Crazy Fingers

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Your rain falls like crazy fingers
Peals of fragile thunder
Keeping time
Recall the days that still are to come
Some sing blue

Hang your heart on laughing willow
Stray down to the water
Deep sea of love
Beneath the sweet calm face of the sea
Swift undertow

Life may be sweeter for this, I don't know
See how it feels in the end
May Lady Lullaby sing plainly for you
Soft, strong, sweet and true

Cloud hands reaching from a rainbow
Tapping at the window
Touch your hair
So swift and bright, strange figures of light (note 1)
Float in air

Who can stop what must arrive now?
Something new is waiting
To be born
Dark as the night you're still by my side
Shining side (note 2)

Gone are the days we stopped to decide
Where we should go, we just ride
Gone are the broken eyes we saw through in dreams
Gone, both dream and lie

Life may be sweeter for this, I don't know
Feels like it might be alright
While Lady Lullaby sings plainly for you (note 3)
Love still rings true

Midnight on a carousel ride
Reaching for the gold ring
Down inside
Never could reach it, just slips away
But I try (note 4)
(1) these are the lyrics in "Box Of Rain." The sheet music has "strange fingers of light," and it certainly sounds as if that is what Jerry sings on "Blues For Allah" and on DP17. Note that in the version on "One From The Vault", Jerry gets the words wrong here, and sings "Dark as the night ..." from the next verse. When he gets to that passage, he realises what he has done and stumbles before singing it again.
(2) these are the lyrics in "Box Of Rain." The sheet music has "Shine inside." It's almost impossible to tell which one Jerry actually sang.
(3) it sounds as if Jerry normally sang "... sings plainly through you"
(4) Jerry normally sang "When I try"

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     studio 1975 Blues For Allah (note a)
     13 Aug 1975 One From The Vault
      9 Jun 1976 Road Trips Volume 4, Number 5 (note b)
     14 Jun 1976 June 1976 Box Set
     18 Jun 1976 Download Series Vol 4
     13 Jul 1976 30 Days Of The Dead (2015)
      3 Apr 1989 Download Series Vol 9
     27 Dec 1989 30 Days Of The Dead (2018)
     14 Mar 1990 Spring 1990 (The Other One)
     21 Mar 1990 Spring 1990 (The Other One)
     25 Mar 1990 Spring 1990 (The Other One)
      3 Apr 1990 Spring 1990 (The Other One)
     27 Oct 1990 30 Trips Around The Sun
     16 Jun 1991 Giants Stadium 1987, 1989, 1991 Boxed Set
     25 Sep 1991 Dick's Picks Vol 17
     26 May 1993 Road Trips Vol 2, No 4
      3 Jul 2015 Fare Thee Well (CD and DVD)
(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
     1998 Blue Light Rain Jazz Is Dead
     2003 Lost & Profound Otter Lunacy
     2004 Werewolves Of Atlanta: Halloween 2004 Dark Star Orchestra
     2006 June 29 2006, High Sierra Music Festival Zero (note c)
     2007 Sept 8 20017, George's Majestic Lounge, Fayetteville, AR Steve Kimock & Friends
     1 Sep 2008 Jerry Jams for Rex II Umphrey's McGee
     2008 Sept 1 2008, Fox Theatre, Boulder, CO Umphrey's McGee (note c)
     2012 March 10 2012, San Francisco, CA Railroad Earth
     2013 Back Around Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson
     2015 Apr 17 2015, Morrison, CO Disco Biscuits
     2015 Songs Of Their Own Tod Stoops & Hayley Jane
     2016 Better Left Unsung Holly Bowling
     2017 Begin To Dance Jenna Mammina & Rolf Sturm
     2017 Let The Steel Play Andy Hall & Roosevelt Collier
     2018 Garcia Songbook Joe Craven & The Sometimers

(a) one of the bonus tracks on the 2004 reissue of "Blues for Allah" is "Distorto" which is an early instrumental version of "Crazy Fingers"
(b) also released on bonus disc Spirit Of '76 issued with advance orders for Live At The Cow Palace.
(c) The list above includes only one illustrative example of the series of live recordings by these artists. For a full list see the Grateful Dead Family Discography.

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 Anthology Volume 2 (piano arrangement)
          Grateful Dead Songbook Volume 2 (piano arrangement)
          Garcia/Hunter Songbook (vocal line and chords/TAB)


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