can find the full uncut copy here

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