The Handyman Rhyme

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Robert Hunter

Alone, apart by the edge of the sand
shape and sizes fall from our hand
again and again, without stopping for breath
we finish our lives and surrender to death

Seldom at all unless driven by fear
does anyone hear withe the heart of the ear
the song of the handyman hammering hard
to tear down the wall and reveal us

We meet in the wreckage
Find love without fear
but die when our double
steps out of the mirror

You approach by the edge of the sea,
up ahead, I turn, you're behind me -
Do you remember the Handyman's Rhyme?
No I do not - Will you sing it again?

Rap! Tack! Slap of the joiner
sound of the cutting edge
shearing through pine
Crow on the cradle
Hawk on the table
The first a fable
The second a sign

Run! Quick!
Hide in the mountain
I would run with you
but two cannot pass
I'll hide
deep in the valley
A shadow in shadow
A shade among shades

Stand and deliver
Stumble and fall
Rise! Turn!
come when I call
From out of the lilac
The roots of the trees
The dew in the morning
The bell in the breeze

You've finished your training
You've learned how to die
Walk me down to the quarry
and kiss me good-bye
Love of my life
We have not loved enough
Our jewels are unpolished
Their settings are rough
I love and release you
Relinquish your line
It's yours now forever
in wishing well time
Robert Hunter commented in "Box Of Rain":
"This is the oldest song in the book, conceived around 1965 when I lived in the attic of a house where Jerry and Sara Garcia, Dave and Bonnie Parker, Mike O'Connelly, Rick Shubb, David Nelson, Anne Murphy and Neal Cassady all resided sporadically."

Further Information
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography


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