The Grateful Dead Clubhouse Projects

The Best Of Bird Song

Bird Song

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

All I know is something like a bird within her sang
All I know she sang a little while and then flew on
Tell me all that you know
I'll show you
Snow and rain

If you hear that same sweet song again, will you know why?
Anyone who sings a tune so sweet is passing by
Laugh in the sunshine
Sing, cry in the dark
Fly through the night

Don't cry now
Don't you cry
Don't you cry any more
La da da da

Sleep in the stars
Don't you cry
Dry your eyes on the wind
La da da da da da

All I know is something like a bird within her sang
All I know she sang a little while and then flew on
Tell me all that you know
I'll show you
Snow and rain

Robert Hunter originally wrote the song as a tribute for Janis Joplin. Phil Lesh now sings "All I know is something like a bird within him sang," as an homage to Jerry Garcia.

The Annotated Bird Song

This list differs from the list in the GD Taper's Compendium in what Ribot_for_President calls "good taste and common sense." As with the Top 100 GD shows, the Best Versions project isn't necessarily definitive, and it’s not an invitation to debate. It’s a list of solid versions that you all ought to hear.

Additional Resources of Calculated Info

Project List

Sound Calculations

Investment Operations

Annual Gatherings

Assembling Annuities

And now...

The Top 10 Of Bird Song:

8/27/72 - Old Renaissance Faire Grounds, Veneta, OR - SBD

10/18/72 - Fox Theatre, St. Louis, MO - SBD

11/19/72 - Hofheinz Pavilion, Houston, TX - SBD

3/22/73 - Utica Memorial Auditorium, Utica, NY - SBD

6/22/73 - P.N.E. Coliseum, Vancouver, B.C., Canada - SBD

3/7/81 - Cole Field House, U. of Maryland, College Park, MD - Jim Wise AUD

9/12/81 - Greek Theatre, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - Jim Wise AUD

10/17/83 - Olympic Center, Lake Placid, NY - SBD

10/3/87 - Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA - SBD: Bertha Remaster

4/1/91 - Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC - SBD

Honorable Mention:

9/10/72 - Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA - SBD

9/7/73 - Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY - SBD

6/19/88 - Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, WI - SBD; AUD

12/9/89 - Great Western Forum, Inglewood, CA - SBD

12/12/94 - Oakland Coliseum Arena, Oakland, CA - AUD

Historically Significant:

2/19/71 - Capitol Theater, Port Chester, NY (First Time Played) - Three From The Vault; AUD

7/27/73 - Grand Prix Racecourse, Watkins Glen, NY (Watkins Glen soundcheck) - SBD

9/25/80 - Warfield Theater, San Francisco, CA (Bustout) - SBD

11/30/80 - Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA (Electric Bustout) - SBD/AUD

3/29/90 - Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY (w/Branford Marsalis ) - SBD

12/31/90 - Oakland Coliseum Arena, Oakland, CA (w/Branford Marsalis) - SBD

4/28/91 - Sam Boyd Silver Bowl, U.N.L.V., Las Vegas, NV (w/Carlos Santana) - SBD

9/22/93 - Madison Square Garden, New York, NY (w/David Murray) - SBD

6/30/95 - Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA (Last Time Played) - AUD


In 1980, the Grateful Dead played a series of shows at San Francisco's Warfield Theater (9/25-10/14/80) and New York's Radio City Music Hall (10/22-31/80). These runs produced two live albums: the acoustic Dead Reckoning (aka Reckoning, aka For the Faithful) and the live Dead Set.

Each show featured three sets - one acoustic set, followed by two electric sets. The first Warfield show brought the return of Bird Song, which was shelved after 9/15/73 - (SBD) the last pre-retirement Bird Song, and the last until 9/25/80 (link above under Historically Significant).

10/6/80 - SBD - was our consensus choice for best acoustic '80 Bird Song.
9/30/80 - AUD - was the DireWolf600 choice.

Oh, and don't forget 10/16/81 - SBD.

Bobby's Amsterdam Birthday show, and the last acoustic Bird Song, and arguably Historically Significant for that reason.

Official Releases featuring Bird Song:

1971-04-28 - Ladies And Gentleman ... The Grateful Dead
1972(Studio) - Garcia (Jerry Garcia)
1972-07-22 - Download Series #10
1972-09-17 - Dick's Picks #23
1972-09-21 - Dick's Picks #36
1972-09-27 - Dick's Picks #11
1980(Sep/Oct) - Reckoning
1980-10-30 - Dead Ahead (video/DVD)
1987-07-24 - View From The Vault IV (DVD & CD soundtrack)
1987-12-31 - Ticket To New Year's (video/DVD only)
1989-12-09 - Without A Net
1990-03-29 - So Many Roads (1965-1995)

Janis Joplin

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