Soaking Up Sun

Bob Weir and Mickey Hart wrote the music for ‘Corrina’ and Robert Hunter wrote the lyrics.  This song was played by Bob Weir with the Dead and Company, with Ratdog his primary band after the Grateful Dead disbanded and with The Other Ones.  The Grateful Dead played this song 77 times in concert from 1992 through 1995 and it made its way on to three Grateful Dead albums, 30 Trips Around The Sun, Road Trips Vol 2, No 4, and Ready Or Not.  It was recorded on The Other Ones album The Strange Remain and two Ratdog albums, Evening Moods and Live At The Roseland.  The Robert Hunter / Bob Weir collaboration was kind of rare in the late stages of the Grateful Dead, as they did not write together for almost 20 years after Hunter got annoyed when Weir toyed with his lyrics, and this led Weir to developing a partnership with John Barlow.  I never really listened to the lyrics of this song before, because I am not a big fan of the Vince Welnick era, but I love all of Hunter’s lyrics.

I am uncertain what this song is about, and my research did not reveal anything interesting, so I guess I will have to wing it.  It starts off with a bunch of short lines that seem to be unrelated and could be taken to mean just about anything.  Then the chorus mentions Corrina, who is probably a dancer, because they want to watch her shaking it up.  The next verse contains more short lines, and it ends with the guy saying that he will be true to Corrina.  In the last verse you realize that this is a love song when Weir sings that he would love her even if she flew away from him.  He would wait for her return because once lovers are born, they will always meet again.

Hog of a Sunday
Dog of a Monday
Get it back someday
What’d I say?
Moving in closer
Cut from a long shot
Fade on a downbeat
Ready or not, ready or not

Chorus
Corrina, shake it up baby
Corrina, shake it up now
Corrina, Corrina

Cruise through a stop sign
Logging up short time
Bird on a phone line
Soaking up the sun
Salt on the crow tail
What can I do?
I’m down by law
But I’m true to you, true to you

[chorus]

If, what, when and where and how
Told at the proper time
Big black wings beat on the wind
But they don’t hardly climb
There’s a silver ocean
Silver clouds on a silver sea
A bird on the horizon
Silver winging back to me

[chorus]

Wake it up baby
Shake it down easy
Bring it in closer
What’d I say
Moving in closer
Cut from a long shot
Fade on a down beat
Ready or not

[chorus]

Corrina, wake it up baby
Corrina, shake it down easy
Corrina, shake it on up now
Corrina, shake it back down

[chorus]

If, what, where and how
Don’t mean a thing to me
I would love you even if
You flew away from me
I’ll just stand here waiting
On the far side of the sea
There is no fear that lovers born
Can ever fail to meet

Written for Thursday Inspiration #185 Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me where the prompt is sun.

6 thoughts on “Soaking Up Sun

  1. I never really understood what this song meant either and it was never one of my favorites. I think the narrator is in prison (“I’m down by law”) and there’s a line at the end in an alternate lyric that makes me think he’s facing the death penalty. But Corrina is the bird flying free that gets him through. I’m also not much of a fan of the Vince Welnick era.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Being down with something means that you like that thing, but down by law takes on a different meaning. It is more like you had paid your dues, served your time, nothing was handed to you, because you earned it the hard way. The lines, “Bird on a phone line”, “Big black wings beat on the wind”, “Silver winging back to me”, and “You flew away from me” do make a good point for Corrina being a bird, but I am still sticking with a dancer. Thanks for your analysis, Michael.

      Liked by 1 person

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