Unbroken Chain

Lyrics: Bobby Petersen
Music: Phil Lesh

Blue light rain, whoa, unbroken chain
Looking for familiar faces in an empty window pane
Listening for the secret, searching for the sound
But I could only hear the preacher and the baying of his hounds

Willow sky, whoa, I walk and wonder why
They say love your brother but you will catch it when you try
Roll you down the line boy, drop you for a loss
Ride out on a cold railroad and nail you to a cross

November and more as I wait for the score
They're telling me forgiveness is the key to every door
A slow winter day, a night like forever
Sink like a stone, float like a feather

Lilac rain, unbroken chain
Song of the Saw-Whet owl
Out on the mountain it'll drive you insane
Listening to the winds howl

Unbroken chain of sorrow and pearls
Unbroken chain of sky and sea
Unbroken chain of the western wind
Unbroken chain of you and me
Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     (studio) 11 Aug 1973 From The Mars Hotel   (note 1)
     (studio) Apr 1974 From The Mars Hotel   (note 3), (note 4)
     23 Mar 1995 30 Days Of The Dead (2017)
      5 Jul 2015 Fare Thee Well (CD and DVD)
Phil Lesh and Friends Recordings
     19 May 2006 Live At The Warfield
Other Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     1994 Code Of The West Joe Gallant and Illuminati (note 2)
     1998 Blue Light Rain Jazz Is Dead
     2016 Better Left Unsung Holly Bowling
(1) an acoustic studio version issued as a bonus track on the version in the box set Beyond Description (1973-1990)
(2) also on the compilation "Stolen Roses"
(3) also on the compilation The Best Of The Grateful Dead.
(4) a sample from this recording was used in the Animal Collective song "What Would I Want, Sky".

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 dead.net see Greatest Stories Ever Told
For online chords and TAB see www.rukind.com
For sheet music, see:
          Grateful Dead Anthology Volume 2 (piano arrangement)
          Grateful Dead Songbook Volume 2 (piano arrangement)


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