An Acrostic Poem

This beautiful love song “Looks Like Rain” is by the Grateful Dead, the lyrics were written by John Barlow while the music was composed by Bob Weir.  It has nothing to do with the weather, it is all about romance and falling in love.  This guy is worried that his girl might be leaving him and when he wakes up she is no longer in the bed.  He says that he will always love her even if she gives him the run around or does something to hurt him again.  My favorite line in this song is where he says that he will still sing her love songs written in the letters of her name.

There are several thoughts about this phrase and the most popular one deals with Bob Weir the singer of this song saying that this refers to a beautiful girl that he knew in Prague named Gadec Minor, but Weir is a story teller, so I doubt that this girl ever existed and all he did was write the music, not the lyrics.  Weir composed the notes to this song starting off in the key of G, going to A, then to D, then to E, and ending on a C-minor, and putting those letters together is how he was able to create the name of this girl.  I tend to think that when Barlow wrote the line ‘written in the letters of your name’, that he was creating a phrase for each letter of a name, like the way it is done in that poem “Mother” by Howard Johnson.  “M” is for the million things she gave me, “O” means only that she’s growing old, “T” is for the tears she shed to save me, “H” is for her heart of purest gold; “E” is for her eyes, with love-light shining, “R” means right, and right she’ll always be, Put them all together, they spell “MOTHER”, A word that means the world to me.

There are some storm related lyrics in this song, but I think that they are relating to a stormy romance.  There is a line that says, “Did you ever waken to the sound of street cats making love” and I read that this was a reference to someone who had a room next to Pigpen and Janis Joplin and they did not get any sleep that night because they had to listen to them getting it on all evening.  Joplin had a brief romance with founding Grateful Dead member Ron “Pigpen” McKernan and was friendly with the other members of the band as she lived nearby.  Shortly after her death the Dead debuted the Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia original “Bird Song” which was penned in her honor.  I find it so strange that Janice, Pigpen. Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison all died at the age of 27.  Here is a picture of Pigpen and Janis Joplin outside the Dead’s house on Haight Ashbury in San Francisco.

I think that this may be the most beautiful love song that was ever written and the Grateful Dead played it many times in concert.  What more could anyone want out of their life than to have someone who would crave them all the time.  Someone that would think of them every time the rain fell and tell you how much they miss you.  To have a person in your life that was willing to brave the storm to come and that would hold onto you without tying you down.  To have that partner that you can dance with, hug, share stories, trust and love.  To have a lover that felt like their landscape was empty if you were not there.  I hope that you enjoy this video which was recorded on 10/31/80 at Radio City Music Hall.

I woke today, and felt your side of bed
The covers were still warm where you’d been layin’
You were gone, my heart was filled with dread
You might not be sleeping here again

It’s all right, ‘cause I love you
And that’s not gonna change
Run me round, make me hurt again and again
But I’ll still sing you love songs
Written in the letters of your name
And brave the storm to come
For it surely looks like rain

Did you ever waken to the sound of street cats making love
And guess from their cries you were listening to a fight
Well you know, hate’s just the last thing they’re thinking of
They’re only trying to make it through the night

I only want to hold you, I don’t want to tie you down
Or fence you in the lines I might have drawn
It’s just that I have gotten used to having you around
My landscape would be empty if you were gone

It’s all right, ‘cause I love you
And that’s not gonna change
Run me round, make me hurt again and again
But I’ll still sing you love songs
Written in the letters of your name
And brave the storm to come
For it surely looks like rain

Written for 2/25/18 Helen Vahdati’s This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time Song Lyric Sunday Theme where the prompt is “letters”.

14 thoughts on “An Acrostic Poem

    1. As Buddha said, “Let yourself be open and life will be easier. A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable. A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.” I feel an intense fondness toward the Grateful Dead as they are a big part of who I am.

      Liked by 1 person

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