Terrapin Station

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

This is the second song in Robert Hunter's Terrapin Station Suite. In setlists, the first song in the suite, "Lady With A Fan," is often lumped together with "Terrapin Station" rather than shown as a separate song.

Inspiration, move me brightly
Light the song with sense and color
Hold away despair
More than this I will not ask
Faced with mysteries dark and vast
Statements just seem vain at last
Some rise, some fall, some climb (note 1)
To get to Terrapin

Counting stars by candlelight
All are dim but one is bright
The spiral light of Venus
Rising first and shining best
Oh, from the north-west corner
Of a brand new crescent moon
Crickets and cicadas sing
A rare and different tune
Terrapin Station
In the shadow of the moon
Terrapin Station
And I know we'll be there soon

I can't figure out
If it's the end or beginning (note 2)
But the train's put it brakes on
And the whistle is screaming
(1) in his 1980 recording, Hunter sang "Some rise, some climb, some crawl" and then (in the repeat) "Some rise, some climb, some fall". And in an earlier versuon, he sang "Some rise, some crawl, some fall"
(2) this is what Garcia sings. But the published lyrics are "if it's an end or the beginning." And Hunter sang "is this an end or a beginning."

Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     Studio 1977 Terrapin Station (3)
     26 Feb 1977 Dave's Picks Volume 29
     22 Apr 1977 30 Days Of The Dead (2021)
     25 Apr 1977 30 Trips Around The Sun
     30 Apr 1977 Download Series Vol 1
      4 May 1977 Dave's Picks Volume 50 (bonus disc)
      7 May 1977 May 1977: Get Shown The Light Box
     12 May 1977 Winterland June 1977 - The Complete Recordings (bonus disc) (6)
     17 May 1977 May 1977 Box Set
     19 May 1977 Dick's Picks Vol 29
     22 May 1977 Dick's Picks 3 (1)
     26 May 1977 Dave's Picks Volume 41
     28 May 1977 To Terrapin: Hartford '77
      7 Jun 1977 Winterland June 1977 - The Complete Recordings
      9 Jun 1977 Winterland June 1977 - The Complete Recordings
      3 Sep 1977 Dick's Picks 15
     16 Oct 1977 Road Trips Volume 1, Number 2
      2 Nov 1977 Dave's Picks Volume 12
     29 Dec 1977 Dick's Picks 10
     22 Jan 1978 Dave's Picks Volume 23
     18 Apr 1978 Dave's Picks Vol 37
     24 Apr 1978 Dave's Picks Volume 7
      1 Jul 1978 July 1978: The Complete Recordings
      8 Jul 1978 July 1978: The Complete Recordings
     15 Sep 1978 Rocking The Cradle: Egypt 1978 (bonus disc)
     31 Dec 1978 The Closing Of Winterland (DVD & CD)
      6 Nov 1979 Road Trips Volume 1, Number 1 (5)
      3 Dec 1979 Dave's Picks Vol 31
      9 Dec 1979 Dave's Picks Vol 47
     28 Dec 1979 Road Trips Vol 3, No 1
      7 May 1980 Road Trips Volume 3, Number 4
     28 Nov 1980 30 Trips Around The Sun
      6 Apr 1982 Road Trips Volume 4, Number 4
     20 Sep 1982 In And Out Of The Garden
     19 Apr 1984 Dave's Picks Volume 35
     28 Jun 1985 30 Days Of The Dead (2014)
     26 Jul 1987 View From The Vault IV (DVD & CD soundtrack)
     18 Sep 1987 30 Trips Around The Sun
     31 Dec 1987 Ticket To New Year's (video/DVD only)
     31 Mar 1988 Road Trips Volume 4, Number 2
     31 Mar 1989 30 Days Of The Dead (2017) (8)
      4 Jul 1989 Truckin' Up To Buffalo (DVD & CD soundtrack)
     13 Jul 1989 RFK Stadium 1989 Box
     15 Mar 1990 Terrapin Station (Limited Edition)
     24 Mar 1990 Dozin' At The Knick
     30 Mar 1990 Spring 1990
     16 Jun 1990 View From The Vault III (video/DVD & CD soundtrack)
      8 Jul 1990 View From The Vault (video/DVD & CD soundtrack)
     18 Jul 1990 Dave's Picks Volume 40
     12 Sep 1991 So Many Roads (1965-1995)
     25 Sep 1991 Dick's Picks Vol 17
      1 Oct 1994 30 Trips Around The Sun
      5 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
     studio 1980 Jack O'Roses Robert Hunter
     1996 DeadBeats Acoustic DeadBeats
     1996 Play Terrapin Station The Mudkats
     9 Aug 1998 Jerry Jams for Rex Phish
     1999 Terrapin Joe Gallant & Illuminati
     2001 Solo Acoustic David Gans
     2001 Great Sky River Jazz Is Dead
     15 Sep 2002 Live At The Powerhouse David Gans (DVD only)
     2003 Solo Acoustic David Gans
     2003 Thunder And Lightnin' Dark Star Orchestra
     7 Aug 2004 Retrospective Railroad Earth
     11 Jun 2005 Live: Bonaroo Music Festival, Manchester, TN Gov't Mule (9)
     2006 Release The Medicine Sylvia Bagge
     2006 Piano Impressions Lore Constantine
     2007 Seeing Spots Paradise Island (Jenny Hoyston) (7)
     2008 Ithica 30 Years Later Dark Star Orchestra
      4 Sep 2010 House Concert, Club Meg, Missoula, MT David Gans (9)
     10 Mar 2012 Live: San Francisco, CA Railroad Earth (9)
     2011 Blottopia XII Day 1 Mr Blotto
     2013 Keys Keller Willams
     2013 Harpin' On The Dead Anela Lauren
     2013 Move Me Brightly Bob Weir et al (DVD)
     17 Apr 2015 Live: Morrison, CO Disco Biscuits
     27 Jun 2012 On The Road: Rothbury, MI String Cheese Incident (9)
     2015 Songs Of Their Own Dead Set
     2015 It's A Hand-Me-Down David Gans
     2016 Day Of The Dead Daniel Rosen, Christopher Bear and the National
     2016 Better Left Unsung Holly Bowling
     2019 Sabertooth Plays Dead Sabertooth
     2021 Alive And Grateful Bert Keely and Friends
     2021 Jerry's Smilin': Guitar Tribute To The Grateful Dead Damià Timoner
     Jun 2021 Live In Colorado Vol 2 Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros
(1) this is the only Grateful Dead recording of "Terrapin Station" not preceded by "Lady With A Fan" (it segues out of "Wharf Rat" instead)
(2) for almost all these recordings, the CD lists only "Terrapin Station" but this includes "Lady With A Fan"
(3) also on the compilations The Arista Years and The Best Of The Grateful Dead
(4) a short intrumental version of "Terrapin Station" recorded on 26 Sep 1990 at a rehearsal at Club Front is included on Best Of The Grateful Dead Hour
(5) also released on Road Trips Full Show: Spectrum 11/6/79
(6) also in the May 1977 Box Set
(7) not preceded by "Lady With A Fan"
(8) also made available for download on 30 Days Of The Dead (2020)
(9) The list above includes only one illustrative example of the series of live recordings by these bands. 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 dead.net see Greatest Stories Ever Told
For online chords and TAB see www.rukind.com
For sheet music, see:
          Grateful Dead Anthology Volume 1 (piano arrangement)
          Garcia/Hunter Songbook (vocal line and chords/TAB)


Home | Find words/phrases| Find Song lyrics| Dead originals| Dead covers|