Gravedigger



"Gravedigger, when you dig my grave.....could you make it shallow, so that I can feel the rain?"



I get Paste Magazine each month, which comes with a CD full of songs from up-and-coming artists. It's a cool way to get early word on some talented people.

So, I was mighty surprised when I was listening to one of CDs; it was Willie Nelson!

I have since come to find out that "Gravedigger" was originally a Dave Matthews song, on his first solo album. I have never been a fan of the Dave Matthews band, although I have nothing particularly against them. (Except: his one huuuge song had that line that always sounded like "sodomy." I think it was "inside of me," which isn't much better.) However, I just listened to the Dave Matthews version, and it is pretty great. I prefer Willie, but I will say the DM video is ten times better.

The song seems haunting, and for a good reason. Here is how Matthews explains its origins:

"It's kind of these different stories that are brought together by walking through a graveyard with their names and the dates of their births and their deaths, and the stories that came out of their lives," Matthews said recently of "Gravedigger" while on the set of its video in Livingston, Montana. "[It's] sort of just telling those stories and some others as you wander through a graveyard and what you might think if you could walk into the graves and find out what people went through to get there,"



As you listen to the song, try to ignore the video. It will color your experience, which isn't good. I have the lyrics below, so meditate on them. Try to really "feel" what's it's like to be those people Willie is singing about. Each story was like a hot knife in my flesh, while at the same time somehow comforting.





Cyrus Jones 1810 to 1913,
made his great grandchildren believe you could live to 100 and 3
a 100 and 3, is forever when you're just a little kid so
Cyrus Jones lived forever
Gravedigger
when you dig my grave
could you make it shallow
so that I can feel the rain
Gravedigger

Muriel Stonewall 1903 to 1954,
she lost both of her babies in the second great war
now you should never have to watch your only children lowered in the ground
I mean you should
never have to bury your own babies
Gravedigger
when you dig my grave
could you make it shallow
so that I can feel the rain
Gravedigger

Ring around the Rosy
Pocket full of posies
ashes to ashes
we all fall down

Gravedigger
when you dig my grave
could you make it shallow
so that I can feel the rain
oh Gravedigger

Little Mikey Parsons, 67 to 75
He rode his bike like the devil until the day he died
when he grows up he wants to be Mr. Vertigo on the flying trapeze
oh, 1940 to 1992

Gravedigger
when you dig my grave
could you make it shallow
so that I can feel the rain
Gravedigger

when you dig my grave
could you make it shallow
so that I can feel the rain
I can feel the rain
I can feel the rain
Gravedigger

Gravedigger
when you dig my grave
could you make it shallow
so that I can feel the rain
Gravedigger





If you still can't get enough, check out the Dave Matthews version, to compare it to how Willie covered the song, and for a much more atmospheric video. Let me know which one you think is the best!

No comments: