Song of the Day #2,822: ‘Box of Rain’ – Grateful Dead

american_beautyWhen compiling my list of favorite 1970 albums, I was tempted to include Grateful Dead’s American Beauty. Every time I listen to this record I’m reminded just how great it is.

The problem is, I almost never listen to it. Maybe three times in the last decade. Granted, I don’t pull out Let It Be or Watertown on a weekly basis either, but I know both of those albums by heart because I did give them that level of attention at some point. American Beauty never earned its own obsessive phase.

You’re either a Deadhead or you’re not, and I’m not. But my lack of overall enthusiasm for this band shouldn’t diminish the excellence of America Beauty, one of the finest examples of folk rock you’ll ever hear.

Among the great songs on this album are ‘Sugar Magnolia,’ ‘Truckin’,’ ‘Friend of the Devil,’ ‘Ripple’ and today’s SOTD, ‘Box of Rain.’ That’s half of a greatest hits lineup right there.

Look out of any window, any morning, any evening, any day
Maybe the sun is shining, birds are winging
No 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 are sleeping?
Then please don’t be surprised when you find me dreaming too

Look into any eyes you find by you, you can see clear to another day
Maybe been seen before, through other eyes on other days while going home
What do you want me to do, to do for you to see you through?
It’s all a dream we dreamed one afternoon, long ago

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

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One thought on “Song of the Day #2,822: ‘Box of Rain’ – Grateful Dead

  1. Dana says:

    I too am not a Deadhead, but I appreciate their work as well. I’ve never owned a Dead album, but I’ve heard today’s song, as well as the others you mentioned.

    I think early on, I wrote the Dead off as a “stoner” band, just as I did with Pink Floyd. Those stoners, however, actually had good taste in music in both cases. One common factor though was that the stoners were mellow enough to patiently listen to extended jams, which both bands often served up, particularly live. That is where the stoners and I part ways. After about five minutes of any song, I’m ready to wrap it up and move on.

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