Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, RIP

Originally published at:


Thanks for all the music, man.


I hate when these song writers pass as it always makes me wonder what other words may have been penned if they hadn’t.

I miss so many of them.


Another piece of my youth slips away. Fare thee well, fare thee well, Mr. Hunter.


His tribute poem to JG in Rolling Stone still gets me. RIP.


That’s also my favorite line of Ripple. Well, okay, one of them.

I will now commence to honoring this eloquent stranger’s memory by listening to Scarlet Begonias covers until furthur notice.


“Ripple” is such a beautiful song. “let there be songs to fill the air” indeed. RIP, Mr. Hunter, and thank you forever for the music.


…which led me to this, which just united my childhood and my adulthood in such a surprising way that I’m actually crying.

In the strangest of places if you look at it right, indeed.


Seven faced marble eyed transitory dream doll,
Six proud walkers on the jingle bell rainbow,
Five men writing with fingers of gold,
Four men tracking down the great white sperm whale,
Three girls waiting in a foreign dominion
Riding in the whale belly, fade away in moonlight,
Sink beneath the waters to the coral sands below.

Now is the time of returning


Steal your face right off of your head.

Of the few hardcover books I’ve bought in my life, one is Hunter’s book of lyrics from 1990, ‘A Box of Rain". It has always had a space on the shelf, always within easy reach. Steinbeck’s journal from when he was writing Grapes of Wrath and Steven Levy’ Hackers are about the only other hardcover books I bought new, ie bought to have them in hardcover.

Hunter also released some albums, I have a few, though I especially liked “A Box of Rain” that was a live album released in conjunction with the lyric collection. It’s his songs, in his own style, but of course the selection is his better known songs.

This is only going to increase now. Jerry was 53 in 1995, which was young, but now it’s a quarter century later. The artists are retiring, or at more touring. Hunter could have lived longer, but at close to 80, death is not completely unexpectef. Time is runming out.

I at least met the other Bob Hunter once, the writer who was also on the first voyage of Greenpeace to Amchitka in 1971, and was with Greenpeace for a decade. He died some years back. But I met him in 1977 when he came to town as part of Greenpeace’s Whale Show.

What a lousy year it is this year.


such a long, long time to be gone, and a short time to be there…

rest well, robert. your words will live on to inspire and console far beyond your time on this marble.


What an enormous, lasting gift Robert Hunter gave us. Like tens of thousands of other young people, I had my mind blown by his lyrics, sung by Jerry Garcia. Thank you!


Well it all started back in the old century, Nine Teen Hundred & Seventy Five… I was but a lad of early years, but much wisdom, or maybe not, actually probably not, I saw the Dead at 15, got a Dead tattoo at that show, my Ma tossed me out into the streets when I came home to New Jersey and I went straight on to San Francisco as fast as my Renault R-10 could take me, approx. 50 miles per hour or so, 3000 miles to the Promise Land.

Yup, I did, saw the Fire on the Mountain. Never been the same, never going to be neither…


… and now that ABBA song is playing in my head…

1 Like

His lyrics meant a lot to me.

That’s quite the set list.

At least he’ll have his buddy back.

1 Like

Had to broaden it just a bit after a while. But I did, and continue to, discover some fun stuff. Just gotta poke around.

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.