Help On The Way

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Paradise waits
On the crest of a wave her angels in flame
She has no pain
Like a child she is pure, she is not to blame
Poised for flight, wings spread bright
Spring from night into the sun
Don't stop to run
She can fly like a lie, she can't be outdone

Tell me the cost
I can pay, let me go, tell me love is not lost
Sell everything
Without love day to day, insanity's king
I will pay, day by day
Anyway, lock, bolt and key
Crippled but free (note 1)
I was blind all the time I was learning to see

Help on the way
Well I know only this, I've got you today
Don't fly away
'Cause I love what I love and I want it that way
I will stay, one more day
Like I say, honey, it's you
Making it too
Without love in the dream it'll never come true
(1) Hunter's handwritten lyrics have this line as "dropped in the sea"

See below for an early version of the lyrics.

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     studio 1975 Blues For Allah     (note 4)
     13 Aug 1975 One From The Vault
     28 Sep 1975 30 Trips Around The Sun
     10 Jun 1976 June 1976 Box Set
     14 Jun 1976 June 1976 Box Set
     17 Jun 1976 Dave's Picks Volume 28     (note 3)
     19 Jun 1976 June 1976 Box Set
     24 Sep 1976 Dave's Picks Vol 4
      9 Oct 1976 Dick's Picks Vol 33
     31 Dec 1976 Live At The Cow Palace
     26 Feb 1977 Dave's Picks Volume 29
      9 May 1977 May 1977: Get Shown The Light Box
     22 May 1977 Dick's Picks Vol 3
      9 Jun 1977 Winterland June 1977 - The Complete Recordings
     11 Oct 1977 Road Trips Volume 1, Number 2
     26 Apr 1983 Dave's Picks Volume 39
      2 Sep 1983 Dave's Picks Volume 27
     12 Oct 1983 In And Out Of The Garden
      1 Apr 1984 30 Days Of The Dead (2014)
     17 Apr 1984 30 Days Of The Dead (2018)
     21 Apr 1984 30 Days Of The Dead (2021)
      8 Oct 1989 Warlocks Box
     22 Oct 1989 30 Days Of The Dead (2017)
     24 Mar 1990 Spring 1990
     30 Mar 1990 Without A Net (note 1)
     18 Jul 1990 Dave's Picks Volume 40
     24 Mar 1991 30 Days Of The Dead (2016)
      5 May 1991 30 Days Of The Dead (2010)
     14 Jun 1991 View From The Vault II (video/DVD & CD soundtrack)
     10 Sep 1991 30 Trips Around The Sun
     25 Sep 1991 Dick's Picks Vol 17
      1 Oct 1994 30 Trips Around The Sun (note 5)
      3 Jul 2015 Fare Thee Well (CD and DVD)
Phil Lesh and Friends Recordings
     19 May 2006 Live At The Warfield
(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 and Illuminati
     1997 Jake's Leg Jake's Leg
     1998 Blue Light Rain Jazz Is Dead
     2001 Live At The Green Mill Sabertooth
     2007 29 Jun 2007 Groveland, CA New Monsoon
     2012 27 Apr 2012 UMBowl II, Park West, Chicago, IL Umphrey's McGee (note 2)
     2012 D'Eadphibians D'Amphibiand
     2012 Live At The 2012 Peach Music Festival Dark Star Orchestra
     2015 Twangin' The Dead Matt Rae
     2015 17 Apr 2015 Morrison, CO Disco Biscuits (note 2)
     14 May 2015 Dear Jerry: Celebrating The Music Of Jerry Garcia Billy & The Kids
     2015 Songs Of Their Own The New Mastersounds
     2016 Day Of The Dead Bella Fleck
     2016 Better Left Unsung Holly Bowling
     2018 Garcia Songbook Joe Craven & The Sometimers
     31 Dec 2018 Rising Up To Paradise Big Swell

(1) also on the box set Spring 1990
(2) The list above includes only one illustrative example of the series of live recordings by these bands. For a full list see the Grateful Dead Family Discography.
(3) also included in 30 Days Of The Dead (2012)
(4) also released on the Grateful Dead 7" singles volume 11 and 12.
(5) also included in 30 Days Of The Dead (2022)

Thanks to Jesse Jarnow for posting an early typed version of the lyrics. Only a few words or phrases (in italics) made it through to the final version. I have left the layout with the asterisks, brackets and indentations as in the typescript, .
Help on the way: well I know * yeah I know it's foretold thing
Help on the way: well a bird * who can fly's * worth many that just sing
Due today (on a long shot)
Did you say (make a quick stop)
Love, love, love * may be today
What can I say? without love * day to day * insanity's king

Solomon says * make it sweet * get right back to your feet
It's all a guess: right or wrong * you belong * in your own driver's seat
You can steer (ain't much to it)
Change the gear (double clutch it)
Drive, drive, drive * due retreat
What else is true? but your love * and the blues * that you learned on the street

Honey it's you: if you stop * let it drop * none of us can come true
Broken in two * let it slide * let it slip * till there's nothing to do
Back in tune (in amomng her)
Just for you (any wonder?) You make rain * I'll make thunder
Ease off the pain: down the drain * it's so plain * why that other dream blew

What have you heard? get the word * get the word * right back down on the [street?]
Who was that bird? it was clear * I could hear * just who did sing retreat
Just roll on (like a river)
Right or wrong (still deliver)
So so sweet * you'll recover
Changin' the beat * got to rise * what you got * or never be complete

Chase of the year: if your soul * is intact * you've got nothing to fear
Justice in tears: someone shall * has to fall * get caught in the [?]
Run through blind (like a lover)
Stop in time (you'll recover)
Use your ears * what do you hear?
Dark night of mirrors: everything * the reverse * of what it may appear

No one's correct: intellect * in a wreck * and it just blocks the trail
Liberty frail: for the crime * of a mind * can still wind up in jail
Talk, talk, talk (I can't listen)
Walk, walk, walk (Every ill wind)
Blows today * (but) help's on the way
Get out and wail: if your blues * seem to fail * baby who wrote the [tale?]

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 Songbook Volume 2 (piano arrangement)
          Without A Net Songbook (piano arrangement)
          Garcia/Hunter Songbook (vocal line and chords/TAB)


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