RIPPLE

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • RIPPLE
    “Ripple” is a song by the Grateful Dead with lyrics by Robert Hunter. A true song is
    meant to be sung, and so its words must be easy to remember, unless it is an experimental
    or art song. But Hunter wrote “Ripple” in the folk song tradition during the late 1960’s,
    with overtones of that Haight-Ashbury era, such as a sense of cosmic oneness, and of
    East meeting West. Several lines in these lyrics conjure up the 23rd Psalm from the bible,
    which for many people will be an evocation of peace and reassurance. In particular, the
    lines referring to “still water,” the filling of an empty cup, and the walking on a path in
    the shadow of the dark of night are strong references.
    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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