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I Truly Understand
Composer: Traditional

I Truly Understand was performed by Jerry Garcia and David Grisman in the 1990's. Also played by Jerry Garcia and David Nelson at the College of San Mateo in San Mateo on November 10th 1962 and by Jerry and Sarah Garcia at the Tangent in Palo Alto in May 1963 - both performance circulate on tape.

I Truly Understand sometimes occurs as I Truly Understand That You Love Another Man or similar.

The chorus of I Truly Understand is unique to the song. The melody of the verse is very similar to that of Old Joe Clark.

However the lyrics of the verses occur in other traditional songs. The 'wish to the lord I'd never been born' text occurs in Look Up, Look Down That Lonesome Road, My Last Gold Dollar and other songs. The 'shoe your pretty little foot' verse occurs in a number of songs including Who's Going To Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot and The Storms Are On The Ocean, but is thought to derive from a Scottish song The Lass Of Loch Royal (or The Lass Of Roch Royal). This song is collected in Herd (1776) as The Bonny Lass Of Loch Royal where the verse is given as; O wha will shoe thy bonny feet, O wha will glove thy ha, O wha will lace thy middle-jimp, With a lang, lang, whang. This song was also published in the Scots Musical Museum in 1787. It was collected by Child (Child No. 76) and subsequently in many collections of ballads.



Jerry Garcia recordings

info Shady Grove, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, 1996

Jerry Garcia lyrics

The lyrics as performed by Garcia and Nelson on 11/10/62 are;

I wish to the lord I'd never been born,
Or died when I was young,
Before I'd seen your two brown eyes,
Or heard your flattering tongue, my love,
Or heard your flattering tongue.

(Chorus)
I truly understand you love another man,
And your heart shall no longer be mine,
I truly understand you love another man,
And your heart shall no longer be mine.

Oh who's going to show your pretty little foot,
And who's going to glove your hand,
And who's going to be your own true love,
When I'm in a foreign land, my love,
I'm in a foreign land.

Chorus ...

My momma's going to shoe my pretty little foot,
My pappa's going to glove my hand,
And you will be my own true love,
When you're in a foreign land, my love,
You're in a foreign land.

Chorus ...

I'll never listen to what another woman says,
Let her hair be black or brown,
Rather be on the top of some hill,
The rain come pouring down, my love,
Rain a-pouring down.

Chorus ...

 
Other recordings

no info G. Roark, Library of Congress, 1938
info The New Lost City Ramblers, The New Lost City Ramblers, 1958
info Folk Songs with the Seegers, Pete Seeger, Peggy Seeger and Mike Seeger, 1965
info Three Sisters, Peggy Seeger, 1957
no info Gambler's Lament, Various Artists (Shortbuckle Roark and Family), 1970
info Strange Creek Singers, Strange Creek Singers, 1972
info Goin' Down the Valley: Vocal and Instrumental Music From the South, Various Artists (Shortbuckle Roark), 1977
no info Deadheads and Suckers, Roundtown Boys, 1978
no info From Earth to Heaven, Wry Straw, 1978
no info Kentucky Country: Old Time Music From Kentucky, Various Artists (Shortbuckle Roark and Family), 1983
info Our Own, Jeff Winegar & Fred Meyer, 1985
info New Lost City Ramblers: The Early Years: 1958-1962, The New Lost City Ramblers, 1991
no info Warring Cats, Bruce Molsky, 1993
no info In the Pines, Todd Phillips, 1995
info The Rose Grew Round the Briar, Vol. 1: Early American Rural Love Songs, Various Artists (Shortbuckle Roark and his Family), 1997
no info Cavity Search, Golden Delicious & Pete Krebs, 1998
info Live At The Laurelthirst, Golden Delicious, 1999
no info Gambler's Lament, Various Artists (Shortbuckle Roark and his Family), 19??
no info Poor Man's Troubles, Bruce Molsky, 2000
info Kentucky Mountain Music, Various Artists (Shortbuckle Roark and his Family), 2003
no info Down This Road, Gary Wright & Leah Weiss, 2004
info Friends Across The Pond, Various Artists (Bruce Molsky), 2004
no info Morning Star, Tom, Betty & Nathan Druckenmiller, 2006
no info Ghost Man on First, Currituck County, 2006
no info Lady and the Pants, Ari & Mia Friedman, 2006
info 50 Years: Where Do You Come from, Where Do You Go?, The New Lost City Ramblers, 2009

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