The Music Never Stopped

Lyrics: John Barlow
Music: Bob Weir

Robert Hunter originally wrote lyrics to Weir's music for this song (see Hollywood Cantata) but that version was abandoned in favour of the Barlow lyrics below which were recorded for "Blues For Allah". The Hunter lyrics appear in "Box Of Rain" and in a version sung by Weir which was released as an outtake in the box set Beyond Description.

There's mosquitoes on the river
Fish are rising up like birds
It's been hot for seven weeks now
Too hot to even speak now
Did you hear what I just heard?

Say, it might have been a fiddle
Or it could have been the wind
But there seems to be a beat now
I can feel it in my feet now
Listen here it comes again

There's a band out on the highway
They're high-stepping into town
It's a rainbow full of sound
It's fireworks, calliopes and clowns
Everybody's dancing

Come on children, come on children
Come on clap your hands

Sun went down in honey
And the moon came up in wine
You know stars were spinning dizzy
Lord the band kept us so busy
We forgot about the time

They're a band beyond description
Like Jehovah's favourite choir
People joining hand in hand
While the music plays the band
Lord they're setting us on fire

Crazy rooster crowing midnight
Balls of lightning roll along
Old men sing about their dreams
Women laugh and children scream
And the band keeps playing on

Keep on dancing through to daylight
Greet the morning air with song
No one's noticed but the band's all packed and gone
Was it ever here at all?
But they kept on dancing

Come on children, come on children
Come on clap your hands

Well the cool breeze came on Tuesday
And the corn's a bumper crop
And the fields are full of dancing
Full of singing and romancing
The music never stopped
Grateful Dead and Related Recordings
     Date Album
     studio 1975 Blues For Allah (note 1)
     13 Aug 1975 One From The Vaults (note 6)
     28 Sep 1975 30 Trips Around The Sun
      9 Jun 1976 Road Trips Volume 4, Number 5 (note 2)
     12 Jun 1976 30 Days Of The Dead (2013)
     17 Jun 1976 Dave's Picks Volume 28
     18 Jun 1976 Download Series Vol 4
     16 Jul 1976 Dave's Picks Volume 18
     24 Sep 1976 Dave's Picks Vol 4
      2 Oct 1976 30 Days Of The Dead (2016)
      3 Oct 1976 30 Trips Around The Sun
     26 Feb 1977 Dave's Picks Volume 29
     25 Apr 1977 30 Trips Around The Sun
     30 Apr 1977 Download Series Vol 1
      5 May 1977 May 1977: Get Shown The Light Box
      7 May 1977 May 1977: Get Shown The Light Box
      9 May 1977 May 1977: Get Shown The Light Box
     13 May 1977 May 1977 Box Set
     22 May 1977 Dick's Picks Vol 3
     26 May 1977 30 Days Of The Dead (2014)
      7 Jun 1977 Winterland June 1977 - The Complete Recordings
      9 Jun 1977 Winterland June 1977 - The Complete Recordings
      3 Sep 1977 Dick's Picks Vol 15
     16 Oct 1977 Road Trips Volume 1, Number 2
      6 Nov 1977 Dave's Picks Volume 25
     22 Jan 1978 Dave's Picks Volume 23
      3 Feb 1978 Dick's Picks Vol 18
     21 Apr 1978 30 Days Of The Dead (2012)
     24 Apr 1978 Dave's Picks Volume 7 (note 3)
      7 May 1978 30 Days Of The Dead (2015)
     13 May 1978 30 Days Of The Dead (2017)
      3 Jul 1978 July 1978: The Complete Recordings
      7 Jul 1978 July 1978: The Complete Recordings
      5 Nov 1979 Road Trips Full Show: Spectrum 11/5/79
     28 Dec 1979 Road Trips Vol 3, No 1
     14 Oct 1980 So Many Roads (1965-1995)
      7 Aug 1982 Dick's Picks Vol 32
     31 Jul 1982 30 Trips Around The Sun
     21 Oct 1983 30 Trips Around The Sun
     12 Oct 1984 30 Trips Around The Sun
      3 Sep 1985 30 Days Of The Dead (2011)
     31 Dec 1987 Ticket To New Year's (video/DVD only)
      2 Apr 1989 Download Series Vol 9
     17 Jul 1989 Fallout From The Phil Zone (note 4)
      9 Oct 1989 Warlocks Box
     18 Mar 1990 Spring 1990 (The Other One)
      1 Apr 1990 Spring 1990 (The Other One)
     14 Jun 1991 View From The Vault II (video/DVD & CD soundtrack)
     25 Sep 1991 Dick's Picks Vol 17
     21 Feb 1995 30 Trips Around The Sun
      3 Jul 2015 Fare Thee Well (CD and DVD) (note 5)
Bob Weir Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     25 Apr 2001 Live At The Roseland Ratdog
(Plus live recordings by The Dead, Furthur, Dead & Company, Ratdog, Phil Lesh & Friends etc not listed here. See Grateful Dead Family Discography for a full list.)
Other Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
      1996 Blues For Allah Joe Gallant & Illuminati
      1998 Live Vol 2 Joe Gallant & Illuminati
      1999 IPO Flying Other Brothers
      2000 Lost Marbles Lost Marbles
     2001 Live At Twenty North Jake's Leg
     2003 Thunder And Lightnin' Dark Star Orchestra
     2005 Deadgrass Deadgrass
     12 Nov 2005 For Rex: The Black Tie Dye Ball Zen Tricksters plus friends
     2006 Barlow Shanghai - Live in Chicago Mr Blotto
     2008 30 Years Jake's Leg
     2015 Songs Of Their Own Hot Buttered Rum
     2018 Selections from the Great American Music Hall Midnight North (note 7)
(1) also on the compilations The Very Best Of The Grateful Dead and The Best Of The Grateful Dead. Released as the Grateful Dead 7" single volume 11.
(2) also released on bonus disc Spirit Of '76 issued with advance orders for Live At The Cow Palace.
(3) also on 30 Days Of The Dead (2010)
(4) also on the compilation Weir Here: The Best Of Bob Weir
(5) also on the compilation Best Of Fare Thee Well.
(6) also on the Long Strange Trip Soundtrack and on the compilation The Best Of The Grateful Dead Live
(7) feauturing Bob Weir and Phil Lesh.

Further Information
For an online discussion of the lyrics to this song see the deadsongs.vue conference on The Well.
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography
For information on references in the lyrics see David Dodd's Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
For David Dodd's discussion of this song on see Greatest Stories Ever Told
For online chords and TAB see
For sheet music, see:
          Grateful Dead Anthology Volume 1 (piano arrangement)
          Grateful Dead Songbook Volume 2 (piano arrangement)
          Very Best Of The Grateful Dead (guitar TAB)


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