We Could Be Happy After All

‘Seasons Of My Heart’ was written by George Jones and Darrell Edwards and released as the B-side to the #4 hit ‘Why Baby Why’ in 1955.  The song was also recorded by Johnny Cash, Kitty Wells, Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Nelson, Conway Twitty and the Grateful Dead.  The year is divided up into seasons and we can associate the love that we feel with every season.  Each season has own particular meaning that is dependent on what the singer of the song is going through at that period in their relationship, thus it could contain sunshine, rain or snow.  The song is about love and the feelings experienced in a relationship, but the singer states that seasons do not exist when they have their lover in their life, as all they notice is flowers blooming.  It is a genuinely honest song that is about being happy when you are in love, as the seasons change.  There will always be good times and bad times in every relationship and even when “Winter comes, the spring is close behind”.

Jerry Garcia wanted to get into pedal steel back when he was playing the banjo, and he felt it was a snappy sounding instrument and he liked it because it was weird.  Jerry saw the Flying Burrito Brothers use this instrument at the Avalon, where they opened for the Dead, on April 6, 1969.  In April of 1969, Jerry Garcia purchased a pedal steel guitar because he was inspired by this instrument, and he made his stage debut on an April 24 1969 with the song ‘Silver Threads and Golden Needles’, a song that the band performed back in their Warlocks days.  The pedal steel is not the easiest thing to play, it is an odd-looking thing that you sit down at, it is not a self-explanatory instrument, it’s difficult, because it is a strange instrument.  Jerry didn’t take any lessons; he didn’t read any books, he just sat down and played, immersing himself in the instrument, getting up early every morning and playing for hours.  Jerry began playing in coffee houses with his friend John ‘Marmaduke’ Dawson and they had so much fun, that they decided to form a band, The New Riders of the Purple Sage.  Besides playing pedal steel guitar with the Grateful Dead and the New Riders of the Purple Sage, Garcia played this instrument with in the studio with the Jefferson Airplane, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, It’s a Beautiful Day, Brewer and Shipley, Rowan Brothers, Paul Pena and Link Wray.

The introduction of the pedal steel by Garcia into the studio, led the way for two of their best albums Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty, and onstage several new tunes were able to make limited and rare appearances in the set lists, including this George Jones number that was only played live a handful of times between the end of 1969 and the beginning of 1970.  Garcia only played the pedal steel guitar from 1969 – 1974, then he picked it back up again for the Bob Dylan and Grateful Dead joint tour in July 1987. 

Seasons come and seasons go
We get a little sunshine, rain and snow
Just the way that it was planned to be
But there’s no season in my heart
While you play the leading part
There the flowers will bloom eternally

Your leaving, it will bring autumn sorrow
And my tears like weathered leaves will fall
But spring it may bring us glad tomorrow
And darling, we could be happy after all

As it is in nature’s plan
No season gets the upper hand
How I tried to bear this fact in mind
The trees are bare, the cold winds blow
But by experience we should know
Winter comes but the spring is close behind

[Chorus] Written for Paula’s Thursday Inspiration 78 where this week’s theme is happy from the 1996 Sheryl Crow song ‘If It Makes You Happy’.

6 thoughts on “We Could Be Happy After All

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