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Groundhog Day, Grateful Dead & Sobriety…What song to repeat each morning?

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

You: "OK, tOM, how ya gonna connect these threads?"

Me: Slow down and allow me to "Phil" in the missing pieces...

We’re gonna have some fun…

…BUT…First a public announcement

Remember today is NOT, same ol’…same ol’… but...

...more Nina Simone below...

A tale of a Bill & 2 Phil’s…

Post began as I searched for "Groundhog Day and Grateful Dead" and was rewarded with the image on the left. The Facebook poster asked:

"What Grateful Dead song would you repeat each morning?"


My Song Choice: Uncle John’s Band

The lyrics are Dead-on about how life really is…and, when I told Eileen about the Facebook post (see image above) and asked her "What do you think my song will be"...she broke right into some of its oft-cited phrases around our domicile. She really knows me...and after all these years..."Who knows where the time goes..."

Let's let Phil take the lead and tell us about Uncle John...

Before reading the posts comments and links, please read the words and focus on the ones that might catch your attention... I've highlighted in red, the ones that call to this time...who knows where

Uncle John's Band

Lyrics By: Robert Hunter

Music By: Jerry Garcia

"Well the first days are the hardest days, don't you worry any more 'Cause when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door Think this through with me, let me know your mind Wo-oh, what I want to know is, are you kind? It's a buck dancer's choice my friend, better take my advice You know all the rules by now, and the fire from the ice Will you come with me, won't you come with me? Wo-oh, what I want to know, will you come with me? God damn, well I declare, have you seen the like? Their walls are built of cannon balls Their motto is 'don't" tread on me' Come hear Uncle John's Band, playing to the tide Come with me or go alone He's come to take his children home It's the same story the crow told me, it's the only one he knows Like the morning sun you come and like the wind you go Ain't no time to hate, barely time to wait Wo-oh, what I want to know, where does the time go? I live in a silver mine and I call it beggar's tomb I got me a violin and I beg you call the tune Anybody's choice, I can hear your voice Wo-oh, what I want to know, how does the song go? Come hear Uncle John's Band, by the river side Got some things to talk about Here beside the rising tide

My Favorite Cover Version

"It's not that far from Parrothead to Deadhead..."

- Jimmy Buffett

--the steel-drummin' fun starts with "Wipeout" (02:18), segues into UJB...and closes with a line from "Stairway to Heaven"... (Hint: I'll get the Led out in an upcoming post.)

***32 years ago..."who knows where the time goes...?"

Groundhog Day, Grateful Dead & Sobriety...

First day principle...Relapsed? Start again at Step 1 ("well the first days are the hardest days...")

Wharf Rats Sober Deadheads

I've included Wharf Rats in several posts. Here's a recent one from December 2022.

Witches Brew Coffee House (W. Hempstead) Thurs. A.A. Group (11-12 noon) 311 Hempstead Turnpike

--they graciously open for us an hour before opening for the public.

You can read more about this "grate" neighborhood eatery by going to my blog and searching for "Witches Brew."

Shadow Work

[all the following is from the article] Shadow work is a psychological practice developed by Carl Jung that teaches techniques to work with your shadow self to reduce the negative effects plaguing your life and to separate and integrate parts of yourself into a single whole.

It’s meant to promote emotional healing and help you find peace with yourself. (And let’s be honest, couldn’t we all use some of that?)

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. -Carl Jung

Shadow work allows you to feel a much greater sense of personal agency and power in the world. It’s a kind of personal development that helps you accept yourself more fully, warts and all.

Shadow work also allows you to do some important deep healing. It shines a light on the good, bad, and ugly bits.

This is helpful because acknowledging the less-than-beautiful parts of ourselves allows us to express these characteristics in a healthier way, instead of suppressing or bottling them up until these feelings and emotions manifest in uncontrollable, unhealthy, and in some cases, even dangerous behaviors.

For Furthur DEADification...

Searching for "Groundhog Day and karma" bore this fruit...

[from the article]

"It’s a genuinely hilarious film that glimpses deep truths..."

"It’s a grand metaphor some scholars see as Buddhist, Christian or secularly philosophical. It’s also directly, practically applicable to how you spend your day today, and everyday."

The next two are from my source for all things DEAD...

[from this "Grate" exposition] “'Uncle John’s Band' is yet another Robert Hunter / Jerry Garcia composition that carries within it enough room to consider the universe and our lives in the universe — it seems to be a universe itself. From its opening lines, which can serve as either / both warning and / or encouragement, to its gentle invitation to “come with me,” the song resonates in our lives fairly continuously if we want it to."

The remainder of David's post will help you see a little more WHY I've come late in the journey to appreciate the life lessons in the band's lyrics...

My friend Steve B says it this way:

"There's a Grateful Dead song for every occasion..."

Includes these notes:

--"Included by Jim Henke, chief curator for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, on his list of the 500 most influential songs in Rock and Roll history."

"Blair Jackson, in Golden Road, issue 8 (Fall, 1985) had this to say:

'The warm feeling of this 'Uncle John's' was palpable; in a lot of ways it's THE SONG, if you know what I mean--the anthem...' (p. 19)"

Other songs about themes from UJB...

--beautiful visuals

--the story behind the song and its writer - Sandy Denny

When Phil started heeding the messages about changing his behavior, the morning wake up music started changing...

These next two were from the movie's soundtrack. "I Got You, Babe" played on the bedside radio every morning at 6:00 AM...UNTIL weatherman Phil Collins (Bill Murray) began learning to let go off some of his egocentricity and start caring for the people around him.

Once Phil starts changing his self-centered behavior, a new song starts playing every morning at 6:00 AM...

Here's LIFE's final test question AND ANSWER...


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