Return To Terrapin

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Robert Hunter, [Brian Lesh]

This is the fourth song in Robert Hunter's Terrapin Station Suite. "Return To Terrapin" was never played by the Dead (nor, so far as I know by Robert Hunter himself).

It was sung by Brian Lesh with Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band on 5 June 2013, presumably set to music by Brian.

The lyrics below are from the second edition of his collected lyrics in "Box Of Rain". I have also include the earlier version from the first edition.

Up these steps beside me climb
To Terrapin and points sublime
Robbed of reason, faith and name
Broken-hearted blind and lame

Slain by doubt, mistaken trust
Abandoned in the rain to rust
Shriveled by the heat of day
Torn to shreds by birds of prey

Shapeless in the fire's glow
Tell me if you think you know
Who it was we were below
Where we've been and where we go

Lilies have the bees to tend them
Grasses have the breeze to bend them
Broken hearts have tears to mend them
Show us stairs, we will ascend them

Stair by stair by stair we climb
Voices hushed to sighs by time
Speak our souls in pantomime
Clear cold bells of winter chime

Pale through this ghostly haze
The dawn of a newborn moon
Illuminates this ancient maze
Of tumbled stones rough hewn

Trust your faith and enter
By paths the heart divines
The sun lies at the center
Through gates of creeping vines

how faint the rays
of former days
in avenues of time--
but it does shine
emblem of sight
pride of the eyes
that shatters shadow
and all of the dark defies

Let the sun rise!
The first version by Robert Hunter is below, with differences in red:
Up these steps beside me climb
to Terrapin and points sublime
Bereft of reason, faith and name
broken-hearted, blind, and lame

Slain by doubt, mistaken trust
Abandoned in the rain to rust
Torn to shreds by birds of prey
Hostage to another day

Walk with me, talk with me
Tell me where we mean to go
and where we've been--
Crickets can say it and the wind:
Terrapin...


Trees in fields
have the bees to tend them
Lillies have the wind
to bend them
Things have only
names we lend them
To the death
We will defend them


This light, so hazy--
cast by a new moon
through dense thought
to an ancient tune--
how pale the rays
as the light fades
through forest creepers
and clinging vines


but it does shine
signature of the sun
cut in a thin slice
a mere token of light

but it does shine--
failing only to be bright
emblem of something
that shatters shadow
and all the dark defies...
Let the sun rise!

A long line to ride
A long black train
on a spiralling track
takes us back to Terrapin



 


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