"My hold on reality is starting to slip..."

The Annotated "Can't Come Down"

An installment in The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics.
By David Dodd
Library, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (The opinions expressed are those of the author, not of the University of Colorado.) Copyright notice; © 1995,1996, David Dodd
"Can't Come Down"
Words and music by Jerry Garcia (?)

Well I'm flying down desert streets
Wrapped in mother's winding sheets
Asbestos boots on flaming feet
Dreaming of forbidden treats
When uniforms on nighttime beats
Ask me where I'm going and what I eat
I answer them with a voice so sweet:

I can't come down 'til it's plain to see
I can't come down I've been set free.
Who you are and what you don't make no difference to me.

Well someone trying to tell me where it's at,
And how I do this and why I do that,
With secret smiles like a Cheshire cat,
And leather wings like a vampire bat,
I fly away to my cold water flat
And eat my way tthrough a bowl of fat,
And I say to the man with the funny hat:


They say I've begun to lose my grip,
My hold on reality is starting to slip,
To tell me to get off with this trip,
They say it's like a sinking ship,
Life's sweet wine's too warm to sip,
And if I drink I'll surely slip, [flip?]
I'll just say as I take a nip:


So as I dream of forgotten seas
And granit walls and redwood trees,
And of the eye that only sees
Endless mirrors and infinite me's,
About the winter's coming freez
This afterthought I say with ease,
To all of you who make your fees:


"Can't Come Down"

Recorded on The Emergency Crew demo, Autumn Records, as The Warlocks, November 1965.

Only known performance: January 7, 1966, at the Matrix, in San Francisco.

Cheshire cat

See the note under "China Cat Sunflower"
Keywords: @cheshire, @drugs
DeadBase code: [CCDO]
First posted: November 27, 1996
Last revised: