Saturday, December 12, 2009
Jerry Garcia leads the Grateful Dead in "Peggy-O" on June 26, 1994, in Las Vegas. The band started playing this traditional Scottish tune in the early 1970s. In "Folk Songs and Allusions to Folk Songs in the Repertoire of the Grateful Dead," Josephine McQuail writes, "All of the versions considered together suggest the story of a love affair between a travelling enemy soldier and a local girl which is thwarted by the girl's ambitious mother who wants a son-in-law with more money and a higher social status. Thus his declarations go from a promise of love...to threats against the locals' lives when he returns from his next march. But he dies, heartbroken because of love..." The vocals and guitar solo are pure Jerry, lyrical and heartfelt. Garcia's performance gains added poignancy by the fact that he was not in the best of health and passed away little more than a year later on August 9, 1995.