"If your fears should start to get inside you..."

The Annotated "I Will Take You Home"

An installment in The Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics.
By David Dodd
Kraemer Family 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
"I Will Take You Home"
Words by John Perry Barlow; music by Brent Mydland
Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission.

Little girl lost
In a forest of dreams.
It's a dark old wood
And it's damp with dew.
Hoot owl hoots
For a moment it seems
Something big and cold
Just got ahold of you.
Just when everything gets scary,
Daddy's come 'round for his darlin' again.
Hold my hand with your little fingers.
Daddy's loving arms gonna gather you in.

Ain't no way the Bogeyman can get you,
You can close your eyes, the world is gonna let you,
Your daddy's here and never will forget you,
I will take you home.
I will take you home.
Gonna carry you back home
In my arms.
I will take you home.

Long is the road
We must travel on down.
Short are the legs
That will struggle behind.
I wish I knew for sure
Just where we're bound,
What we will be doin'
And what we're gonna find.
Wherever we go, there will be birds to cheer you
Flower to color in the fields around.
Wherever we go, I'll be right here near you
You can't get lost when you're always found.

Ain't no fog that's thick enough to hide you
Your daddy's gonna be right here beside you
If your fears should start to get inside you
I will take you home.
I will take you home.
Gonna carry you back home
In my arms.
I will take you home.

"I Will Take You Home"

Written in Martinez, California, February 23, 1988
Recorded on

First performance: Wednesday, June 22, 1988, at Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, Wisconsin. "I Will Take You Home" appeared in the second set, preceded by "Scarlet Begonias" and followed by Drumz. Final performance: July 14, 1990, at Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, twelve days before Mydland's death on July 26.

This note from a reader:

Subject: I will take you home
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 96 12:28:42 CDT
From: rrenken@unlinfo.unl.edu


While reading through the text about "Ripple," the line "If I knew the way, I would take you home" jumped out at me as to how similar it was with Brent's "I will take you home". (...)

Roger Renken
Lincoln Nebraska

Little girl lost

The title of a poem by William Blake, in his Songs of Experience:

The Little Girl Lost 

     In futurity 

     I prophetic see 

     That the earth from sleep 

     (Grave the sentence deep) 

     Shall arise and seek 

     For her maker meek; 

     And in the desart wild 

     Become a garden mild. 

     * * * 

     In the southern clime, 

     Where the summer's prime 

     Never fades away, 

     Lovely Lyca lay. 

     Seven summers old 

     Lovely Lyca told; 

     She had wander'd long 

     Hearing wild birds' song. 

     ``Sweet sleep, come to me 

     Underneath this tree. 

     Do father, mother weep, 

     Where can Lyca sleep? 

     ``Lost in desart wild 

     Is your little child. 

     How can Lyca sleep 

     If her mother weep? 

     ``If her heart does ake 

     Then let Lyca wake; 

     If my mother sleep, 

     Lyca shall not weep. 

     ``Frowning, frowning night, 

     O'er this desart bright 

     Let thy moon arise 

     While I close my eyes.'' 

     Sleeping Lyca lay 

     While the beasts of prey, 

     Come from caverns deep, 

     View'd the maid asleep. 

     The kingly lion stood 

     And the virgin view'd, 

     Then he gamboll'd round 

     O'er the hollow'd ground. 

     Leopards, tygers, play 

     Round her as she lay, 

     While the lion old 

     Bow'd his mane of gold. 

     And her bosom lick, 

     And upon her neck 

     From his eyes of flame 

     Ruby tears there came; 

     While the lioness 

     Loos'd her slender dress, 

     And naked they convey'd 

     To caves the sleeping maid. 

Also the title of a 1932 novel by Temple Bailey. According to The Book Review Digest of that year:

"'Sentimental love story about a young girl of 19 who takes a year to make up her mind just which man she wants to marry--the fascinator who doesn't really believe in marriage, and hasn't a nickel, or the fine-looking young man who wants terribly to marry her, and is incidentally worth several millions. She arives at her momentous decision after a number of adventures, and promises to marry the nice young man with the millions.' --Springfield Republican"
Other excerpts from reviews indicate that Temple Bailey was the Danielle Steel of her time.

The title has since been used repeatedly, including recently by Drew Barrymore for her autobiographical account of drug abuse.


From the Dictionary of American Regional English:
boogerman n Also sp boogarman, buggerman...
1 also boog man:...(Note: boogeyman is the more frequently used term throughout the U.S. except in the Sth where it is slightly less common than boogerman. ... A spirit of the dark that carries off children..."

This is one of those words whose etymology is very murky, and this seems appropriate.

Keywords: @lullabies
DeadBase code: [TAKE]
First posted: September 25, 1996
Last revised: January 6, 1997