All These Trials, Soon Be Past

‘Built to Last’ is the title song from the thirteenth and final studio album by the Grateful Dead.  This album was released at the end of 1989 and the song ‘Built to Last’ was written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter.  This song is a bit of a rarity for the Grateful Dead, as they only played it about 20 times in concert from 1988 to 1990.  Robert Hunter’s lyrics on this song seem easy enough to interpret, but since nobody has ever written anything substantial on this song, I guess it is up to me to try and do it justice.  Hunter discusses his feelings about different situations that pop up in his relationship with his lover.

It seems to be a one-way conversation between his girl and him and he reflects on things that happened in their past and he feels that some of these things should be forgotten so they can move on with their future.  He is wondering if being together will work out for them and he looks at their relationship as being a series of trials that they have to go through together.  He points out things which he feels she must do under certain circumstances, and he indicates that he might be able to help her, and he adds that in some other situations, he probably won’t be able to help out.  He is looking for something that is built to last, maybe because so many marriages end in divorce.  He says that the wind has been held by the collar, and maybe this is because he believes in the sanctity of marriage, and he realizes how much value society puts on couples being married.  He says that a cloud is being held by a breeze and then he mentions the opposites of walking on coals of fire, and about being cold enough to freeze.

This relationship seems to be equally beneficial for both of them, but he isn’t sure that it will last.  He mentions three blue stars, which most people seem to think are Orion’s Belt and as daylight approaches even these stars seem to dwindle in numbers, so maybe nothing is built to last.  His message seems to be that all you can do is try your best and hope that things work out for anything io be able to last.  The Grateful Dead were not built to last, because they were reckless and Jerry Garcia did not take care of himself properly, but they were good while they lasted.

There are times when you must beckon,
There are times when you must fall.
You can take a lot of wrecking,
But you can’t take it all.
There are times when I can help you out,
And times when you must fall.
There are times when you must live in doubt,
And I can’t help at all.
Three blue stars, shine o’er the hill.
Plead no more, now just be still.
Through the night, now safely there.
Show me something built to last.
Wind held by the collar
Got a cloud held by the breeze
You can walk on coals of fire
But sometimes you must freeze
There are times when you offend me
And I do the same to you
If we can’t or won’t forget it,
then I guess we could be through

One blue star, set o’er the hill.

Call it back; you never will.
All these trials, soon be past.
We all need something built to last.
One more star, sinks in the past
Show me something built to last.

Built to last till time itself
Falls tumbling from the wall
Built to last till sunshine fails
And darkness moves on all
Built to last while years roll past
Like cloudscapes in the sky
Show me something built to last
Or something built to try

There are times when you get hit upon
Try hard but you cannot give
Other times you’d gladly part
With what you need to live
Don’t waste the breath to save your face
When you have done your best
And even more is asked of you
Let fate decide the rest.

Now I won’t forget,
Next day try the rest.
All the stars, are gone but one.
Morning dreams, we found the sun.
Show me something built to last
Two blue stones, shine o’er the hill.
Call it back; you never will
All these trials, now are dead.
Show me something built to last.
All the stars, are gone but one.
Morning dreams. here comes the sun.
Through the night, now sinking fast.
Show me something built to last.

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the theme is past, present, or future.

14 thoughts on “All These Trials, Soon Be Past

  1. hi jim, this is a good choice this week! I don’t know a lot about this band, I think I said that to you before! And you seem to know so much about them, I think you told me to ask you anything, if I ever wanted to know! Lol! xo

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know those kind of songs. That is one thing about the Beatles I dont have to worry about…every single recording they did has been analyzed…of course they didn’t have the output the Dead did.

        Liked by 2 people

Comments are closed.