9×12 pastel on Tiziano paper
This is a tribute to Jerry Garcia. I was recently watching a video of him singing “Peggy O” in 1994. He gets very emotional during the song and it brought tears to my eyes. This show was about one year before he died. By 1994 The Grateful Dead had become a money-making machine. My generation was kind of the last generation Jerry sung to (those of us in our thirties now).
Jerry Garcia became a musician at a very crucial time in American history. He was part of the whole folk music movement that included Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and a host of other greats. These musicians were discovering the wealth of music that came from the past and they only wanted to share the songs with the world.
“Peggy O” is one of those old ballads that probably made Jerry fall in love with music. The oldest version being an old Scottish ballad. As Jerry sings it in 1994 I think he is feeling some regret for what was lost. Whatever he was feeling, when I watch this video I feel the beauty of the song.
This is Peggy O, a woman like a dove. She wouldn’t marry sweet William because he was only a soldier. William gets angry and dies in battle. I really love folk music because it is mythical in nature.
I hope you are still singing this song somewhere Jerry!!!!!