Saturday, 9 December 2017

Box Of Rain

It's approaching mid-December in Blackpool and it's raining. No surprise there, given the time of the season and the arrival of the first serious cold weather of winter  - icy tears from the eye of Storm Caroline.

The theme of water does little to inspire a Saturday blog, but I missed out last week - sustaining a foolish injury that has seen me hobbling painfully and snaffling ibuprofen for a week already, with more discomfort to come until torn muscles mend - so I'm determined to cobble something together on theme today, however brief. It's almost a sacred duty, for we Aquarians (February born in my case), are supposedly water-carriers (Ὑδροχόος or Hydrokhoös) in a grand tradition stretching back to Ganymede, cup-bearer to the Greek gods.

Therefore, courtesy of the good old Grateful Dead, I bring you a Box Of Rain...

I started thinking about this song after Thursday's Dead Good Poetry open mic night, when amidst the festive jollity (fuelled by mulled wine of prodigious strength), quite a few of the works performed were very eloquent and moving reflections on impermanence and loss.

Then last night Adele's mother fell and broke her femur/hip in three places. She's 97, bless her, and is in an  operating theatre at Blackpool Victoria Hospital as I write, where surgeons will do their best to mend her frail bones. Adele is understandably beside herself with worry. This, then, is for her... and for anyone who is feeling low at the moment.

It is one of my favourite Grateful Dead songs, tune by Phil Lesh and lyrics by Robert Hunter, written circa 1970 for Phil Lesh's father who was dying of cancer at the time. Not many songs aspire to poetry (an old debate we've had on the blog several times) but this lyric, reproduced below in slightly abridged form, has its moments. In particular, I love the imagery of a box of rain. Listen to the band perform it via the YouTube link below for maximum effect...

Box Of Rain
Look out of any window
Any morning, any evening, any day.
Maybe the sun is shining,
Birds are winging or
Rain is falling from a heavy sky.
What do you want me to do,
To do for you to see you through?
For this is all a dream we dreamed
One afternoon long ago.

Walk out of any doorway,
Feel your way, feel your way
Like the day before.
Maybe you'll find direction
Around some corner
Where it's been waiting to meet you.
What do you want me to do,
To watch for you while you're sleeping?
Then please don't be surprised
When you find me dreaming too.


Walk into splintered sunlight
Inch your way through dead dreams
To another land.
Maybe you're tired and broken
Your tongue is twisted
With words half spoken
And thoughts unclear.
What do you want me to do,
To do for you to see you through?
A box of rain will ease the pain
And love will see you through.

Just a box of rain,
Wind and water,
Believe it if you need it,
If you don't, just pass it on.
Sun and shower,
Wind and rain,
In and out the window
Like a moth before a flame.

And it's just a box of rain
I don't know who put it there,
Believe it if you need it
Or leave it if you dare...
And it's just a box of rain
Or a ribbon for your hair,
Such a long, long time to be gone
And a short time to be there...

                                      The Grateful Dead 

Link to listen to the song here: Box Of Rain

Thanks for reading. Believe it if you need it, Steve ;-)


Lady Curt said...

Thanks for that Steve...

Anonymous said...

What a lovely thoughtful blog. Hope you too feel better soon.

Anonymous said...

I have no words.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's a fine song. Hoping everyone is okay by Christmas...

Willie McTell said...

Thanks for that. Second only to "Ripple", on an album that's second only to... well, not really second to anything. RIP Jerry.
Link: Ripple (PfC)

Catfish Johnny said...

One of my favorites too. Keep on truckin'.

JM said...

I vividly remember the first time I heard BoR on an import in 1970 or 71?? Still brings 'moisture' to the eyes. We are incredibly lucky to have discovered such words and music.