13 Sep

TERRAPIN STATION ~COMPLETE

~ ROBERT HUNTER ~ GrAtEfuL dEaD

 

LADY WITH A FAN

 

Let my inspiration flow, in token rhyme suggesting rhythm
That will not forsake me, till my tale is told and done
While the fire lights aglow, strange shadows from 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 story teller 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 leapt at him
That’s how it stands today. You decide if he was wise 
The story teller 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 paid 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 of colour
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 on Venus
Rising first and shining best
Oh, from the north-west corner
Of a brand new crescent moon
Where 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 the end or beginning
 
(
Terrapin)
But the train’s put it brakes on
(
Terrapin)
And the whistle is screaming
Terrapin

 

AT A SIDING

 

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

Sullen wings of fortune beat like rain
You’re back in Terrapin for good or ill again
For good or ill again

 

RETURN OF TERRAPIN

 

Up these steps beside me climb
To Terrapin and points sublime
Robbed of reason, faith and name
Broken-hearted blind and lame

Slain by doubt, mistaken trust
Abandoned in the rain to rust
Shriveled by the heat of day
Torn to shreds by birds of prey

Shapeless in the fire’s glow
Tell me if you think you know
Who it was we were below
Where we’ve been and where we go

Lilies have the bees to tend them
Grasses have the breeze to bend them
Broken hearts have tears to mend them
Show us stairs, we will ascend them

Stair by stair by stair we climb
Voices hushed to sighs by time
Speak our souls in pantomime
Clear cold bells of winter chime

Pale through this ghostly haze
The dawn of a newborn moon
Illuminates this ancient maze
Of tumbled stones rough hewn

Trust your faith and enter
By paths the heart divines
The sun lies at the center
Through gates of creeping vines

how faint the rays
of former days
in avenues of time–
but it does shine
emblem of sight
pride of the eyes
that shatters shadow
and all of the dark defies

Let the sun rise!

 

IVORY WHEELS, ROSEWOOD TRACK

 

Ivory wheels on a rosewood track
Take us back again and again to Terrapin
 

Smokestack thunder – pay the ticket price 
Clock in the sky says quarter to twice – we roll again

Hello, good soldier, where you been?
Did you take the wrong round to get to Terrapin? 

Some for reasons great or small
Rise, climb, fall, to get to Terrapin

The demon’s daughter used to lay for gin
In a shack way back on the skirts of the fens of Terrapin

The demon himself got drunk all night
Collapsed at the sunrise service – he was very tight

Captain Billy Lyon from Louisiana low
Used to chase a bayou girl through here named Peggy-o

Some say he died of love for Peggy-o 
Others say it was the devil himself laid Billy low
 

Some for reasons known but to them
Rise, climb, fall, to get to Terrapin

One-eyed sailor with a Cheshire grin
That must be the Jack O’Roses bound for Terrapin

Chasing that lady-o through the bayou
Swore to God in lightning storm he’d catch her, too

Fortune dealt him such a straight high hand
He saw no reason not to trust it more, and retrieved her fan

The lions looked up in surprise
But they backed right off when they saw the madness in his eyes

Venus rises from the sea
On the back of a mighty Terrapin with a coral fan

Throws that fan to the diamond beach
Always a little out of reach – but try again

Some for reasons great or small
Rise, climb, fall, to get to Terrapin

 

 

AND I KNOW YOU

 

 

Endless recognitions pour
like honey from a honey jar
Lights from near and distant stars
come streaming through the door

Tonight I do not know my face
from one who looks the same
by flicker of unburning flame
inside this old familiar place

Fortune sweet and bitter fate
converse beside the open fire
removed from weavings of desire,
twisted skeins of love and hate

And I know you
Yes I do
I know you–
And you know me–
I could swear
you know me too

We have been together
since the first-born seed of light
reflected on the water
and divided day from night
Sometimes we were strangers
Sometimes we were friends
Dreamed up lives of danger
Broke hearts and made amends

It’s time to leave fair Terrapin
Head down the stairs again
Step by step return below
Fill the blanks in as we go
Find out what we need to know;
from gossip if it must be so
Forsake this cool and kindly light
for troubled day and sleepless night

Or shall I go while you remain;
search below for you in vain
find you here from time to time,
elusive subject of a rhyme?
Or would you rather go alone
in unfamiliar flesh and bone,
meet and put me to the test,
a scarlet flower at your breast?

I don’t know how we chose before,
for love or sorrow, peace or war
but where our paths unite the two
you always know me
yes you do – and know that I know you

 

 

JACK O` ROSES

 

 

What makes your sweet breast heave, my dear
your bright eyes fill with tears?
Did Jack O’ Roses leave you here
those seven lonely years?

Had you fear he might be dead
unwept in some far land?
Or worse that love itself had fled
betrayed both heart and hand?

Jack O’ Roses with a fan
East of Eden turned
built his castles in the sand
and all their bridges burned

Wait for him
Don’t take no other
no demon lover
who’ll be gone at dawn
Did you throw your fan
too far this time?
Well, well, well …
from the lion’s den
to the morning star
to the gates of Hell!

The morning star rose into hell
three days to shine on Moses
and from his solitary cell
to free the Jack O’ Roses

He sprang to saddle like wind, I allow 
for bridle strains of lightning
Ride, ride, ride, though tempest howl
cruelly and most frightening

For at the dawn fair Terrapin
arose like revelation
The morning star reflected in
the windows of Terrapin Station

Terrapin
If anyone should ask of you who made this song
say the Jack O’ Roses and all who played along
who rise, climb, fall to win
Terrapin

What have we to lose from love
except what lacks foundation
Words can only carve the space
we fill with expectation

The lion’s den lies far behind
in visions of the damned
Jack O’ Roses one more time
My lady, here’s your fan

Terrapin
let me rise, let me fall, let me climb, let me crawl
but let me in
Accept this fan as a token of what I meant to do
for I really do love you

 


LEAVING TERRAPIN

  

Be careful how you speak of us
Take no ones name in vain
Someday we are bound to meet
in fortune’s glades again
As we lose our faith and trust,
guide us, though insane,
through cataracts of wailing souls
in search of grace and fame

Was it you along beside me
who crawled out of the sea?
Who is that one sleeping
in the shadow of the tree?
Who is that beside her?
Is it who it seems to be?
Do not disturb their slumber
Oh, true love, let them be

Prophetic dreams and peaceful,
not tumultuous and deep
ease the crease upon their brows
and smile upon their sleep
While starfish gather coral
beneath the foam and froth,
they offer hymns to Isis
Osiris and Astoroth
Although the stars have shifted,
we’re not lost
The westward rolling breeze
decides our course
Seems such a long, long time
since we last sighted land
but a seabird brought
this olive branch
and dropped it in my hand

All of this was sung before
and shall be sung again
Forgotten songs
reclaim their tunes
when leaving Terrapin
Orion sparkles overhead
but just a bit misplaced
Visions rescued from the dead
speak from your living face

You look to me like starshine
on the foothills of the moon
Crickets make the rhythm
and cicadas play the tune
When the music falters
growing ever dark and thin,
the light refrains from shining
on the gates of Terrapin

The banners of the station hang
like cobwebs from a dream
Echoes fade where music rang
and candles lose their gleam
Breath flies from the body
and inspiration fails
The storyteller packs his kit
and leaves the Land of Tales

If I’ve been a long time gone
It’s not that love of you
has been forsaken or forgot
or halved and broke in two
Outside major darkness
where the circle is complete
there’s no fear that lovers born
will ever fail to meet

Inspiration move me right
Let sense and color guide me
Where other feet have stumbled
Lift me over lightly
Raise the rag-ends of a voice
to make some kind of song
Not to make it perfect
but more nearly right than wrong

  

RECOGNITION

 

 

Raise the drinking horn again
Let laughter fill the hall
The storyteller has returned
from other ports of call

He seems to be a younger man
than when he went away-
though you and I, my own true love,
have lived to show our day

Still you seem a stranger
in the flesh of someone dear
While the storyteller speaks
I feel your darkness stir

I see the shadows on the wall
take color, depth and form
I see a lion’s den await
three riders in the storm

I see you fall upon the ground
for space of half an hour
Then I see you rise again
cloaked in earthly power

I see myself approach the den
to work your fateful will
Terrapin shines in the west
The anxious wind grows still

Did I make the proper choice?
The storyteller winks
Even though I hear his voice
I can’t tell what he thinks

Hand in hand we leave the fire
the storytelling done;
pinch the candle and retire
tonight our dreams are one

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
while crickets and cicadas sing
a rare and different tune
~ Terrapin Station

TERRAPIN STATION ~COMPLETE

~ ROBERT HUNTER ~ GrAtEfuL dEaD

 

LADY WITH A FAN

 

Let my inspiration flow, in token rhyme suggesting rhythm
That will not forsake me, till my tale is told and done
While the fire lights aglow, strange shadows from 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 story teller 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 leapt at him
That’s how it stands today. You decide if he was wise 
The story teller 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 paid 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 of colour
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 on Venus
Rising first and shining best
Oh, from the north-west corner
Of a brand new crescent moon
Where 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 the end or beginning
 
(
Terrapin)
But the train’s put it brakes on
(
Terrapin)
And the whistle is screaming
Terrapin

 

AT A SIDING

 

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

Sullen wings of fortune beat like rain
You’re back in Terrapin for good or ill again
For good or ill again

 

RETURN OF TERRAPIN

 

Up these steps beside me climb
To Terrapin and points sublime
Robbed of reason, faith and name
Broken-hearted blind and lame

Slain by doubt, mistaken trust
Abandoned in the rain to rust
Shriveled by the heat of day
Torn to shreds by birds of prey

Shapeless in the fire’s glow
Tell me if you think you know
Who it was we were below
Where we’ve been and where we go

Lilies have the bees to tend them
Grasses have the breeze to bend them
Broken hearts have tears to mend them
Show us stairs, we will ascend them

Stair by stair by stair we climb
Voices hushed to sighs by time
Speak our souls in pantomime
Clear cold bells of winter chime

Pale through this ghostly haze
The dawn of a newborn moon
Illuminates this ancient maze
Of tumbled stones rough hewn

Trust your faith and enter
By paths the heart divines
The sun lies at the center
Through gates of creeping vines

how faint the rays
of former days
in avenues of time–
but it does shine
emblem of sight
pride of the eyes
that shatters shadow
and all of the dark defies

Let the sun rise!

 

IVORY WHEELS, ROSEWOOD TRACK

 

Ivory wheels on a rosewood track
Take us back again and again to Terrapin
 

Smokestack thunder – pay the ticket price 
Clock in the sky says quarter to twice – we roll again

Hello, good soldier, where you been?
Did you take the wrong round to get to Terrapin? 

Some for reasons great or small
Rise, climb, fall, to get to Terrapin

The demon’s daughter used to lay for gin
In a shack way back on the skirts of the fens of Terrapin

The demon himself got drunk all night
Collapsed at the sunrise service – he was very tight

Captain Billy Lyon from Louisiana low
Used to chase a bayou girl through here named Peggy-o

Some say he died of love for Peggy-o 
Others say it was the devil himself laid Billy low
 

Some for reasons known but to them
Rise, climb, fall, to get to Terrapin

One-eyed sailor with a Cheshire grin
That must be the Jack O’Roses bound for Terrapin

Chasing that lady-o through the bayou
Swore to God in lightning storm he’d catch her, too

Fortune dealt him such a straight high hand
He saw no reason not to trust it more, and retrieved her fan

The lions looked up in surprise
But they backed right off when they saw the madness in his eyes

Venus rises from the sea
On the back of a mighty Terrapin with a coral fan

Throws that fan to the diamond beach
Always a little out of reach – but try again

Some for reasons great or small
Rise, climb, fall, to get to Terrapin

 

 

AND I KNOW YOU

 

 

Endless recognitions pour
like honey from a honey jar
Lights from near and distant stars
come streaming through the door

Tonight I do not know my face
from one who looks the same
by flicker of unburning flame
inside this old familiar place

Fortune sweet and bitter fate
converse beside the open fire
removed from weavings of desire,
twisted skeins of love and hate

And I know you
Yes I do
I know you–
And you know me–
I could swear
you know me too

We have been together
since the first-born seed of light
reflected on the water
and divided day from night
Sometimes we were strangers
Sometimes we were friends
Dreamed up lives of danger
Broke hearts and made amends

It’s time to leave fair Terrapin
Head down the stairs again
Step by step return below
Fill the blanks in as we go
Find out what we need to know;
from gossip if it must be so
Forsake this cool and kindly light
for troubled day and sleepless night

Or shall I go while you remain;
search below for you in vain
find you here from time to time,
elusive subject of a rhyme?
Or would you rather go alone
in unfamiliar flesh and bone,
meet and put me to the test,
a scarlet flower at your breast?

I don’t know how we chose before,
for love or sorrow, peace or war
but where our paths unite the two
you always know me
yes you do – and know that I know you

 

 

JACK O` ROSES

 

 

What makes your sweet breast heave, my dear
your bright eyes fill with tears?
Did Jack O’ Roses leave you here
those seven lonely years?

Had you fear he might be dead
unwept in some far land?
Or worse that love itself had fled
betrayed both heart and hand?

Jack O’ Roses with a fan
East of Eden turned
built his castles in the sand
and all their bridges burned

Wait for him
Don’t take no other
no demon lover
who’ll be gone at dawn
Did you throw your fan
too far this time?
Well, well, well …
from the lion’s den
to the morning star
to the gates of Hell!

The morning star rose into hell
three days to shine on Moses
and from his solitary cell
to free the Jack O’ Roses

He sprang to saddle like wind, I allow 
for bridle strains of lightning
Ride, ride, ride, though tempest howl
cruelly and most frightening

For at the dawn fair Terrapin
arose like revelation
The morning star reflected in
the windows of Terrapin Station

Terrapin
If anyone should ask of you who made this song
say the Jack O’ Roses and all who played along
who rise, climb, fall to win
Terrapin

What have we to lose from love
except what lacks foundation
Words can only carve the space
we fill with expectation

The lion’s den lies far behind
in visions of the damned
Jack O’ Roses one more time
My lady, here’s your fan

Terrapin
let me rise, let me fall, let me climb, let me crawl
but let me in
Accept this fan as a token of what I meant to do
for I really do love you

 


LEAVING TERRAPIN

  

Be careful how you speak of us
Take no ones name in vain
Someday we are bound to meet
in fortune’s glades again
As we lose our faith and trust,
guide us, though insane,
through cataracts of wailing souls
in search of grace and fame

Was it you along beside me
who crawled out of the sea?
Who is that one sleeping
in the shadow of the tree?
Who is that beside her?
Is it who it seems to be?
Do not disturb their slumber
Oh, true love, let them be

Prophetic dreams and peaceful,
not tumultuous and deep
ease the crease upon their brows
and smile upon their sleep
While starfish gather coral
beneath the foam and froth,
they offer hymns to Isis
Osiris and Astoroth
Although the stars have shifted,
we’re not lost
The westward rolling breeze
decides our course
Seems such a long, long time
since we last sighted land
but a seabird brought
this olive branch
and dropped it in my hand

All of this was sung before
and shall be sung again
Forgotten songs
reclaim their tunes
when leaving Terrapin
Orion sparkles overhead
but just a bit misplaced
Visions rescued from the dead
speak from your living face

You look to me like starshine
on the foothills of the moon
Crickets make the rhythm
and cicadas play the tune
When the music falters
growing ever dark and thin,
the light refrains from shining
on the gates of Terrapin

The banners of the station hang
like cobwebs from a dream
Echoes fade where music rang
and candles lose their gleam
Breath flies from the body
and inspiration fails
The storyteller packs his kit
and leaves the Land of Tales

If I’ve been a long time gone
It’s not that love of you
has been forsaken or forgot
or halved and broke in two
Outside major darkness
where the circle is complete
there’s no fear that lovers born
will ever fail to meet

Inspiration move me right
Let sense and color guide me
Where other feet have stumbled
Lift me over lightly
Raise the rag-ends of a voice
to make some kind of song
Not to make it perfect
but more nearly right than wrong

  

RECOGNITION

 

 

Raise the drinking horn again
Let laughter fill the hall
The storyteller has returned
from other ports of call

He seems to be a younger man
than when he went away-
though you and I, my own true love,
have lived to show our day

Still you seem a stranger
in the flesh of someone dear
While the storyteller speaks
I feel your darkness stir

I see the shadows on the wall
take color, depth and form
I see a lion’s den await
three riders in the storm

I see you fall upon the ground
for space of half an hour
Then I see you rise again
cloaked in earthly power

I see myself approach the den
to work your fateful will
Terrapin shines in the west
The anxious wind grows still

Did I make the proper choice?
The storyteller winks
Even though I hear his voice
I can’t tell what he thinks

Hand in hand we leave the fire
the storytelling done;
pinch the candle and retire
tonight our dreams are one

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
while crickets and cicadas sing
a rare and different tune
~ Terrapin Station

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