A lovely view of heaven, but I’d rather be with you

Happy Valentine’s Day

On this 14th of February, day of love, I thought I’d take a moment to share one of my favourite songs with you: “Standing on the Moon”. It isn’t a traditional love song (it’s technically an anti-war song), but this gem by the Grateful Dead sends shivers down my spine every single time.

LYRICS:

Standing on the moon, I got no cobweb on my  shoe
Standing on the moon, I’m feeling so alone and blue
I see the Gulf of Mexico as tiny as a tear
The coast of California must be somewhere over here
Over here

Standing on the moon, I see the battle rage below
Standing on the moon, I see the soldiers come and go
There’s a metal flag beside me someone planted long ago
Old glory standing stiffly, crimson, white and indigo
Old glory standing stiffly, crimson, white and indigo
Indigo

I see all of South East Asia; I can see El Salvador
I hear the cries of children and the other songs of war
It’s like a mighty melody that rings down from the sky
Standing here upon the moon I watch it all roll by
All roll by
All roll by
All roll by

Standing on the moon, I see a shadow on the sun
Standing on the moon, the stars go fading one by one
I hear a cry of victory, another of defeat
A scrap of age-old lullaby down some forgotten street

Standing on the moon, where talk is cheap and vision true
Standing on the moon, but I would rather be with you
Somewhere in San Francisco on a back porch in July
Just looking up to heaven at this crescent in the sky
In the sky

Standing on the moon with nothing left to do
A lovely view of heaven but I’d rather be with you
A lovely view of heaven but I’d rather be with you
Be with you
I’d rather be with you

I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a more poignant love song. Hearing Jerry Garcia sing about wanting to get away from all the ugliness of the world, but once he’s far away he realizes his true love is still on earth and wants to be back there with her despite all the wars and cruelty on the planet. He’d rather be with her on earth, surrounded by all of man’s cruelty than on the edge of heaven! Now that’s real love!

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4 thoughts on “A lovely view of heaven, but I’d rather be with you

  1. What a wonderful post. Although I missed the Dead’s week long residency at the Capitol Theatre in my hometown in February of 1971, because I didn’t attend my first rock concert until the summer of that year (I was only a child, after all) I caught Garcia and Weir jamming with the Allman Brothers on July 17th of 1972, right after Duane died and while Berry Oakley was still with us, and saw the Dead at Roosevelt Stadium the next day. Garcia was not only a much underrated guitarist but his plaintive vocals made him a great interpreter of song.

    • I can’t tell you how envious I am of you. Garcia, Weir AND the Allman Brothers in ’72?!?
      Garcia’s plaintive vocals and masterful guitar playing are what attracted me to the Dead in the first place.

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