Walker After Midnight (Walkin' After Midnight)

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Vince Welnick/Phil Lesh/Joren Rushing

This is a lyric from Robert Hunter's book "Box Of Rain". Vince Welnick has put it to music and played it with Missing Man Formation (see Vince's site for an MP3 download).

Phil Lesh has separately set it to music under the title "Walkin' After Midnight" (and with a few changes to the lyrics). Phil's site shows it as a new song written in 2000 (but not yet played by Phil Lesh & Friends).

It has also been set to music by Joren Rushing and is the title track of June Rushing's CD - see her site for info. Thanks to David Gans for alerting me to this.

The original Hunter lyrics are:

A walker after midnight
On the road to Auld Lang Syne
I have walked a crooked mile
And I have walked the line
Walked on desert pathways
In the shadow of the flood
Slipped and fell from mountain tops
Swam in my own blood

Chorus (note 1)
A walker after midnight
More than this I cannot say
A walker after midnight
And I met you on my way

A walker after midnight
In another kind of light
I do not trust to reason
And I cannot trust my sight
I do not trust to messengers
With bright and shining eyes
I do not trust the foolish
And I dare not trust the wise

[chorus]

A walker in the shadows
Between the walls of night
I used to thirst for glory
But I lost my appetite (note 2)
Always one more trophy
I could never quite achieve
I'll settle for my sanity
And something to believe

Something to believe in
To the bottom of my soul
Something to hang on to
Something to console
Something to live up to
In spite of all disgrace
When all my other failings
Are paraded in my face

Maybe it's my destiny (note 3)
To love what others hate
Maybe there is time to change
And maybe it's too late
At times I feel a light divine
And try to catch a spark
End up strikin' matches
To better see the dark

[chorus]

A walker after midnight (note 3)
And my destiny is grim
Staring at the starlight
Till my eyes are growing dim
I still see well enough to know
The path I must pursue
If we meet again before the end
I'll share my fate with you
Phil Lesh's version is essentially the same (differences noted in italics):
Walkin' after midnight
On the road across lost time
I have walked a crooked mile
I have walked the line
Walked on desert pathways
In the shadow of the flood
Slipped and fell from mountain tops
Swam in my own blood

Walkin' after midnight
In another kind of light
I cannot trust to reason
I dare not trust my sight
At times I feel a light divine (note 4)
And try to catch a spark
End up strikin' matches
To better see the dark

Walkin' in the shadows
Between the walls of night
I used to thirst for glory
But I lost my appetite (note 2)
Always one more trophy
I never could achieve
I'll settle for my sanity
And something to believe

Something to believe in
To the bottom of my soul
Something to hang on to
Something to console
Something to live up to
In spite of all disgrace
When all my other failings
Are paraded in my face

Walkin' after midnight
And my destiny is grim
Starin' at the starlight
Till my eyes are growing dim
I still see well enough to know
The path I must pursue
If we meet before the end
I'll share my fate with you
Notes
(1) Vince sings the chorus after the second verse and not the first
(2) the original Hunter lyric was "... the appetite" but both Vince and Phil have "... my appetitie
(3) Vince doesn't sing either of these two verses
(4) Phil joins the second half of verse four to the first half of verse three