Love Doesn't Have To Be Pretty

Lyrics: John Perry Barlow
Music: Brent Mydland

This is an unreleased Mydland/Barlow song. John Barlow has commented that "this is to my mind one of the best things we ever did. Brent performed it at a benefit concert in Berkeley. The Dead never did it because they thought it was too negative."

It seems that we got an instinct, baby
No matter who plunges first
You can look across a crowded room
And pick out the one
Who will hurt you the worst
So fasten your seat belt, baby
This ride could be rough
You know that love is gonna make me
Make you cry
Until we both say (note 1)
"Uncle, we've had enough"

Love doesn't have to be pretty
Love doesn't have to be fun
Love doesn't have to be flowers and lace
It can get in your face
Like a loaded gun
It likes to tangle up your dreams
It likes to do you 'till you're done
Love doesn't have to be pretty
Love doesn't have to be fun

I got this theory, baby
That when the Lord made the world
He cut us all in pieces
And mixed us up
Into a crazy swirl
We want to find the other half of ourselves (note 2)
We try on everyone for fit
When you're sifting haystacks for needles
It's for sure you're gonna get pricked


You can let it play your life
It will franchise your blues
It will set you up with
One loving wife
And then five or six more
Before it really gets through with you

It's like we're all on a ladder, baby
Everyone that I know
Is in love with the one who's above
And couldn't care less
'Bout the one who's below
It's a long climb to heaven this way
We try not to look down
We know if we did
What we'd see down below
Is a big pile of hearts
All over the ground

(1) Brent sings "Until we both scream" in his only known performance of this song.
(2) Brent sings "We're trying to find"


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