Today I'm going to talk a little about my all-time favorite Grateful Dead
song (and occasionally my favorite song, period): "Ripple". OtherBear
ran across a drop-dead gorgeous cover of it: Ripple - Playing for
Change [YoutUbe]. Go listen and watch; I'll wait.
Let there be songs to fill the air!
What I like about that video is the absolutely seamless cutting between the various musicians. Just magic. Makes you want to go off with a guitar and sing it -- so I did. The chords you usually find on the web are in G, so it's dead simple to play, and right in the middle of my vocal range. (The original was in F, so it would be perfect on a 12-string tuned down the traditional two frets. Just sayin'.)
It's a very strange song. For the most part, I have no idea what it actually means, but it hangs together nevertheless, invoking an overall feeling of slightly mystical tranquility that's been missing recently in my life. It just sort of ripples along quietly. The fact that the chorus is a haiku (though not in the usual 5-7-5 layout; it's 6-7-4) probably contributes to the tranquility:
Ripple in still water When there is no pebble tossed Nor wind to blow
If you left YouTube up, you might want to check out some other versions. this, for example, is the studio version, which is where I first encountered it. Also, check out The Annotated "Ripple" for the lyrics and more. Dodd may be going a bit off the deep end with the analysis; literary criticism really isn't my field so I can't be sure. But there really are some amazing depths in that song.
If I knew the way, I would take you home. See you next
1528 words in 4 posts this month (average 382/post) 333 words in 1 post today