Black Peter

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

All of my friends come to see me last night
I was laying in my bed and dying
Annie Beauneu from Saint Angel (note 1)
Say "the weather down here so fine"

Just then the wind came squalling through the door (note 2)
But who can the weather command
Just want to have a little peace to die
And a friend or two I love at hand

Fever roll up to a hundred and five
Roll on up, gonna roll back down
One more day I find myself alive
Tomorrow maybe go beneath the ground

See here how everything
Lead up to this day
And it's just like any other day
That's ever been
Sun going up and then
The sun going down
Shine through my window
And my friends they come around
Come around, come around

The people might know, but the people don't care
That a man can be as poor as me (note 3)
Take a look at poor Peter, he's lying in pain
Now let's come run and see
Run and see
Run and see
Run, run and see, and see

(1) There seems to be some confusion over the spelling of "Beauneu." That is the spelling used by Hunter in his books of lyrics "Box Of Rain." But the spelling in the sheet music as originally published ("Grateful Dead" with music for Workingman's Dead and American Beauty) is "Bonneau", which sounds closer to what Garcia sings. That spelling is also used in the sheet music in "Anthology Vol II." But just to make matters even more confusing, the spelling in "Selections From Workingman's Dead" is "Beuneau" - almost certainly a mistake I would guess!
(2) Some of the songbooks have "... squalling through the dark", but this seems to be a mistake: the lyrics in Hunter's "Box Of Rain" have "... through the door" and that sounds to be what Garcia sings.
(3) in the performance from 8 July 1990 on View From The Vault, Jerry sings "That a man could be as strong as me." I believe he may also have sung that on other occasions around that time. (thanks to Todd Prusin for pointing this out to me).

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     12 Dec 1969 Dave's Picks Volume 10
     21 Dec 1969 Dave's Picks Volume 6 (Bonus disc)
     26 Dec 1969 Dave's Picks Volume 43
     Studio 1970 Workingman's Dead (note 4)
      2 Jan 1970 Dave's Picks Volume 30
     10 Jan 1970 Workingman's Dead (note 5)
     18 Jan 1970 Download Series Vol 2
     23 Jan 1970 Dave's Picks Volume 19
     24 Jan 1970 Dave's Picks Volume 19
      2 Feb 1970 Dave's Picks Volume 6
      4 Feb 1970 Download Series: A Night At The Family Dog
     11 Feb 1970 30 Days Of The Dead (2012)
     13 Feb 1970 Bear's Choice (History Of The Grateful Dead Vol 1)
     28 Feb 1970 30 Days Of The Dead (2022)
     1 Mar 1970 30 Days Of The Dead (2022)
      2 May 1970 Dick's Picks Vol 8
     15 May 1970 Road Trips Vol 3 No 3 (late show)
     22 Oct 1971 Dave's Picks Volume 3
     24 Oct 1971 30 Days Of The Dead (2019)
     12 Nov 1971 30 Days Of The Dead (2013)
      6 Dec 1971 Dave's Picks Volume 22 (bonus disc)
      9 Dec 1971 Listen To The River: St Louis '71 '72 73
     14 Dec 1971 Dave's Picks Volume 26 (bonus disc)
     31 Dec 1971 New Year's Eve At The Winterland
     24 May 1972 Steppin' Out with the Grateful Dead: England '72 (note 6)
     25 Aug 1972 Dave's Picks Volume 24
     21 Sep 1972 Dick's Picks Vol 36
     17 Oct 1972 Listen To The River: St Louis '71 '72 73
     22 Jun 1973 Pacific Northwest '73-'74
     26 Jun 1973 Pacific Northwest '73-'74
     23 Jun 1974 Dave's Picks Volume 34
     19 Oct 1974 Grateful Dead Movie (CD only)
     1 Oct 1977 Dave's Picks Volume 45
     16 Oct 1977 Road Trips Volume 1, Number 2
     29 Oct 1977 Dave's Picks Vol 33
      5 Nov 1977 Dick's Picks Vol 34
     24 Apr 1978 Dave's Picks Volume 7
      7 Jul 1978 July 1978: The Complete Recordings
     27 Oct 1979 30 Trips Around The Sun
      6 Nov 1979 Road Trips Full Show: Spectrum 11/6/79
      9 Dec 1979 Dave's Picks Vol 47
      7 May 1980 Road Trips Volume 3, Number 4
      3 Sep 1980 Download Series Vol 7
     28 Nov 1980 30 Trips Around The Sun
     21 Sep 1982 In And Out Of The Garden
      2 Sep 1983 Dave's Picks Volume 27
     12 Oct 1983 In And Out Of The Garden
     27 Apr 1985 Dave's Picks Vol 49
     26 Mar 1987 Dave's Picks Volume 36
     12 Jul 1989 RFK Stadium 1989 Box
     14 Mar 1990 Spring 1990 (The Other One)
     25 Mar 1990 Dozin' At The Knick (note 7)
      8 Jul 1990 View From The Vault (video/DVD & CD soundtrack)
     19 Jul 1990 Dave's Picks Volume 40
     25 Mar 1991 30 Days Of The Dead (2023)
     16 Jun 1991 Giants Stadium 1987, 1989, 1991 Boxed Set

(Plus live recordings by The Dead, Furthur, Dead & Company, Ratdog, Phil Lesh & Friends etc not listed here. See Grateful Dead Family Discography for a full list.)
Other Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     1989 Fiddlehead Blues Randy Sabien
      1989 Classical Music The Palookas
      9 Aug 1995 Stolen Roses Patti Smith Band
     1996 DeadBeats Acoustic DeadBeats
      2000 Live In Amsterdam Billy Goodman
      2001 Solo Acoustic David Gans
      2001 Blues Tribute To The Grateful Dead Various (Richie and the Pocket Rockets)
      2001 Built To Grass Grass Is Dead
     2003 Solo Acoustic David Gans
      8 Feb 2006 Live At The Fillmore Grateful Grass
     2007 At Fine Arts Center, UMass The American Beauty Project
     2007 Live At The Starlight 07 Mo Pair and the Ugly Mooks
     2008 30 Years Jake's Leg
     2008 Fennario: Songs by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter Emory Joseph
     2008 Piano Expressions Lore Constantine
     2009 Henry Kaiser Plays Dead David Gans and Henry Kaiser
     2009 Piano Expressions Lorne Constantine
     2009 Hiding Under The Covers Alison Scott
     2010 At Page Auditorium, Duke University The American Beauty Project
     2014 Steel Drivin' Man Joe Goldmark with John McFee
     2010 Dead To The Core Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers
     2015 It's A Hand-Me-Down David Gans
     2015 Songs Of Their Own Pete Lavezzoli
     2016 Songs To Fill The Air (WFMU Pledge Drive) Matt Valentine
     2016 Day Of The Dead Anohni and yMusic
     2019 Dead Air Scott Miller
     2020 Bodhisattva Blues Reverend Freakchild

(4) also on the compilation What A Long Strange Trip It's Been
(5) included as a bonus track on remastered album, first released as part of the box set The Golden Road (1965-1973)
(6) also on the box set Europe '72 - The Complete Recordings
(7) also in Spring 1990 (The Other One)

Further Information
For an online discussion of the lyrics to this song see the deadsongs.vue conference on The Well.
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography
For information on references in the lyrics see David Dodd's Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
For David Dodd's discussion of this song on see Greatest Stories Ever Told
For online chords and TAB see
For sheet music, see:
          Grateful Dead Anthology Volume 2 (piano arrangement)
          Grateful Dead Authentic Guitar Classics Volume 1 (guitar TAB)
          Grateful Dead Songbook Volume 1 (piano arrangement)
          Garcia/Hunter Songbook (vocal line and chords/TAB)


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