"Let the words be yours, I'm done with mine"

The Annotated "Cassidy"

An installment in The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics.
By David Dodd
Research Associate, Music Dept., University of California at Santa Cruz
Copyright notice
Words by John Perry Barlow; music by Bob Weir
Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission

I have seen where the wolf has slept by the silver stream.
I can tell by the mark he left you were in his dream.
Ah, child of countless trees.
Ah, child of boundless seas.
What you are, what you're meant to be
Speaks his name, though you were born to me,
Born to me,

Lost now on the country miles in his Cadillac.
I can tell by the way you smile he's rolling back.
Come wash the nighttime clean,
Come grow this scorched ground green,
Blow the horn, tap the tambourine
Close the gap of the dark years in between
You and me,

Quick beats in an icy heart.
catch-colt draws a coffin cart.
There he goes now, here she starts:
Hear her cry.
Flight of the seabirds, scattered like lost words
Wheel to the storm and fly.

Faring thee well now.
Let your life proceed by its own design.
Nothing to tell now.
Let the words be yours, I'm done with mine.


Written in Cora, Wyoming, February, 1972.

Recorded on

Covered by

First performed on March 23, 1974 at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California. Appeared in the first set between "Deal" and "China Cat Sunflower". The other first in the show was "Scarlet Begonias".

Blow the horn and tap the tambourine

Compare Psalm 81, with its lines about sounding the tambourine (aka timbour) and blowing the trumpet.

catch colt

According to The Dictionary of American Regional English:
"catch colt n ... chiefly West, Inland Nth See Maps
1 The offpsring of a mare bred accidentally.
1940-41 Cassidy [!] WI Atlas csWI,, Catch-- Colt that was unintentionally bred. 1958 AmSp 33.271, Ketch-colt. An offspring obviously not from the herd sire. ...

2 By ext: a child born out of wedlock."

First posted: May 23, 1995
Last revised: July 26, 2005