Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Mickey Hart
This is the third song of Robert Hunter's Terrapin Station Suite. The Dead recorded "At A Siding" on the studio version of the "Terrapin Station" suite. They never played it live with the lyrics, but once played it as an instrumental on 18 March 1977. More recently, Ratdog have introduced it into their repertoire.
There is some confusion over whether "At A Siding" includes the swooping Jerry Garcia guitar lines that precede the vocals. Aaron Donovan's analysis argues that that portion is "Terrapin Transit" and that "At A Siding" starts with the vocals. But the sheet music in "Grateful Dead Anthology" includes it as part of "At A Siding." Todd Corey's analysis also suggests it is part of "At A Siding" and not "Terrapin Transit."
See also the lyrics Jim McPherson recorded with Phil Lesh and Mickey Hart when the song was being developed.
Grateful Dead lyrics
While you were gone
These spaces filled with darkness
The obvious was hidden
With nothing to believe in
The compass always points to Terrapin
Sullen wings of fortune beat like rain
You're back in Terrapin for good or ill again
For good or ill again
|Grateful Dead Recordings|
|studio 1977||Terrapin Station (note 1)|
|1996||Play Terrapin Station||The Mudkats|
|1999||Terrapin||Joe Gallant & Illuminati|