What does China Doll mean?

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The Grateful Dead: China Doll Meaning

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China Doll Lyrics

A pistol shot, at five o'clock, the bells of heaven ring,

tell me what you done it for, No I won't tell you a thing.

Yesterday I begged you before I hit the ground,

all I leave behind me is only what I found.



If you can abide it,...

  1.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 26th, 2018 3:11pm report


    Nothing about god or suicide as far as I hear it

    All about a bruised ego



  2.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 31st, 2017 3:06am report


    This song was originally called "The Suicide Song". It is a conversation between the victim and the Lord.

    The Lord questions why the victim did it through the song and I believe offers not to condem her but sends her back to earth.

    I would also believe that the last line "take up your china doll, it's only fractured and just a little nervous from the fall," refers to the body of the victim being a fragile doll for her spirit to control. Her body is damadged yet not broken. Fractured china is dangerous yet not detrimental.



  3.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 1st, 2011 12:46am report


    I think it is about a death..murder...
    But it ends up being a near death experience.
    The person goes out of the body and then goes back into their fractured body.
    It also shows hw fragile the body and or life is.



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 20th, 2011 3:55am report


    I always imagined a little Japanese girl walking out in the aftermath of the a-bomb rubble and finding a China Doll and picking it up....I know it's a bit morbid but it is what truly come to mind. RIP To The Bear.



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 22nd, 2011 1:33pm report


    Hi, I enjoy this song a lot. It helps me get out of sad moods. I like to listen to this song and picture it (doll) falling down at the same speed as the song. Its not until the end of the song, when the crescendo picks up, do I see the doll hit the floor. But dont worry, its not as bad as you think, "its only fractured". As if to say, It may seem like the problems in your life are really bad, but it will all be ok soon. In my opinion, maybe Hunter\Garcia wrote it after someone they knew committed sucide.

    CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER is one I need help getting my head around. Anyone a clue?



  6.  

    outrage....
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    Mar 7th, 2010 3:18am report


    For the life of me, this one has perplexed me every time I listen to it. I don't remember when Hunter wrote it but I thought it about fragility of leaders [and their dreams and messages], particularly RFK and MLK, and their country and its rebound.




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