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Grateful Dead - "Ripple" Live

"Ripple" is the sixth song on the Grateful Dead album American Beauty. It was released as the B-side to the single "Truckin'"

This song, which was recorded in a country-folk style, was written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter. Hunter was not a performing member of the band, but wrote the lyrics to many of their songs. Hunter's words were often very poetic, lending themselves to interpretation. In this song, he writes about the joy of music in the air and how we must all choose our own path.

Dead chroniclers and fans have noted multiple connections between "Ripple" and the Old Testament's Psalm 23. The harp mentioned at the beginning suggest the musical instrument that traditionally accompanied the psalms. The still water, the cup, the road at night, and some other subtle pieces all suggest a connection.


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 through 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

Songwriters: Jerome J. Garcia / Robert C. Hunter Ripple lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group


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