"Making music together in a world time forgot"

The Annotated "Believe It Or Not"

An installment in The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics.
By David Dodd
Research Associate, Music Dept., University of California, Santa Cruz (The opinions expressed are those of the author, not of the University of Colorado.) Copyright notice; © 1995,1996, David Dodd
"Believe It Or Not"
Words by Robert Hunter; music by Jerry Garcia
Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission

One or two moments
a piece of your time
is all I am asking
and I'll give you mine
One or two moments
out of all you have got
to show how I love you
believe it or not

Remember the day
I rolled into town
with my heart in my shoes,
my head hanging down?
Now my only trouble
the rest I forgot
is to show how I love you
believe it or not

Done time in the lockup
Done time in the street
Done time on the upswing
and time in defeat
I know what I'm asking
and I know it's a lot
when I say that I love you
believe it or not

I know I'm no angel
my prospects are high
as the floodline in summer
when the river's gone dry
but I'll roll up my shirtsleeves
and make my best shot
to show how I love you
believe it or not

Right now while the sun shines
on the crest of the hill
with a breeze in the pines
and a grey whipoorwill
making music together
that guitars never caught
[in a world time forgot]--alternate line
let me show how I love you
believe it or not

"Believe It Or Not"

Musical details:

Recorded for Built to Last, but not included.

Songbook availability:

First performance: June 23, 1988, at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin. "Believe It Or Not" appeared in the second spot in the second set, following "Hey Pocky Way" and preceding "Man Smart, Woman Smarter." The other first in the show was "Blackbird." Performed seven times between its debut and 1990.

Note: Carl Anderson, of Bellingham, Washington, called to say that the song was actually first played on February 26, 1977, at the Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino, California. Any solid evidence out there?

This note from a reader:

Subject: believe it or not
Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 17:59:33 EDT
From: PMayerAdv

I have the complete swing auditorium 2-26-77 show, and 'believe it or not' is not included on it.... stylistically, it's fairly obvious that the song would not have been played then

Keywords: @love
DeadBase code: [Beli]
First posted: February 21, 1997
Last updated: May 7, 1998