Look over yonder, tell me what
do you see?
10,000 people looking after me
I may be famous, or I may be
no one
But in the end all the races I’ve
Don’t make my race run in vain
Seem like there’s no tomorrow
Seem like all my yesterdays
were filled with pain
There’s nothing but darkness
If you gonna do like you say you
If you gonna change your mind
and walk away
It don’t seem to matter much
Don’t even ask me the time of
‘Cause I don’t know
Don’t make me live in this
pain no longer
You know I’m gettin’ weaker,
not stronger
My poor heart can’t stand
much more
So why don’t you just start
If you’re gonna walk out that
door, start walkin’
I’ll get by somehow
Maybe not tomorrow, but
I know someday I will find
Who can ease my pain, like
you once done
Yes I know, we had a good
thing going
Seem like a long time
Seem like a long time
Like a long time
Like a long time
– Ron McKernan, January 1973

Page 70 and 71
Pigpen on Page 99 Grateful Dead Family Album

Pigpen with his MIT sweatshirt, he studied technology of the blues.

He Was a Friend of Mine

weird how it goes
with beginnings
& endings
this year
winter’s over
end of the loco months
new green
appearing everywhere
sweet lunacy
birds & blue skies
eternal snows
glutting the rivers
brown with earth
whales starting north
with precious

& pigpen died

my eyes
4 days mourning
lost another fragment
of my own self
the same brutal
night-sweats & hungers
he knew
the same cold fist
that knocked him down
now clutching furiously
at my gut

shut my eyes
& see him standing
on the stage of the world
the boys prodding him
egging him on
he telling all he ever knew
or cared to know

mike hand cocked like
a boxer’s
head throwed back
stale whiskey blues
many-peopled desolations
neon rainy streets
& wilderness of airports
thousands maybe millions
loved him
were fired instantly
into forty-five minutes of
midnight hour

but when he died
he was thin, sick, scared

like i said to laird
i just hope he didn’t hurt
too much

all these endings
& beginnings
pale voices of winter
faces, rivers, birds, songs
i wonder
how many seasons
new green coming once more
to the land
fresh winds turn
bending the long grasses
we’ll hear him sing
– Robert M. Petersen

Bobby Peterson, one of the GD lyricists, wrote this upon hearing of Pigpen’s passing.

Photo: Bob Seidemann