The Heart Has Its Seasons

‘Eyes of the World’ is a Grateful Dead song that was written by Hunter and Garcia and appeared on the 1973 studio album Wake of the Flood.  It is full of beautiful imagery drawing on the change of seasons and it includs a myriad of of birds, beeches, flowers, seeds and horses.  This song conveys a message of hope, viewing human experiences as necessary changes.  In 1680, Blaise Pascal published his Penseés (Thoughts), which is a collection of fragments on theology and philosophy, and in it he wrote, “The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know.”  Hunter mirrored these thoughts with, “The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own.”  Hunter may have been writing about trusting in something that we can’t comprehend when he wrote, “You don’t have time to call your soul a critic, no”.

The lyric “nut-thatch winters” puzzles many people, but this is a reference that is used by bird watchers.  Many people say that the jam in this song is very similar to the 1968 funk hit ‘Tighten Up’ performed by Houston, Texas based R&B vocal group Archie Bell & The Drells.  Their song reached #1 on both the Billboard R&B and pop charts and it is ranked #265 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” but the chords and melody are different, so any connection to this song is probably just coincidental.  Garcia said that he was going for a Brazilian sound, a song with a samba feel.

In 1933, Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter recorded the song ‘Goodnight, Irene’ which includes the verse, “Sometimes I live in the country, sometimes I live in town, Sometimes I take a great notion, to jump into the river and drown” and this verse served as the title to the 1964 Ken Kesey novel, Sometimes a Great Notion.  Hunter may have been influenced by this as his lyrics say, “Sometimes we live no particular way but our own, And sometimes we visit your country and live in your home, Sometimes we ride on your horses, sometimes we walk alone, Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own”.

Right outside this lazy summer home
You ain’t got time to call your soul a critic no
Right outside the lazy gate of winter’s summer home
Wondering where the nut-thatch winters
Wings a mile long just carried the bird away
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has it’s beaches, it’s homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
But the heart has it’s seasons, it’s evenings and songs of its own
There comes a redeemer, and he slowly too fades away
And there follows his wagon behind him that’s loaded with clay
And the seeds that were silent all burst into bloom, and decay
And night comes so quiet, it’s close on the heels of the day
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has it’s beaches, it’s homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
But the heart has it’s seasons, it’s evenings and songs of its own
Sometimes we live no particular way but our own
And sometimes we visit your country and live in your home
Sometimes we ride on your horses, sometimes we walk alone
Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has it’s beaches, it’s homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
But the heart has it’s seasons, it’s evenings and songs of its own

Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 26 where this week’s theme is heart.

5 thoughts on “The Heart Has Its Seasons

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