Jan 21

So Many Roads

In the comments section of the previous post I used a partial lyric from Robert Hunter as a reply to my old friend. The following are the song lyrics in their entirety.

So Many Roads
lyrics written by Robert Hunter, music by Jerry Garcia

Thought I heard a blackird singing
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
Moaning sweet and low
Thought I heard that KC when she blow
Down where the sun don’t shine
Underneath the Kokomo
Whinin’ boy got no place 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
And the rain refused to fall
And you don’t seem to hear me when I call

Wind inside and 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
So many roads I know
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 the ice blue roses grow
Along those roads of gold and silver snow
Howlin’ wide or moaning low
So many roads I know
So many roads to ease my soul

*
The song references many shared journeys and experiences of a lifetime friendship. Here is a link to the annotated lyrics, which will take some time to follow all of the subsequent links within, related to those many shared experiences.

Around the same time “So Many Roads” was released on recorded disc, and played frequently as part of live performances of both, Robert Hunter and Grateful Dead respective touring schedules, the song “Liberty” was also added to the repertoire.

“Liberty”
Words: Robert Hunter; music: Jerry Garcia

Saw a bird with a tear in his eye
Walking to New Orleans my oh my
Hey, now, Bird, wouldn’t you rather die
Than walk this world when you’re born to fly?

If I was the sun, I’d look for shade
If I was a bed, I would stay unmade
If I was a river I’d run uphill
If you call me you know I will
If you call me you know I will

Ooo, freedom
Ooo, liberty
Ooo, leave me alone
To find my own way home
To find my own way home

Say what I mean and I don’t give a damn
I do believe and I am who I am
Hey now Mama come and take my hand
Whole lotta shakin’ all over this land

If I was an eagle I’d dress like a duck
Crawl like a lizard and honk like a truck
If I get a notion I’ll climb this tree
or chop it down and you can’t stop me
Chop it down and you can’t stop me

Ooo, freedom
Ooo, liberty
Ooo, leave me alone
To find my own way home
To find my own way home

Went to the well but the water was dry
Dipped my bucket in the clear blue sky
Looked in the bottom and what did I see?
The whole damned world looking back at me

If I was a bottle I’d spill for love
Sake of mercy I’d kill for love
If I was a liar I’d lie for love
Sake of my baby I’d die for love
Sake of my baby I’d die for love

Ooo, freedom
Ooo, liberty
Ooo, leave me alone
To find my own way home
To find my own way home
I’m gonna find my own way home

*

Two songs from the later day files of a band that played live performances for 3 decades and could be personally classified as the background music of my life.

Permanent link to this article: http://english-speak-english.com/so-many-roads/

2 comments

    • Summer on January 29, 2018 at 7:29 am
    • Reply

    “If I was a bed, I would stay unmade.
    If I was an eagle I’d dress like a duck.”

    Each of us choose our own way of expressing who we are. Independence of thought and life choices makes each of us special. Ask yourself what do you want from time to time, that makes the world colorful.

    1. The song expresses the value of independence and personal choice. It is a trait that is often found in individuals of Western Culture and, in particular, as part of the American ethos. This is not to say that doing anything you damn well please is a good idea, but being adamant with respect to freedom of lifestyle choices and personal goals is an imperative to liberty. It is also important to note that with the freedom to choose comes the subsequent consequences of one’s actions. Accepting the consequences of personal choices is part of that bargain, sometimes for good, sometimes for not so good….but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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