deadsongs.vue.12 : Attics Of My Life
permalink #0 of 7: (alexallan) Wed 10 Sep 03 23:40
Attics Of My Life 
w: Hunter m: Garcia
deadsongs.vue.12 : Attics Of My Life
permalink #1 of 7: Alex Allan (alexallan) Wed 10 Sep 03 23:41
Attics Of My Life 
Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission.

In the attics of my life
Full of cloudy dreams unreal
Full of tastes no tongue can know
And lights no eye can see
When there was no ear to hear
You sang to me

I have spent my life
Seeking all that's still unsung
Bent my ear to hear the tune
And closed my eyes to see
When there were no strings to play
You played to me

In the book of love's own dreams
Where all the print is blood
Where all the pages are my days
And all my lights grow old

When I had no wings to fly
You flew to me
You flew to me

In the secret space of dreams
Where I dreaming lay amazed
When the secrets all are told
And the petals all unfold
When there was no dream of mine
You dreamed of me
deadsongs.vue.12 : Attics Of My Life
permalink #2 of 7: David Dodd (ddodd) Thu 16 Mar 17 18:49
Just received this wonderful note via email:

Dear Mr. Dodd,

I am writing because I own and thoroughly enjoy the Complete
Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics. I admire the extensive work you have
completed in collecting and organizing all the references and
stories behind the songs. It's easy to see that this is an ongoing
labor of love and so I imagine you are always adding new information
to your catalog. I also understand you have an online forum where
people share what they've learned about the canon. That's a long way
of saying, stop me if you've heard this one before. 

I was listening to "Attics of My Life," recently and the words,
"Full of tastes no tongue can know, and lights no eye can see, when
there was no ear to hear, you sang to me," really stood out to me. 

There's a quote from the 17th century Quaker activist Mary Dyer that
mirrors those words rather directly. As the Puritan fathers led her
to be hung on Boston Common, she is alleged to have said, "No eye
can see, no ear can hear, no tongue can speak, no heart can
understand the sweet incomes and refreshings of the spirit of the
Lord which now I enjoy." That seemed a rather direct parallel as it
referenced the same three sensory organs (as well as the heart) in
the negative. 

Dyer's comments are often taken as a paraphrase of a verse in Paul's
letter to the Corinthians that reads, "But, as it is written, What
no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what
God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9, NRSV)

What's interesting there is that nobody knows for sure what Paul is
referencing. It is possible it is a religious tract that did not
make the Old Testament canon. Another possibility is that Paul is
paraphrasing a line in Isaiah that read, "Since ancient times no one
has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides
you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him." (Isaiah 64:4,

So, it's possible that some variation on these words emerged from a
prophet in the eighth century b.c., were recorded in Hebrew in a
compilation authored around 70 b.c., reappeared paraphrased in Greek
in a letter around 50 a.d., were reparaphrased by a colonial woman
in 1660, and then were featured by the Grateful Dead in 1970. That
2,700 year journey was a long, strange trip.

As I said, you've probably heard that all before, but I enjoyed
writing it nonetheless. Thanks again for a wonderful book.

Pastor Harlen Rife
Pearl Road UMC
Cleveland, OH
deadsongs.vue.12 : Attics Of My Life
permalink #3 of 7: David Gans (tnf) Thu 16 Mar 17 20:36
deadsongs.vue.12 : Attics Of My Life
permalink #4 of 7: coal will turn to gray (comet) Sun 19 Mar 17 11:48
Beautiful note from the pastor. Sensory pleasures are not heavenly.
deadsongs.vue.12 : Attics Of My Life
permalink #5 of 7: Alan Silverman (alanastr) Wed 21 Aug 19 12:46
Sounds like something Hunter would be aware of, but I always thought
it was referring to the synesthesia brought on by acid...
deadsongs.vue.12 : Attics Of My Life
permalink #6 of 7: David Dodd (ddodd) Wed 21 Aug 19 13:34
There's a pretty explicit response from Hunter on an old post: 

"No, this is not a song about being stoned. It's a song about the
deadsongs.vue.12 : Attics Of My Life
permalink #7 of 7: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Fri 1 Dec 23 17:30

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