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Grateful Dead Selected Lyrics


Lyrics with midi files
Scarlet Begonias
Fire on the Mountain
Franklin's Tower
Uncle John's Band
Ramble On Rose
West LA Fadeaway


Lyrics only
Black Peter
Built to Last
Crazy Fingers
Eyes of the World
Mississippi Half-Step
My Brother Esau
So Many Roads
Stagger Lee
Terrapin Station
Throwing Stones



Black Peter
Words by Robert Hunter Music by Jerry Garcia

All of my friends come to see me last night
I was laying in my bed and dying
Annie Beauneu from Saint Angel
say "the weather down here so fine"

Just then the wind
came squalling through the door
but who can
the weather command?
Just want to have
a little peace to die
and a friend or two
I love at hand

Fever roll up to a hundred and five
Roll on up
gonna roll back down
One more day
I find myself alive
tomorrow
maybe go
beneath the ground

See here how everything
lead up to this day
and it's just like
any other day
that's ever been
Sun goin up
and then the
sun it goin down
Shine through my window and
my friends they come around
come around
come around

People may know but
the people don't care
that a man could be
as poor as me...
"Take a look at poor Peter
he's lyin in pain
now let's go run
and see"

Run and see
hey, hey,
run and see



Built to Last
Words by Robert Hunter Music by Jerry Garcia

There are times that you can beckon
There are times when you must call
You can shake a ton of reckoning
But you can't shake it all
There are times when I can help you out
And times that you must fall
There are times when you must live in doubt
And I can't help at all

Three blue stars / Rise on the hill
Say no more, now / Just be still
All these trials / Soon be past
Look for something / Built to last

Wind held by the collar
Got a cloud held by the breeze
You can walk on coals of fire
But sometimes you must freeze
There are times when you offend me
And I do the same to you
If we can't or won't forget it,
then I guess we could be through

One blue star / Sets on the hill
Call it back / You never will
One more star / Sinks in the past
Show me something / Built to last.

Built to last till time itself
Falls tumbling from the wall
Built to last till sunshine fails
And darkness moves on all
Built to last while years roll past
Like cloudscapes in the sky
Show me something built to last
Or something built to try

There are times when you get hit upon
Try hard but you cannot give
Other times you'd gladly part
With what you need to live
Don't waste the breath to save your face
When you have done your best
And even more is asked of you
Let fate decide the rest.

All the stars / Are gone but one
Morning breaks / Here comes the sun
Cross the sky now / Sinking fast
Show me something / Built to last



Crazy Fingers
Words by: Robert Hunter Music by: Jerry Garcia

Your rain falls like crazy fingers
Peals of fragile thunder keeping time

Recall the days that still are to come
Some sing blue

Hang your heart on laughing willow
Stray down to the water
Deep Sea of Love

Beneath the sweet calm face of the sea
Swift undertow

Life may be sweeter for this, I don't know
See how it feels in the end
May Lady Lullaby sing plainly for you
Soft, strong, sweet and true

Cloud hands reaching from a rainbow
Tapping at the window touch your hair

So swift and bright
Strange figures of light
Float in air

Who can stop what must arrive now?
Something new is waiting to be born

Dark as the night
You're still by my side
Shining side

Gone are the days we stopped to decide
Where we should go
We just ride

Gone are the broken eyes we saw through in dreams
Gone - both dream and lie

Life may be sweeter for this I don't know
Feels like it might be alright
While Lady Lullaby sings plainly for you
Love still rings true

Midnight on a carousel ride
Reaching for the gold ring down inside

Never could reach
It just slips away but I try



Eyes of the World
Words by Robert Hunter Music by Jerry Garcia

Right outside this lazy summer home
you don't have time to call your soul a critic, no
Right outside the lazy gate of winter's summer home
wondering where the nuthatch winters
Wings a mile long just carried the bird away

Wake up to find out
that you are the eyes of the World
but the heart has its beaches
its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you
are the song that the morning brings
but the heart has its seasons
its evenings and songs of its own

There comes a redeemer
and he slowly too fades away
There follows a wagon behind him
that's loaded with clay
and the seeds that were silent
all burst into bloom and decay
The night comes so quiet
and it's close on the heels of the day

Wake up to find out
that you are the eyes of the world
but the heart has its beaches
its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you
are the song that the morning brings
but the heart has its seasons
its evenings and songs of its own

Sometimes we live no
particular way but our own

Sometimes we visit your country
and live in your home
Sometimes we ride on your horses
Sometimes we walk alone
Sometimes the songs that we hear
are just songs of our own

Wake up to find out
that you are the eyes of the world
but the heart has its beaches
its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you
are the song that the morning brings
but the heart has its seasons
its evenings and songs of its own



Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleloo
Words by Robert Hunter Music by Jerry Garcia

On the day that I was born
Daddy sat down and cried
I had the mark just as plain as day
which could not be denied
They say that Cain caught Abel
rolling loaded dice,
ace of spades behind his ear
and him not thinking twice

Half-step
Mississippi Uptown Toodleloo
Hello baby, I'm gone, goodbye
Half a cup of rock and rye
Farewell to you old southern sky
I'm on my way - on my way

If all you got to live for
is what you left behind
get yourself a powder charge
and seal that silver mine
I lost my boots in transit babe
A pile of smoking leather
Nailed a retread to my feet
and prayed for better weather

Half-step
Mississippi Uptown Toodleloo
Hello, baby, I'm gone, good-bye
Half a cup of rock and rye
Farewell to you old southern sky
I'm on my way - on my way

They say that when your ship comes in
the first man takes the sails
The second takes the afterdeck
The third the planks and rails
What's the point to callin shots?
This cue ain't straight in line
Cueball's made of styrofoam
and no one's got the time

Half-step
Mississippi Uptown Toodleloo
Hello baby, I'm gone, goodbye
Half a cup of rock and rye
Farewell to you old southern sky
I'm on my way - on my way

Across the Rio Grand-eo
Across the lazy river
Across the Rio Grand-eo
Across the lazy river



My Brother Esau
Words by John Perry Barlow Music by Bob Weir

My brother Esau killed a hunter
Back in 1969
And before the killing was done,
His inheritance was mine.
But his birthright was a wand to wave
Before a weary band.
Esau gave me sleeplessness
And a piece of moral land.

My father favored Esau,
Who was eager to obey
All the bloody wild commandments
The Old Man shot his way.
But all this favor ended
When my brother failed at war.
He staggered home
And found me in the door.

[Chorus:]
Esau skates on mirrors anymore...
He meets his pale reflection at the door.
Yet sometimes at night I dream
He's still that hairy man,
Shadowboxing the Apocalypse
And wandering the land.
Shadowboxing the Apocalypse
And wandering the land.

Esau holds a blessing;
Brother Esau bears a curse.
I would say that the blame is mine
But I suspect it's something worse.
The more my brother looks like me,
The less I understand
The silent war that bloodied both our hands.
Sometimes at night, I think I understand.

It's brother to brother and it's man to man
And it's face to face and it's hand to hand...
We shadowdance the silent war within.
The shadowdance, it never ends...
Never ends, never ends.
Shadowboxing the Apocalypse, yet again...
Yet again.
Shadowboxing the Apocalypse,
And wandering the land.



So Many Roads
Words by Robert Hunter Music by Jerry Garcia

Thought I heard a blackbird singin'
up on Bluebird Hill
Call me a whinin' boy if you will
Born where the sun don't shine
and I don't deny my name
Got no place to go, ain't that a shame?

Thought I heard that KC whistle
moanin' sweet & low
Thought I heard that KC when she blow
Down where the sun don't shine
Underneath the Kokomo
Whinin' boy -- got no place else to go

So many roads I tell you
So many roads I know
So many roads --
so many roads --
Mountain high, river wide
So many roads to ride
So many roads
So many roads

Thought I heard a jug band playin'
"If you don't -- who else will?"
from over on the far side of the hill
All I know the sun don't shine,
the rain refuse to fall
and you don't seem to hear me when I call

Wind inside & the wind outside
Tangled in the window blind
Tell me why you treat me so unkind
Down where the sun don't shine
Lonely and I call your name
No place left to go, ain't that a shame?
So many roads I tell you
New York to San Francisco
All I want is one
to take me home
From the high road to the low
So many roads I know
So many roads - So many roads

From the land of the midnight sun
where ice blue roses grow
'long those roads of gold and silver snow
Howlin' wide or moanin low
So many roads I know
So many roads to ease my soul



Stagger Lee
Words by Robert Hunter Music by Jerry Garcia

1940 Xmas evening with a full moon over town
Staggerlee met Billy DeLyon
and he blew that poor boy down
Do you know what he shot him for?
What do you make of that?
'Cause Billy DeLyon threw lucky dice,
won Staggelee's Stetson hat

Baio, Baio, tell me how can this be?
You arrest the girls for turning tricks
but you're scared of Staggerlee
Staggerlee is a madman and he shot my Billy dead
Baio you go get him or give the job to me

Delia DeLyon, dear sweet Delia-D
How the hell can I arrest him when he's twice as big as me?
Don't ask me to go downtown - I wouldn't come back alive
Not only is that mother big but he packs a .45

Baio Delia said just give me a gun
He shot my Billy dead now I'm gonna see him hung
She waded to DeLyon's Club through Billy DeLyon's blood
Stepped up to Staggerlee at the bar
Said Buy me a gin fizz, love

As Staggerlee lit a cigarette she shot him in the balls
Blew the smoke off her revolver, had him dragged to city hall
Baio, Baio, see you hang him high
He shot my Billy dead and now he's got to die

Delia went a walking down on Singapore Street
A three-piece band on the corner played "Nearer, My God, to Thee"
but Delia whistled a different tune...what tune could it be?

The song that woman sung was Look out Staggerlee
The song that Delia sung was Look out Staggerlee
The song that woman sung was Look out Staggerlee
The song that Delia sung was Look out Staggerlee



Terrapin Station
Words by Robert Hunter Music by Jerry Garcia

LADY WITH A FAN

Let my inspiration flow
in token lines suggesting rhythm
that will not forsake me
till my tale is told and done

While the firelight's aglow
strange shadows in the flames will grow
till things we've never seen
will seem familiar

Shadows of a sailor forming
winds both foul and fair all swarm
down in Carlisle he loved a lady
many years ago

Here beside him stands a man
a soldier by the looks of him
who came through many fights
but lost at love

While the storyteller speaks
a door within the fire creaks
suddenly flies open
and a girl is standing there

Eyes alight with glowing hair
all that fancy paints as fair
she takes her fan and throws it
in the lion's den

"Which of you to gain me, tell
will risk uncertain pains of Hell?
I will not forgive you
if you will not take the chance"

The sailor gave at least a try
the soldier being much too wise
strategy was his strength
and not disaster

The sailor coming out again
the lady fairly lept at him
that's how it stands today
you decide if he was wise

The storyteller makes no choice
soon you will not hear his voice
his job is to shed light
and not to master

Since the end is never told
we pay the teller off in gold
in hopes he will come back
but he cannot be bought or sold

TERRAPIN STATION

Inspiration, move me brightly
light the song with sense and color,
hold away despair
More than this I will not ask
faced with mysteries dark and vast
statements just seem vain at last
some rise, some fall, some climb
to get to Terrapin

Counting stars by candlelight
all are dim but one is bright:
the spiral light of Venus

rising first and shining best,
From the northwest corner
of a brand-new crescent moon
crickets and cicadas sing
a rare and different tune

Terrapin Station
in the shadow of the moon
Terrapin Station
and I know we'll be there soon

Terrapin - I can't figure out
Terrapin - if it's an end or the beginning
Terrapin - but the train's got its brakes on
and the whistle is screaming: TERRAPIN

AT A SIDING

While you were gone
these spaces filled with darkness
The obvious was hidden
With nothing to believe in
the compass always points to Terrapin

The sullen wings of fortune beat like rain
You're back in Terrapin for good or ill again
For good or ill again



Throwing Stones
Words by John Perry Barlow Music by Bob Weir

Picture a bright blue ball, just spinning, spinnin free,
Dizzy with eternity.
Paint it with a skin of sky,
Brush in some clouds and sea,
Call it home for you and me.
A peaceful place or so it looks from space,
A closer look reveals the human race.
Full of hope, full of grace
Is the human face,
But afraid we may lay our home to waste.

There's a fear down here we can't forget.
Hasn't got a name just yet.
Always awake, always around,
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

Now watch as the ball revolves
And the nighttime falls.
Again the hunt begins,
Again the bloodwind calls.
By and by, the morning sun will rise,
But the darkness never goes
From some men's eyes.
It strolls the sidewalks and it rolls the streets,
Staking turf, dividing up meat.
Nightmare spook, piece of heat,
It's you and me.
You and me.

Click flash blade in ghetto night,
Rudies looking for a fight.
Rat cat alley, roll them bones.
Need that cash to feed that jones.
And the politicians throwin' stones,
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

[Bridge:]
Commissars and pin-stripe bosses
Roll the dice.
Any way they fall,
Guess who gets to pay the price.
Money green or proletarian gray,
Selling guns 'stead of food today.

So the kids they dance
And shake their bones,
And the politicians throwin' stones,
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

Heartless powers try to tell us
What to think.
If the spirit's sleeping,
Then the flesh is ink
History's page will thus be carved in stone.
And we are here, and we are on our own
On our own.
On our own.
On our own.

[Instrumental]

If the game is lost,
Then we're all the same.
No one left to place or take the blame.
We can leave this place and empty stone
Or that shinin' ball we used to call our home.

So the kids they dance
And shake their bones,
And the politicians throwin' stones,
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

[Bridge two:] Shipping powders back and forth
Singing black goes south and white comes north.
In a whole world full of petty wars
Singing I got mine and you got yours.
And the current fashion sets the pace,
Lose your step, fall out of grace.
And the radical, he rant and rage,
Singing someone's got to turn the page.
And the rich man in his summer home,
Singing just leave well enough alone.
But his pants are down, his cover's blown...

And the politicians throwin' stones,
So the kids they dance
And shake their bones,
And it's all too clear we're on our own.
Singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.
Ashes, ashes, all fall down.

Picture a bright blue ball,
Just spinnin', spinnin, free.
Dizzy with the possibilities.
Ashes, ashes, all fall down.
Ashes, ashes, all fall down.
Ashes, ashes, all fall down.
Ashes, ashes, all fall down.
Ashes, ashes, all fall down.



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