Gentle On My Mind

Lyrics: John Hartford
Music: John Hartford

Played by Robert Hunter in solo performances

It's knowing that your door is always open and your path is free to walk
That makes me tend to leave my sleeping bag rolled up and stashed behind your couch
And it's knowing I'm not shackled by forgotten words and bonds and the ink stains that have dried upon some line
That keeps you in the back roads by the rivers of memory, that keeps you ever gentle on my mind

It's not clinging to the rocks and ivy planted on their columns now that bind me
Or something that somebody said because they thought we fit together walking
It's just knowing that the world will not be cursing or forgiving when I walk along some railroad track and find
That you're moving on the back roads by the rivers of my memory and for hours you're just gentle on my mind

Though the wheat fields and the clothes lines and the junkyards and the highways come between us
And some other woman's crying to her mother 'cause she turned and I was gone
I still might run in silence, tears of joy might stain my face and summer sun might burn me till I'm blind
But not to where I cannot see you walking on the back roads, by the rivers flowing gentle on my mind

I dip my cup of soup back from the gurgling, crackling cauldron in some train yard
My beard a roughening coal pile and a dirty hat pulled low across my face
Through cupped hands 'round a tin can, I pretend I hold you to my breast and find
That you're waving from the back roads by the rivers of my memory ever smiling, ever gentle on my mind