Lost Sailor

Lyrics: John Barlow
Music: Bob Weir

Compass card is spinning
Helm is swingin' to and fro
Ooh where's the dog star
Ooh where's the moon
You're lost sailor
You've been too long at sea (note 1)

Some days the gales are howling
Some days the sea is still as glass
Ooh reef the mainsail
Ooh lash the mast
You're lost sailor
You've been too long at sea

Now the shore-lights beckon
Yeah there's a price for being free

Yeah the sea birds cry (note 2)
There's a ghost wind blowin'
It's calling you to that misty swirling sea
Till the chains of your dreams are broken
No place in this world you can be

You're lost sailor
You've been way too long at sea
Now the shore-lights beckon
Yeah there's a price for being free

Drifting yeah drifting
Yeah drifting and dreaming

'Cause there's a place you've never been (note 3)
Maybe a place you've never seen
You can hear her calling on the wind
Go on and drift your life away
Yeah just drifting and dreaming
Maybe drift your life away
Drifting and dreaming
Yes I'm going on a dream
Maybe going on a dream
Maybe going on a dream
Maybe going on a dream
Notes
(1) Bob Weir often sang "Been way too long at sea"
(2) It sounds as if Bob Weir sometimes sang "Hear the sea birds cry"
(3) The end is largely improvised. Examples of variations include:
23 April 1984
Every day you got to pay
Some more time you got to pay
Two kinds of freedom
Freedom from and freedom to be
One you may know where you're going
Or maybe you're just drifting to the sea
Drifting and dreaming
Is this a place you've never seen
Maybe a voice you've never heard or a face you've never seen
But you can hear them calling on the way to [hell?]
Drifting and dreaming
[etc]

1 November 1985
Got to pay for being free
Just loose and free and drifting
Drifting and dreaming
Maybe going on a dream
Maybe going on a feeling
You gonna drift your life away
It's as though anyone
Wouldn't thank you for drifting
Yeah drifting and dreaming
Drifting and dreaming
Maybe going on a dream
Maybe going on a feeling
'Cause there's a place you've never been
Maybe a place you've never seen
You can hear them calling, oh yeah
Drifting and dreaming
[etc]

24 March 1986
Let me get into a short discourse about the nature of freedom
There are two kinds of freedom
Freedom from and freedom to be
The first kind of freedom is where you wan't to go now
What do you want to do now, freedom to be
Then there's the other kind of freedom
And that's the freedom from man
You could be a poet
You may be just drifting
Drifting and dreaming anyway
[etc]
Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
      5 Nov 1979 Road Trips Full Show: Spectrum 11/5/79
      8 Nov 1979 Road Trips Volume 1, Number 1
     studio 1980 Go To Heaven
      6 May 1980 Road Trips Volume 3, Number 4
     16 May 1980 Go To Nassau
      3 Sep 1980 Download Series Vol 7
     25 Oct 1980 Go To Heaven (note 4)
     31 Oct 1980 Dead Ahead (video/DVD)
     30 Nov 1980 Dave's Picks Volume 8
      6 May 1981 Dick's Picks Vol 13
     11 Jul 1981 30 Days Of The Dead (2012)
      6 Apr 1982 Road Trips Volume 4, Number 4
      1 Nov 1985 Dick's Picks Vol 21

Recordings from dead.net Tapers Section

"The Dead" Concert Recordings

Ratdoglive CDs and downloads

Furthur Digital Downloads and CDs

Bob Weir Solo Acoustic Live!
 
Other Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     2006 Barlow Shanghai - Live in Chicago Mr Blotto

Notes
(4) issued as a bonus track on the version in the box set Beyond Description (1973-1990)
Also released for download on 30 Days Of The Dead (2010).


Futher Information
For an online discussion of the lyrics to this song see the deadsongs.vue conference on The Well.
For more information on recordings see Matt Schofield's Grateful Dead Family Discography
For information on references in the lyrics see David Dodd's Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics
For online chords and TAB see www.rukind.com
For sheet music, see:
          Grateful Dead Anthology Volume 2 (piano arrangement)

 


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