“Friend Of The Devil” is written by Robert Hunter, Jerry Garcia, and John ‘Marmaduke’ Dawson.
I’ve felt a recent sort of eternal kinship with Mr. Hunter after seeing a video of him performing at the Newport Folk Festival. I have two copies of his “Box of Rain” book of Grateful Dead song lyrics, and he’s always been to me a poet and prophet of the highest order. His songs with the Grateful Dead are pure magic, and the words in them are full of wisdom and consolation … a church of my musical religion. Watching him perform solo with an acoustic guitar was so humanizing, humbling, yet by the end of the song he appeared entirely powerful, and I’d say that his song lyrics, his poetry, have gained esteem with me since I saw the video.
I wondered about the lyrics of this song today, and when I looked it up, decided to record a quick take.
The image in the video is Buffoon playing a lute, Frans Hals, 1623