Day 337: We Bid You Good Night, 3/24/90

Grateful Dead Dozin' At The Knick

Honestly, I’m surprised it took me this long to get to We Bid You Good Night, but at the same time it hasn’t seen as many official releases as a lot of other songs, and this is a particularly stellar version, it’s the one I’ve been waiting to use all along.

Yesterday’s song (I Will Take You Home) was intended as a lullaby for Brent’s kids, but We Bid You Good Night is the one I sing to my kids every night. I’ve got a slate of songs for each kid that I sing to them at bedtime, but this is the one that they both get. I’ve sung this song at least once a day for the past three-plus years, and twice a day pretty much since I started this project.

In some ways I’m hoping it proves to be a gateway song for my boys. With it’s gospel roots and appropriation by the Grateful Dead it’s a wonderful representation of what the Dead were all about and if they can take this song and run with it to understand the musical amalgam of the Grateful Dead, well, then that’ll be a good thing as far as I’m concerned. It’s never too early to get your kids listening to good music, and this song is my attempt to do so.

The band re-emerges as the crowd driven NFA and launch into this classic gospel tune. There’s not much to say about the song really, as it stands on its own merits. The tempo is brisk, which is great, as it maintains the vibe of NFA in the set closer. The instrumentation is very sparse, just a few guitar strums now and again from Garcia, but the for the most part it’s all a cappella. The delivery is spot on and really enhanced by the fact that this is the long version of the song, as it provides more opportunities to weave a complex vocal blend. All in all, a perfect set closer.

Complete Setlist 3/24/90

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