Northeast By West

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: [Mickey Hart?]

Robert Hunter notes inn "Box Of Rain" that:

"France" was written to tapes of a joyous afternoon Latin jam at Mickey Hart's ranch, the same jam that spawned "Molly Dee" and "Northeast by West."
It does not seem to have been performed by Robert Hunter or by Mickey Hart. There's a Grateful Dead rehearsal tape dated 1 February 1983 where the notes seem to indicate that Northeast By West was being played (heavily drum-based with no vocals). But that date wouldn't square with the quote by Hunter above, which would place it's origins in 1978.
Twenty-three miles northeast by west
A bad attack of murder
Seemed to break out everywhere
There was no known cure

Really tried to warn the crowd
Just try to stay away
But people felt they had a right
And showed up anyway

Northeast by west I ride
At angles to all borders
I'm not taking any side
Or giving any orders

I had my insides hanging out
From dangling round all summer
Demanding that we twist and shout
Or kick the damn thing under

I may need a whole new part
Or just a dab of paint
Chickenshit can be an art
I guess, unless it ain't

Northeast by west I ride
By no man's lawful orders
Southwest by east I ride
At angles to all borders

You might disagree with me
It's your right to be wrong
Anyway, I got my say
Even if it's just a song

Northeast by west I ride
At angles to all borders
I'm not taking any sides
And no one gives me orders

Is it late enough to say
Good morning everyone?
Or is that just an arc light glare
Disguised as a rising sun?

Say you saw me passing through
And that I was a friend
If it had not of been for you
God knows how it would end


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