Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #156945  by Aaron1229
 Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:18 pm
Jerry had some interesting pronunciations, a 'dray-gon' with matches, a 'way-gon' that's loaded with clay, among others. That's not part of a Bay Area dialect afaik. Does anyone know where that comes from?
 #156947  by lightningbolt
 Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:12 pm
I have been listening to these songs for 40 plus years and I never heard it they way you do.....but everyone hears things differently.

As far as I know, Jerry resided within 100 miles of San Francisco from birth to death.
 #156948  by TI4-1009
 Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:32 pm
Not to mention "cicaaahdas" and "nut thatch".
 #156952  by williamsaut
 Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:24 pm
I agree, he does in fact pronounce words with a colonial mid west accent and I've be told that that is a Nocal accent but can't find any reverence to it on the web. Jerry was a master of stepping into the storyteller roll when performing a song. Sad song? Sad Jerry. etc. So maybe this "old Time" accent was part of his shtick on stage. In interviews I've heard, it's not as noticeable.
 #156956  by Gr8fulCadi
 Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:20 pm
I first took notice on Sugaree, 'when they bring that way'gon around' I always dug that about him when singing.
 #156967  by Rusty the Scoob
 Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:17 am
I think it's just a singing thing. They teach you in chorale to alter some vowels to sound more musical - WAY-gon and DRAY-gon sound better than Weeeh-gon and Dreeh-gon and the more you stretch the first syllable out the more it matters. His accent when speaking was very different.
 #156969  by Jon S.
 Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:48 am
That type of pronunciation occurs also sometimes in southern and midwestern accents, e.g., listen to Reba McIntyre. Aim for am, chayting for cheating, etc.
 #156974  by Aaron1229
 Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:44 am
Good points, I'm also assuming it was for musical effect; it just sounded more pleasing to the ear. Funny enough, I'm from the south, and my family says 'cicaaahhda'
 #156981  by CountryMile Cadillac
 Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:51 pm
Im in agreement with Rusty about the vowels. this is from an interview with him talking writing with Hunter...

"Once in a while I get a song with the phrasing and everything, except lyrics. I have a sense of where I want the vowels to be and so on. " Jerry