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Song of the Day: “Ripple” by the Grateful Dead


This is a new feature I am going to be testing with my blog given my love of music and the emotional connection it has to my life and work. In my personal and professional opinion, great songwriters are like poets who offer insight into the human experience and reflect back what they are sensing, feeling and seeing at any given point in time.

I must admit to not being all that familiar with the Grateful Dead when I was younger.  It just didn’t seem to be my scene.  However, as I’ve aged I’ve grown an appreciation for their music and overall vibe.  There is something to be said for not bowing to convention and living your life the way you want to regardless of what others may think.   It may have been a “long strange trip” for all those involved but there is a definite poetry and sense of contentedness to their songs.  The connection between the band and their supporters is about as strong as I’ve ever seen.  So strong in fact, that the line between artist and fan seems blurry at best.   They almost operated as one unit with Jerry Garcia serving in the role of Zen Master.

I’ve always liked the message and understated music of the song Ripple.  And, of course it makes sense to show them performing it live (lighting gets better after about 20 seconds).  Since the first time I heard it I was hooked.  The lyrics are worth sharing:

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,
Would you hear my voice come thru the music,
Would you hold it near as it were your own?

It’s a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken,
Perhaps they’re better left unsung.
I don’t know, don’t really care
Let there be songs to fill the air.

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
If your cup is full may it be again,
Let it be known there is a fountain,
That was not made by the hands of men.

There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall you fall alone,
If you should stand then who’s to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home.

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