deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #51 of 71: David Gans (tnf) Wed 16 Dec 09 20:54

Caller to my show on KPFA says there's a county up near the Washington/B.C.
border - with Maple Falls and Glacier - is it Whatcom County?  That is
nicknamed Bigfoot County.
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #52 of 71: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 17 Dec 09 09:10

Since I live next to Whatcom, in Skagit County, and had never heard
this, so I asked my editor friend from the Bellingham Herald:

As you may remember, Scott, I am also a librarian at Whatcom Community
I can't let this question go!
From our archives:
Digital Run Date:        
Text:   Bigfoot comes to Bellingham



Calling all Sasquatch fans: A Sasquatch Research Conference will be
held in Bellingham May 27-29 at the Hampton Inn, 3985 Bennett Drive.

The event will feature what organizers say is evidence and eyewitness
accounts of Sasquatch, as well as panel discussions, demonstrations,
Bigfoot paraphernalia, artwork, and an auction and raffle, according to
a news release.

Admission for the weekend is $40 if paid this week, and $50 after.

For more information, go to www.sasquatch, or contact
Jason Valenti at (360) 758-2443 or Jason@sasquatch


Shortly after the incident, Beckjord founded the Sasquatch Research
Project and encountered Bigfoot three more times. He wasn't alone: 175
people on the reservation, including Lummi Law and Order Sgt. Ken
Cooper, had a similar experience around the same time, according to a
Bellingham Herald story from Nov. 13, 1975.

In 1992, the Whatcom County Council declared the county a "Sasquatch
protection and refuge area, " and a Herald editorial last year urged
residents to "be nice to him." Not necessary, Beckjord says.

"Bigfoot cannot be killed, " says Beckjord, who adds that the roof of
his Berkeley, Calif., residence boasts an 18-by-24-foot American flag
that may be seen from space. "He might hypnotize you and cause you to
kill yourself - he has mental powers that are very strong."

October and November are prime Bigfoot-spotting months, Beckjord says.
Bigfoot will not come out of hiding if searchers carry guns but might
if they have cancer or are on their honeymoon.

"No one knows why, " Beckjord says.

Digital Run Date:        
Text:   Bigfoot Fest favors frolic over fact-finding

COMMUNITY: New president of Foothills Chamber of Commerce will



MAPLE FALLS - When Tom Pitman became president of Mount Baker
Foothills Chamber of Commerce in February, he expected to coordinate
chamber meetings, schedule speakers and promote local businesses. But
rub elbows with Bigfoot?

The ninth annual Bigfoot at Baker Fest will be held Saturday and
Sunday at Maple Falls. Pitman, a relative newcomer to the area, is
festival chairman because of his position as chamber president.

"I'm completely in the blind about the whole project, " he said. "If
it weren't for all the people who have organized this festival for
years, I'd be lost."

Pitman, 54, and his wife, Mary, moved to Whatcom County two years ago
and bought The Glen at Maple Falls, a resort community. He's worked in
real estate, appraisal and business plan development while living in
Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Alaska. He still speaks with
the slight drawl of his home state.

Pitman manages the Glen and teaches a course on small business startup
for Bellingham Technical College. He speaks freely and confidently
when it comes to the need for more local control over zoning and
business growth, the future of cottage industries and pressure on
Peaceful Valley and Paradise Lakes to incorporate.

He's less sure-footed when it comes to Bigfoot.

He's heard one legend that claims Bigfoot is Cain, who in biblical
stories murdered his brother, Abel. Scripture says God punished Cain by
making him "a restless wanderer on the earth."

Pitman said he's heard reports that Bigfoot once identified himself to
a startled onlooker by saying, "I am the Cain."

"That would certainly lend some seriousness to the whole thing, if it
were true, " he said.

There isn't much serious about the festival, a blend of entertainment,
community activities, and jokes, and a tribute to the legendary 7- to
8-foot tall, hairy, ape-like creature.

"We're hoping to have a sighting, " Pitman said. "We know at least one
Bigfoot is moving around the place. In fact, people can have dinner
with him at Frosty's at 5 p.m. Saturday."

Eileen Foster, the owner of Frosty Inn at Maple Falls, said her cook
is practicing Bigfoot pancakes (shaped like a large foot, of course)
for the festival crowd, and Bigfoot drawings by customers' children
line the walls of her restaurant for the occasion.

"There are a lot of true Sasquatch followers who come up here for the
festival, even though they know it's half a joke with us, " she said
with a laugh. "Now I didn't say a whole joke! Only half a joke."

Her daughter, Tracy Willis, dresses as Mrs. Bigfoot for the festival
and certain Cub Scout events. Mr. Bigfoot is scheduled to join Frosty's
customers for dinner Saturday and for breakfast Sunday.

Foster said visitors especially enjoy the two-block-long parade
featuring firetrucks, log trucks, kids in costume and a band with
bagpipers. The parade is led by Bigfoot, of course.

"Quite a few of the kids think Bigfoot is for real, " she said. "It's
kind of neat."


BIGFOOT SIGHTING: Wayne Beech (left) and Tom Pitman are among the
organizers of this weekend's Bigfoot at Baker Fest, sponsored by the
Mount Baker Foothills Chamber of Commerce.

But, then, David Dodds has this Bigfoot Annotation about Del Norte
County in California:

Bigfoot County
There is no Bigfoot County in the United States. The closest is a town
named Bigfoot in Texas.

Follow this link for more information about the mythical Bigfoot.

And here's a note from a reader:

    Subject: brown-eyed women-bigfoot county
    Date: Wed, 02 Apr 1997 20:45:42 -0800
    From: doug shipley

    Hello David,

    A fellow traveler turned me on to this cool project and I thought
I'd send you my interpretation of the line "tumbledown shack in Bigfoot
County". I've always taken that to be the nick name of the county just
south of my own Jackson Co. on the California/Oregon border- Del Norte
or Humbolt County being popular places where Bigfoot was seen in the
early days of timber and mining activity . Plus when it snows there it

    Brown-eyed Women is one of my favorite songs, it reminds me of my
father, I tend to cry every time I hear it.

deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #53 of 71: David Gans (tnf) Thu 17 Dec 09 10:29

Nothing in there about anyone actually referring to Whatcom County as
"Bigfoot County," though.
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #54 of 71: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 17 Dec 09 10:45
...and since most of the Bigfoot activities there were well after
Hunter penned the lyrics in the early '70s, it's highly doubtful that
he was thinking of Whatcom County at the time, or Del Norte for that
matter.  Other than Northwest Indian myths surrounding
Dzoonikwa/Sasquatch, most of the interest/publicity in Bigfoot didn't
start until the 1970s.  I remember some guy with a film in 1972 or so,
supposedly shot near Mount St. Helens before it blew, showing Bigfoot
walking along a river beach.

Does RH ever comment with much specificity on the inspiration of his
lyrics, such as "It Must Have Been the Roses" coming from the Faulkner
short story? It seems that he likes to maintain a veil of lyrical
ambiguity for the most part.
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #55 of 71: Tim Lynch (masonskids) Thu 17 Dec 09 19:49
Bigfoot County is easy enough to find..

What you want to do is to go north on old U.S. 66. Just past Cíbola
Road, take a left into Hunter's Gap and head east along Garcia Ridge.
Keep an eye on the horison for the begonia fields, and you'll have
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #56 of 71: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Thu 17 Dec 09 20:26
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #57 of 71: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Sat 19 Dec 09 11:31
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #58 of 71: David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 21 Dec 09 13:32
Another mystery solved. Or?
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #59 of 71: David Dodd (ddodd) Fri 7 Jan 11 19:09
A note came to me today from Oliver Trager on Facebook:

Hey David,
Good to hear from re: my blog.
Coincidentally, I came across this re: "Brown Eyed Women" -- thought
you might be interested:
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #60 of 71: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Wed 12 Jan 11 22:47

From TCM on The Man With the Golden Arm, 1955, Otto Preminger Producer
/ Director, starring Frank Sinatra, Eleanor Parker, Kim Novak:

The film's score, which was Elmer Bernstein's first jazz score, became
a best-selling soundtrack record and is considered by many sources to
be one of the most important film scores of the 1950s. The McGuire
Sisters released a vocal version of the distinctive main theme, called
"Delilah Jones," with lyrics by Sylvia Fine.
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #61 of 71: David Dodd (ddodd) Thu 13 Jan 11 15:23
Yeah! Fun how this stuff keeps piling up...  Billy Collins has a
wonderful poem about how the work of poets will only be complete when
everything in the world has been compared to everything else in the
world, which always makes me think of the line "I have spent my life
seeking all that's still unsung..."
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #62 of 71: David Dodd (ddodd) Fri 7 Jun 13 10:32
My deadnet blog post for this week is about "Brown-Eyed Women." I
always the love the conversation that ensues in the comments on these

Also, found a very fun video on YouTube of a guy covering the song,
with an intro that just cracked me up:
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #63 of 71: Tim Lynch (masonskids) Fri 7 Jun 13 12:22
That is funny, thanks!!!
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #64 of 71: David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 15 Jul 13 11:22
Posted on behalf of Chris Hardman:

I've been wondering about Hunter's selection of red grenadine in the
chorus of this song. It scans beautifully, of course - which may be
reason enough - but it is a relatively sophisticated drink compared to
the moonshine and rotgut elsewhere in the song.
Grenadine was originally made from pomegranate juice, sugar and water
(although now often a cocktail of chemical flavourings). The
pomegranate was seen as a symbol of fecundity and bounty by many
cultures and religions - Delilah had at least eight kids - and the
ancient Greeks considered them the fruit of the dead.
I find it easy to believe Hunter was fully aware of both these facts
when he wrote the lyrics.

[and further, via a second email]:

The reason for my cogitation was that I nominated it as a 'Song About
Whisk(e)y' on the Guardian newspaper's weekly Readers Recommend blog
this week. I've always thought of it as (just!) another exquisite
Hunter tale of American domestic tragedy with Delilah's death at its
heart (a view bolstered by the Garcia/Hunter custom of the bridge being
the kernel of the song). But it may be more about the role of drink in
American domestic tragedy, with a Hogarthian flavour, the timeframe of
which is defined so perfectly in Hunter's second verse:
Nineteen twenty when he stepped to the bar
Drank to the dregs of the whiskey jar
Nineteen thirty when the Wall caved in
He made his way selling red-eyed gin
Each of these two couplets defines, in sequence: the decade, the
economic/social situation and what Jack was up to (stated in terms of
the quality of alcohol involved). Before this verse/time, Jack worked
the fields and attracted the ladies; after it, his life's work is as a
professional hooch-maker. In the meantime, his family has been
destroyed (literally, in Delilah's case). All Jack has left to do is
get old.
As so often happens, the more you look at Hunter lyrics, the more you
hear and see. Whether any of this was actually in his head at the time
he wrote them, well....
PS. I'm sure there's more to the chorus, too, but I can't bottom it.
The liquor inside the bottle is good and clean (like brown-eyed
Delilah, the personification of 'red grenadine'?) but the outside is
dirty and troubled by storms (like Jack?). And the first couplet is so
strong and the second so weak; another Delilah/Jack female/male
comparison....? C.
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #65 of 71: Steve Biederman (sbied) Mon 15 Jul 13 13:30
I've wondered, did RH intentionally imply that the narrator is seeing
through rose-colored glasses when he says "and he made it well", when
the next line contradicts it with "and it burned like hell", or did he
just accept the good rhyme and not think about the contradiction?
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #66 of 71: perry rice (perryrice) Mon 15 Jul 13 13:34
contradiction? Good whiskey is supposed to make your nerves crackle
some on the way down.
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #67 of 71: coal will turn to gray (comet) Mon 15 Jul 13 22:55
This is one of the songs that rattles around in my brain in my
advancing dotage.  

"Gone are the days when the ox fall down, 
pick up the yoke and plow the fields around."

This is a song for the ages.

"The bottle was dusty but the liquor was clean."
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #68 of 71: Alex Allan (alexallan) Tue 16 Jul 13 10:48
On 2 November 1998, Robert Hunter sang some additional verses that
expand the story - they focus it more on the narrator and the family.
Unfortunately, the recording (on has so much audience
noise that the lyrics are very hard to make out. But as best as I can
decipher them:

[?] my older brother, his name was Ben
My sister died at the age of ten
We followed up to the burying ground
Was the first time Daddy's tears hit the ground

First came school, and then came the law
[...] and the wall [...]
But I grew up just a little too slow
I moved over into Arkansas

When I went back it was twenty years' later
Tears were falling at the place again

Interesting, but I prefer the starkness and simplicity of the lyrics
we know.
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #69 of 71: Brett Wilbur (silentscream) Fri 19 Jul 13 19:52
I am wary of interpreting any song in a way that others may find
appealing or appalling.  We all have our own inner worlds that we build
up with memory and belief and faith. But I love this song and have
spent many days dreaming in the sunshine about what it means.  So here
is a stab at it, take it for what it’s worth.  All of which is only my
opinion, and I tend to humanize or anthropomorphize the lyrics into
visual images.  It’s a curse, I could f*** it up for everyone. OR, I
could be totally off base.  Just trying to add to the conversation.

Anyway, I think this is a song about growing old; it is a song about
mortality. Time stretches out in the song, both musically and
lyrically. Could be a reference to Jerry’s father, but doesn’t imply
any quickness of death, just a passage of time.  It does begin with
"gone are the days" which emphasizes the past, days gone by. This sets
the melancholy tone for a reversal of time, a glance to the past.  A
glance that while you are looking backward, the future approaches. Few
plow their fields with oxen anymore, maybe some, but not most.  Even
the oxen have gotten old. I’m not a musician but if you could trace a
sequence of chords or notes going forward and backward at the same time
I wouldn’t be surprised.

Now this dude, Jack Jones, fell on hard times, the wall falling down I
think to mean Wall Street and the age of depression.  But perhaps too
it means his own surficial walls collapsed and he became vulnerable.

On a side note, Jack Jones, the real one, made popular a song by Don
Rollins in 1965, called The Race is On, perhaps another reference to
growing old, just as does the line "and it looks like the old man's
getting on."

No, I can't find any connection between a real Jack Jones and a
Delilah Jones, who we are to assume are married or related somehow, but
there is a Delilah Jones who was a burlesque dancer in the late 50's
and 60's.  Can't tell if she had any kids.  The narrator must be one of
her children.

Now moving on, of course, the line “the bottle was dusty but the
liquor was clean” IMO, refers again to the aging of the body while the
inner soul stays clear and strong.  Actually ripens with time.
Premonition for the later Whiskey in the Jar cover.

Bigfoot County, as <masonskids> mentioned (#55), you can read about
the myth at I believe this is a state of mind. 
It is both in California, and somewhere in Texas, but most likely in
the Appalachians where the stills are still running today.  Who knows,
maybe it is a reference to Stephen Stills.  But it is a lyrical hook,
no doubt, because” the tumbled down shack” is an obvious reference to
the aging body as I see it, and that it “snowed so hard the roof caved
in” is a literal metaphor for the aging mind succumbing to external
(social, physical) pressure.

OK, here is where I get trippy.  I have always believed that RH was
writing specifically to Jerry.  So all songs are written to him, though
Jerry sang them verbatim.  Which makes it seem like Jerry is singing
to someone else, or duh, us, the audience, or we personalize it and
relate it to our life and project it on someone else. No one could have
written such deep and meaningful words without directing them towards
someone real.  It shows the depth of Hunters love and respect, I think.

As far as the line “sound of the thunder with the rain pouring down”
is Phil and Bobby beating the shit out of it. And, therefore, I think
Jerry was the lightning, Phil was the thunder, and Bobby was the rain
and snow.  Check it out. Check it out across the board.  “If the
thunder doesn’t get you then the lightning will.”
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #70 of 71: David Gans (tnf) Wed 25 Dec 19 20:02
deadsongs.vue.30 : Brown Eyed Women
permalink #71 of 71: David Dodd (ddodd) Thu 2 Jan 20 08:54
Pretty great comment thread there!

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