The Only Time Is Now

Lyrics: Jerry Garcia, Dave Parker
Music: Grateful Dead

One of the very early Grateful Dead songs that didn't last beyond their first year or so. Dennis McNally says that the song was "written by Garcia and sung by Lesh". The writing credits on "Birth Of The Dead" are to all members of the Grateful Dead, but the book with the box set "30 Trips Around The Sun" says "Lyrics by Garcia's friend (and longtime Dead employee) Dave Parker" - though it credits the lyrics to both Garcia and Parker. David Nelson has also said, in an interview with David Gans, that Dave Parker wrote the lyrics to this and another song.

Oh I know there is no place you can go to
And I know you don't know anyone at all
So come walking in the sun with me my little one
And remember that the only time is now

Well strange is the story your eyes tell me
And quiet all the few words that you say
So come and hold my hand for you see I'd understand
And remember that the only time is now

Oh I come to you a ragged laughing stranger (note 1)
And you come to me an angel of the night (note 2)
So all dance and we will sing, for it doesn't mean a thing (note 3)
To remember that the only time is now

So forget about your yesterdays of sorrow
And forget about the darkness you have seen
For there's only you and me at the edge of an endless sea
And remember that the only time is now
(1) in his book, "A Long Strange Trip," Dennis McNally quotes this line as "... a ragged and open stranger", but that's not what I hear.
(2) Steve Finney believes this line is "... angel of thine eyes", but again that's not what I hear.
(3) I originally had this as "So I'll dance ..." but Steve Finney, I think correctly, says it's "So all dance.

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     studio 3 Nov 1965 Birth Of The Dead (note 4)
Other Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     1996 Elpee for Another Time Fire Dept (note 5)
(4) originally issued as part of the Rhino box set The Golden Road (1965-1973)
(5) included under the title "Walking In The Sun"

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


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