The Grateful Dead song ‘Weather Report Suite’ was written by Eric Andersen, Bob Weir and John Perry Barlow and it came out on their sixth studio album Wake of the Flood, which was released in 1973. It was the first studio album without founding member Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, who had recently died. His absence was filled by keyboardist Keith Godchaux and his wife, Donna Jean Godchaux, also joined the group as a backing vocalist on this album. Eric Andersen wrote the classic ‘Thirsty Boots’ and he was on the Festival Express Tour across Canada along with the Dead. A suite is a collection of short musical pieces which can be played one after another which are also called movements (self-contained parts of a musical composition). Part one of this song is referred to as the Prelude and part two is called Let it Grow and this was written without Eric Andersen.
Part one of the song incorporates the seasons, and the way that they change and it relates to love blossoming and growing. It says that seasons will change, Summers will end and roses will fade. A line in part two of this song the Let It Grow part says, “What shall we say, shall we call it by a name?” As this song builds to a thundering crescendo, the name is pointed out as being the earth, and the thunder shouts its existence, “I am.” This is a direct biblical reference (Exodus 3:13-14) to Moses, who wandered in the desert, and asked the burning bush its name, and was answered “I am.”
Part One – Prelude
Winter rain, now tell me why, Summers fade, and roses die.
The answer came; the wind and rain.
Golden hills, now veiled in gray, Summer leaves have blown away
Now what remains? The wind and rain.
And like a desert spring, my lover comes and spreads her wings, Knowing,
Like a song that’s born to soar the sky, Flowing,
Flowing ‘til the waters all are dry, Growing, the loving in her eyes.
Circle songs and sands of time, and seasons will end in tumbled rhyme,
And little change, the wind and rain.
And like a desert spring, my lover comes and spreads her wings,
Knowing, Like a song that’s born to soar the sky,
Flowing, Flowing ‘til the rivers all are dry, Growing, the loving in her eyes.
Winter gray and falling rain, we’ll see summer come again,
Darkness falls and seasons change (gonna happen every time).
Same old friends the wind and rain, Summers fade and roses die,
You’ll see summer come again, Like a song that’s born to soar the sky.
Part Two – Let It Grow
Morning comes, she follows the path to the river shore,
Lightly sung, her song is the latch on the morning’s door.
See the sun sparkle in the reeds, silver beads, pass into the sea.
She comes from a town where they call her the woodcutter’s daughter,
She’s brown as the bank where she kneels down to gather her water, and
She bears it away with a love that the river has taught her.
Let it flow, greatly grow, wide and clear.
Round and round, the cut of the plow in the furrowed field,
Seasons round, the bushels of corn and the barley meal,
Broken ground, open and beckoning to the spring,
Black dirt live again!
The plowman is broad as the back of the land he is sowing,
As he dances the circular track of the plow ever knowing
That the work of his day measures more than the planting and growing
Let it grow, let it grow, greatly yield.
What shall we say, shall we call it by a name,
As well to count the angels dancing on a pin.
Water bright as the sky from which it came,
And the name is on the earth that takes it in.
We will not speak but stand inside the rain,
And listen to the thunder shouting “I am! I am! I am! I am.”
Nothin’ more, the love of the women, work of men.
Seasons round, creatures great and small, up and down as we rise and fall.
Written for Love Is In Da Blog where Bee asks us to find a love song about or with weather in it and the prompt was given by Barbara.