33 years ago yesterday, the rock and roll world lost a huge part of its history.
Ron "Pigpen" Mckernan was one of the founding members of the Grateful Dead. Known to many as "The Bluesman," Pigpen was the life of the show for years. Besides his skills behind the drums, his vocals and lyrics were cherished by fans everywhere.
Pigpen toured with the Dead from 1965 until August on 1971 when he took a four month break due to health problems. He returned to the tour in December 1971, but performed his last song only a few months later. He officially left the band in June 1972.
After struggling with his drinking and the evils it brought his body, Pigpen lost his battle at the age of 27 due to a stomach hemorrage.
Appropriately, his tombstone was inscribed with the phrase "Pigpen Was And Is Now Forever One Of The Grateful Dead." His legacy lives on in the hearts and souls of deadheads everywhere.
"The Stranger (Two Souls in Communion)"Words and music by Ron McKernan
Copyright Ice Nine Publishing
What are they seeing, when they look in each other's eyes?
What are they feeling, when they see each other smile?
Is it love, I don't know - or an emotion that I've outgrown?
Did I take a wrong turn on life's winding road?
Won't somebody help me find the right way to go?
My life need some correction, alteration in direction.
Won't somebody comfort me - yes, I'm lost, yes, I'm lost,Yes, I'm lost.
What is the secret of this tie that binds?
Two souls in communion, both body and mind.
Is it special magic, or just the nature of things?
Conceived of great spirit, not for beggars but for kings.
You who have found it please help me along.
I'm a man, I'm a man, - I'm not made out of stone.
My needs they are simple, I don't want anything,
but I surely want to fly on those wings, on the run, one more time.
All I wanna do, fly up, fly home.
Fly on those wings of love, fly up, fly home,
I'm a stranger staying in your town, fly up, fly home.
Help me somebody please! Fly up, fly home.
I wake up early in the morning, fly up, fly home,
you know I never saw you babe, fly up, fly home.
I just can't seem to understand,
can't seem to understand what's wrong, fly up, fly home.
What I wanna do is take a little ride with you,
on the wings of love,woh-oh one more time, one more time.