PERRO Fantasy – Let’s Go Together Liner Notes

Blows Against The Empire (recipient of the prestigious Hugo Award for science fiction) was the first album by PERRO. David Crosby‘s If I Could Only Remember My Name…. was the second PERRO recording.

     

All of the music was recorded in a period during 1969-1970, and a large portion at San Francisco‘s Wally Heider Studios and the Pacific High Recording studio (much of it engineered by Stephen Barncard). The bands were already laying down tracks for their own albums and for solo albums. Two live cuts are included — one from the Fillmore East and the other from Woodstock. Also included are the A and B sides of a single not released on an album, tracks from solo album projects, and two versions of the classic “Wooden Ships” song written by Crosby, Still, and Kantner. 

     

     

     

     

Stephen Stills showed up in California from England with the tapes for his solo Stephen Stills album. The Grateful Dead’s Workingman’s Dead and Jefferson Airplane’s Volunteers were finished and Bark nearly finished, all recorded in San Francisco. Neil Young provided a track from his upcoming solo album, After The Gold Rush. Graham Nash used the same musicians for his solo album Songs for Beginners, also recorded at the SF studios. And Jerry Garcia kicked in The Wheel from his solo project, Garcia.

The PERRO collaborations also surfaced on future albums:
Sunfighter – Paul Kantner / Grace Slick, 1971
Graham Nash/David Crosby – Graham Nash and David Crosby, 1972
Rolling Thunder – Mickey Hart 1972, studio
Baron Von Tollbooth & The Chrome Nun – Kantner / Slick / Freiberg, 1973
The Planet Earth Rock And Roll Orchestra – Paul Kantner, 1983

For a more complete description, see Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra: The Creation of a Science Fiction Epic and the Band that Rocked the Universe.

Side 1: Love and Peace

Music Is Love, David Crosby, If I Could Only Remember My Name…. (lyrics)

Writers: David Crosby, Graham Nash, Neil Young

This song is a celebration of the gatherings in the Haight-Ashbury and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco:

Put on your colors and run come see
Everybody’s sayin’ that music’s for free
Take off your clothes and lie in the sun
Everybody’s sayin’ that music’s for fun

“The Summer of Love [1967] was the peak of the Haight Ashbury experience,” wrote founding editor of the S.F. Oracle Allen Cohen in his essay on the Summer of Love. “Over 100,000 youth came to the Haight.”

Cowboy Movie, David Crosby, If I Could Only Remember My Name…. (lyrics)

Writer: David Crosby

This song features a fantastic lead-guitar duel between Jerry Garcia and Neil Young — probably the only recorded collaboration for these two. 

The peace-and-love crowd had become outlaws in the eyes of America. Their utopia was infiltrated by agents of law enforcement to kindle violence and rationalize their agenda of repression. (For background: Bringing Down America: An FBI Informer With the Weathermen and The Whole World Is Watching.)

The cowboy movie plays out a fantasy of jealousy and possession provoked by the Indian Girl. “You know that Indian girl, she wasn’t an Indian, she was the law!”

Love the One You’re With, Stephen Stills, Stephen Stills (lyrics)

Writer: Stephen Stills

Stills recorded this song in November 1970 at Island Studios in London and finished in L.A. The Love Generation takes love as far as it can go — into the arms of whomever you are with. But this song also highlights the contradictions in the new Hippie movement:

Well, there’s a rose in a fisted glove
And the eagle flies with the dove
And you can’t be with the one you love

Tamalpais High (At About 3), David Crosby, If I Could Only Remember My Name….

Writer: David Crosby

This song seems mostly about getting high. Mt. Tamalpais is a great place to do it, and a well-known gathering place for musicians and Hippies in Northern California.

Wooden Ships (#1), Crosby, Stills & Nash, Crosby, Stills & Nash (album) (lyrics)

Writers: David Crosby, Paul Kantner, and Stephen Stills

Both versions of this song (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Jefferson Airplane) are included in this fantasy album because the two versions differ slightly in lyrics and melody. The song is considered an anti-war song, but it serves a purpose in this album as the foundation for the Hippies’ great escape from society.

The song depicts the horrors confronting survivors of a nuclear holocaust. This is also the first song about escaping from the horrors on this planet — they imagined themselves as the few survivors, escaping on a wooden ship to create a new civilization. “We are leaving, you don’t need us.” See The Story Behind “Wooden Ships”.

Both Jefferson Airplane and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young performed the song in their respective sets at the 1969 Woodstock Festival. However, the CSNY performance is better-known, as it was included in the film and first album from the festival. The film’s soundtrack uses the studio album version, while the soundtrack album has the live performance. Jefferson Airplane’s performance – which ran to over 21 minutes in length and included several extended jam sections – remained unreleased until the 2009 Woodstock Experience set.

Side 2: Revolution

Mau Mau (Amerikon), Jefferson Starship (Paul Kantner/Grace Slick), Blows Against The Empire (lyrics)

Writers: Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, and Joey Covington 

“Sign me up as a diplomat — my only office is the park!” This song bristles with punk fury as it lays out the tenets of the Sixties revolution. Comparing the older generation to the new:

While you sit in the dark —
Insane with the fear of dying
We’ll ball in your parks —
Insane with the flash of living

The song is a counter-culture manifesto and a call-to-not-arms, a Dadaist anthem for making love not war. It name-drops the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya from 1952-1960, and takes shots at then-governor Ronald Reagan (“you unleash the dogs of a grade-b movie star”) and President Richard Nixon (“Hey Dick, whatever you think of us is totally irrelevant”).

But the Hippies are not just “flashin’ sunshine children”, they are also a “bunch of diamond thieves”. The final cry is just to “do it”, echoing Jerry Rubin’s book Do It!.

Note: At 4:01 in the song, you hear “In the midst of…” and then what seems to be a compact disc flub-flub glitch, but it is not a glitch — it’s a sound effect that appears in the middle of the line (“Yang is a smaller part of Yin”), and it appears on the original LP. It’s as if Kantner were presaging the sound-corrupting influence of compact discs.

Traction In The Rain, David Crosby, If I Could Only Remember My Name…. (lyrics)

Writer: David Crosby

The song is also about an escape, this time from the city life. It envisions the back-to-the-land movement of the early 1970s that spawned utopian communes in the country.

Hard to find a way
To get through another city day
Without thinking about
Gettin’ out

Ohio, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, single (CSN box set) (lyrics)

Writer: Neil Young

Written by Young in the aftermath of the Kent State shootings of unarmed college students by the National Guard on May 4, 1970, this song became an anthem of the Sixties revolution overnight. In response to the massacre, hundreds of universities, colleges, and high schools closed due to a student strike of 4 million students. For more, see The History of ‘Ohio’.

Recorded at the Record Plant Studio 3 in Hollywood, this studio version did not appear on an LP until the group’s compilation So Far was released in 1974.

Volunteers (Live), Jefferson Airplane, Woodstock: Music From the Original Soundtrack (lyrics)

Writers: Marty Balin and Paul Kantner

Live at Woodstock, August 1969, Grace Slick addresses the morning crowd and introduces the band, including Nicky Hopkins. Inspired by the BeatlesRevolution (which Nicky Hopkins also played on) and by a bumper sticker on a garbage truck (“Volunteers of America”), the song urges us to look what’s happening out in the street (echoing Stephen Stills“For What It’s Worth”), and to join the revolution. 

One generation got old
One generation got soul
This generation got no destination to hold 

The final seconds is a speech by Max Yasgur, praising the crowd for coming to the Woodstock Festival. 

Chicago (Live), Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, 4 Way Street (lyrics)

Writer: Graham Nash

This song was inspired by the infamous Chicago 7 trial that resulted from the police riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. (The best book about this riot is Chicago ’68 by David Farber.) The line “Won’t you please come to Chicago just to sing?” refers to Graham Nash pleading with bandmates Stephen Stills and Neil Young to come to Chicago to play a benefit concert for the Chicago 7 defense fund.

This version appeared on 4 Way Street, which was taken from mid-1970s concerts: Shows at the Fillmore East (New York) on June 2 through June 7, 1970; The Forum (Los Angeles) on June 26 through June 28, 1970; and the Auditorium Theatre (Chicago) on July 5, 1970.

New Speedway Boogie, Grateful Dead, Workingman’s Dead (lyrics)

Writers: Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter

The revolution turned violent and thuggish. Less than six months after Woodstock, Altamont marked the sudden and dramatic fall from grace of the free concert as a concertgoer was killed by a Hell’s Angel at the foot of the stage during the Rolling Stones act. Six months later, this song was recorded (June 1970), providing the memorable line “Please don’t dominate the rap Jack if you got nothing new to say.”

Robert Hunter provided a footnote in his songbook A Box of Rain: “Written as a reply to an indictment of the Altamont affair by pioneer rock critic Ralph J. Gleason”. 

Side 3: Voyage

Turn My Life Down, Jefferson Airplane, Volunteers (lyrics)

Writer: Jorma Kaukonen

The song articulates the perplexing confusion of the end of the decade, of where they were and where they were going. 

My yesterdays have melted with my tomorrow
And the present leaves me with no point of view

It marks an important collaboration between Jorma Kaukonen and Marty Balin (on vocals), and Stephen Stills showed up just in time to make his first contribution to the PERRO.

Wooden Ships (#2), Jefferson Airplane, Volunteers (lyrics)

Writers: David Crosby, Paul Kantner, and Stephen Stills

Whereas version #1 is soft and invokes a ship at sea, this version rocks with the thunder and lightning of a storm on the land. The lyrics differ a bit, as Grace Slick sings “I can see by your Coke my friend that you’re from the other side” rather than “coat” (suggesting that the “other side” is America).

The song’s lyrics also include an unsung prelude, included in the lyric sheet, with the final line sung repeatedly as the song’s ending:

Black sails knifing through the pitchblende night
Away from the radioactive landmass madness
From the silver-suited people searching out
Uncontaminated food and shelter on the shores
No glowing metal on our ship of wood only
Free happy crazy people naked in the universe
WE SPEAK EARTH TALK
GO RIDE THE MUSIC

Orleans, David Crosby, If I Could Only Remember My Name…. (lyrics)

Writer: Traditional

This French children’s song dates back to the 15th century, and described how the kingdom had been reduced to the towns of Vendôme, Bourges, Orléans, Cléry and Beaugency during the Hundred Year’s War. The war marked both the height of chivalry and its subsequent decline, and France lost half its population at the time. See Songs and Rhymes from France. 

One interpretation is that it is one of the first antiwar songs, lamenting the destruction of everything we know by war — and perhaps taking the “other side” (in this case, Vietnam, in which many people speak French). 

Laughing, David Crosby, If I Could Only Remember My Name…. (lyrics)

Writer: David Crosby

If you trip on LSD even only once, you can thereafter summon that vision of a meaningless infinite eternity for the rest of your life. This song describes what can happen on that trip. It depicts the writer looking for answers and finding only “reflections of a shadow”, searching for truth and finding “only a child laughing”. It is the seeker’s acid-tinged lament of not knowing what life is about, the long gasp of uncertainty that follows an LSD trip or any other journey into the depths of the soul. 

Joni Mitchell‘s harmony vocal softens the blow of being “mistaken” about knowing the truth. Garcia’s pedal steel takes it out, way out, into a psychedelic sunset. 

A Child Is Coming, Jefferson Starship (Paul Kantner/Grace Slick), Blows Against The Empire (lyrics)

Writers: Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, and David Crosby

“Last electric Sunday morning…” the woman surprises the man with news of a child that is coming, a symbol for the dawn of the new world. The parents’ first reaction is to make sure that “Uncle Samuel” doesn’t know about the child — not the young one’s name, nor the print of his hand “for the files in their numbers game”. The fact that this child is coming that will lead them into the new world makes everything better. It’s getting finer to tell the truth, to be alive, to be born. At the end, they sing of being together, of working it all out, presaging the next side of the album that is all about moving on to a new world together. Jack Casady’s bass feedback closes it out.

Side 4: Together

We Can Be Together, Jefferson Airplane, Volunteers (lyrics)

Writer: Paul Kantner

The song starts with a strident anthemic theme, a softer counter-culture manifesto, and progresses through sweet, folk-like stanzas and choruses that belie its revolutionary intent. The theme keeps returning, however, to the revolt. “We are forces of chaos and anarchy,” Kantner sings, and inspired by the Black Panther Party‘s use of the phrase “Up against the wall, motherfucker” he included it along with “tear down the walls”. This song serves as an anthem of the Love Generation. And who are the “we” that should be together?

We are all outlaws in the eyes of America
In order to survive
We steal, cheat, lie, forge, fuck, hide, and deal

This song was the B-side to the single version of “Volunteers” as well as the opening song of the album by the same name. The segue to the next song is priceless, carrying the ending guitar note into the strumming notes of the next song (supported by a different chord). The effect is like a movie soundtrack in which the hero, having finished vanquishing the enemy, moves on into the next scene.

Good Shepherd, Jefferson Airplane, Volunteers (lyrics)

Writer: Traditional, arranged by Jorma Kaukonen

This bit of “psychedelic folk-rock” (Kaukonen’s words) originated in a 19th century hymn written by a Methodist minister, “Let Thy Kingdom, Blessed Savior”. The aging blind blues player Jimmie Strothers recorded the song as “The Blood-Strained Banders” (probably a corruption of “Blood Stained Bandits”) for Alan Lomax and Harold Spivacke on behalf of the Library of Congress in 1936. In 1953, Ruth Crawford Seeger collected and transcribed the song as “Don’t You Hear The Lambs A-Crying” in American Folk Songs for Christmas. The song was circulating in folk circles in other forms as well, and Pete Seeger published a variant with a more explicitly political message, called “If You Want To Go To Freedom”, in the influential Broadside Magazine in 1963.

The song provides a spiritual backdrop to the youth rebellion, calling on the good shepherd of religion to feed our sheep. However, the opening lines provide a glimpse of the irresistible urge to escape this world and find a utopia somewhere else:

If you want to get to heaven
Over on the other shore

If you do, you must stay out of the way of blood-stained bandits, long-tongue liars, and gun-shot devils. The song is both a plea for spiritual rejuvenation and a warning for seekers of truth.

Law Man, Jefferson Airplane, Bark (lyrics)

Writer: Grace Slick

The Law is knocking at the door, but Grace Slick is having none of it. She’s “tired and sweet from making love” and the lawmen are just going to have to come back another day. She laments the police state: 

Law breaker you know it could be me
And if you had your way we’d all be down
Under the face of a clock that’s just too old to be wound

Drug busts had plagued many of the San Francisco bands during the Sixties (see Norman Pilcher, the infamous cop who planted drugs on celebrities). The young decried the busts as the work of “pigs” (cops) hell-bent on shoving the Hippies’ love-and-peace lifestyles up their asses. Yes, of course they’re doing drugs, but the singer is now pleading with the cops to “let some things you see go on by…”

What Are Their Names, David Crosby, If I Could Only Remember My Name…. (lyrics)

Writers: David Crosby, Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Michael Shrieve and Neil Young

This song is a pivoting point for the politics of the Love Generation. The artists’ indignation with the government arises clearly from the vocals. It screams “We’ve got to do something” in the face of terror. The song makes you want to go right over to the warmonger’s home this afternoon and give him a piece of your mind about peace for mankind. And who are these people?

I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand

This song is truly a collaboration of superstars, a coming together for all the bands to speak in a single voice. The title is also a joke on the album title If I Could Only Remember My Name….. 

The Baby Tree, Jefferson Starship (Paul Kantner/Grace Slick), Blows Against The Empire (lyrics)

Paul Kantner – banjo, vocals (Jefferson Airplane)

Writer: Rosalie Sorrels

Kantner plays banjo and sings alone. The verses are part of the “hostile” Baby-Rocking Medley by Rosalie Sorrels, which she preceded with a rant about raising babies. In this context the song provides a look at the ignorant innocence of utopian fantasies. Babies growing on trees sounds nice, but you got to watch out if you sneeze! In a storm, when the fat babies hail and end up lying in a pile, the adults “pass by all the babies that cry, and take only babies that smile.” How awful and sublime at the same time.

Let’s Go Together, Jefferson Starship (Paul Kantner/Grace Slick), Blows Against The Empire (lyrics)

Writer: Paul Kantner

This song is the first declaration of intent for the remnants of the counter-culture: To leave this planet and start a new civilization somewhere else. 

Shall I go off and away to bright Andromeda?
Shall I sail my wooden ships to the sea?
Or stay in a cage of those in Amerika??
Or shall I be on the knee?
Wave goodbye to Amerika
Say hello to the garden

While Paul Kantner is listed as playing bass machine on the album, the incredible bass sounds like Jack Casady is playing it. Grace Slick‘s piano is equally superb, and Jerry Garcia cements the sound with his banjo. Kantner was “the Pete Seeger of the band,” Jorma Kaukonen once claimed. “The social distress of the time was the perfect storm for Paul’s kind of writing.”

I use this song’s title as the title of the entire fantasy album because it embodies everything good about this generation — it’s courage, spirit, and love.

Side 5: Blows Against the Empire

Sunrise, Jefferson Starship (Paul Kantner/Grace Slick), Blows Against The Empire (lyrics)

Writer: Grace Slick

Beginning with Jack Casady‘s pulsating bass feedback that gives the song a primitive feel, this song expresses latent fury about man and the state of society — “Two thousand years of your goddamn glory.” It then gives us an audible version of a sunrise, and Jack’s feedback becomes a significant prelude to the psychedelic space opera of this side, the hijacking of a starship.

Hijack, Jefferson Starship (Paul Kantner/Grace Slick), Blows Against The Empire (lyrics)

Writers: Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Marty Balin, and Gary Blackman

The song starts on a “Sunday morning in speedway” (a reference to Altamont):

The summer was dry like your nose
when you’ve been behind coke for a day and a season

The essence of this story, told in this song, is that the counter-culture had had enough of this civilization and were hatching a plan to steal a starship from orbit and journey into space in search of a new home. They turn it into a latter-day Noah’s Ark for “cooks, dancers, energy centers, astral navigators; experts in explosives, wave mechanics, laser technics, atomic and trionic physics, labrian tantronics, telemetry; telepaths, machinists, chemists, woodworkers, physicians, craftsmen, poets, artists, recording engineers, moon pair, & particularly people who don’t have any idea what they’re all about.” The Blows Against The Empire record sleeve told all those who were interested, “… you will not be contacted immediately. Please just prepare your minds and bodies.  Experiment — move your mind.”

Hijack the starship!
Carry seven thousand people past the sun
Our babes will wander naked through the cities of the universe…

After referencing the Chicago police riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the song wanders into science fiction, postulating a starship circling in the sky that would be ready by 1990. Where do we go from here, the song asks, chaos or community? Gotta hijack that starship. During the hijack scene, an audio excerpt from the 1953 George Pal film version of War of the Worlds is used: a woman is heard to call out “Let me through!” followed immediately by the sound of a ray gun firing. The coda builds slowly with spacey pedal-steel guitar effects and piano, which segue neatly into the instrumental track “Home”. 

Home, Jefferson Starship (Paul Kantner/Grace Slick), Blows Against The Empire

Writers: Paul Kantner, Phill Sawyer, and Graham Nash

You hear someone say “Goodbye!” and the sound of the starship revving up, ready to blast off. The sound effects were produced by Paul Kantner, Phill Sawyer, and Graham Nash. It segue’s nicely into the next song.

Have You Seen The Stars Tonite, Jefferson Starship (Paul Kantner/Grace Slick), Blows Against The Empire (lyrics)

Writers: Paul Kantner and David Crosby

This beautiful, haunting song takes place on “A” deck of the starship as young lovers look up at the night sky. It features lush vocal harmonies over acoustic instruments with subdued electric guitar overlays. The acoustic parts throughout the second side are centered on Kantner’s detuned 12-string guitar, using a tuning consisting of octaves and fifths of open C, which David Crosby likened in sound to the droning tones of bagpipes.  The song segues into the sound effects of “X M”.

X M, Jefferson Starship (Paul Kantner/Grace Slick), Blows Against The Empire

Writers: Paul Kantner, Phill Sawyer, Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart

“3000 light years from the planet of my birth, 3000 years to the future. Poets of the earth have rearranged my birth, and fit it to the planetary sculpture.” As you hear these words, the starships revs up to a monstrous series of explosions as it rockets off into deep space. The last explosion segues into “Starship”.

Starship, Jefferson Starship (Paul Kantner/Grace Slick), Blows Against The Empire (lyrics)

Writers: Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Marty Balin, and Gary Blackman

This song jumps into hyperspace with the interplay between Jerry Garcia‘s guitar and Harvey Brooks‘s bass. It is IMHO the best Jerry guitar-playing ever recorded. 

How you gonna feel when you see your lady strollin’
On the deck of the starship

The “melting acid fever streaking through my mind” says it all. “Dear Brumus,” addressing the late Robert F. Kennedy’s family dog: 

The ship’ll be ours and you got to roll with it.
Though your master’s head’s blown off you got to go with it

They will find a utopia in the stars. The grass is green and you make it grow. The people you see will leave you be, more than the ones you’ve known before. The singer summarizes his entire generation’s purpose, asking if you are anything more than what they are: 

We come and go like a comet
We are wanderers
Are you any more?

At the end, after a climactic guitar and bass jam, they sing: “Mankind gone from the cage” and “All the years gone from your age.” The point of the song is to ask yourself, would you go? At the end you can barely hear David Crosby ask, “Well?”

I’d Swear There Was Somebody Here, David Crosby, If I Could Only Remember My Name…. 

Writer: David Crosby

This a cappella recording of multiple tracks of David Crosby‘s voice was a response to the sudden death of Christine Gail Hinton, who was Crosby’s girlfriend, muse, and partner. I put it here to invoke the feelings of abandonment and the emptiness of eternity that would have accompanied the departure of the counter-culture into space.

Side 6: The Cost of Freedom

After The Gold Rush, Neil Young, After The Gold Rush (lyrics)

Writer: Neil Young

The singer dreams of knights in armor, peasants and archers, a fanfare on the breeze. But then he reminds us, “Look at Mother Nature on the run in the 1970s” (revised to “21st century” in modern takes). After the gold rush, nothing would ever be the same. This is the end of the dream, and he links it to the starship fantasy:

Well, I dreamed I saw the silver space ships flyin’
In the yellow haze of the sun

Children crying and colors flying, everything seems right, but it is only a dream:

All in a dream, all in a dream
The loadin’ had begun
Flying Mother Nature’s silver seed
To a new home in the sun

Songs on Neil’s album, including this one, were inspired by the Dean StockwellHerb Bermann screenplay for the unmade film After the Gold Rush. 

Guinnevere, David Crosby, Voyage [box set] (lyrics)

Writer: David Crosby

After mourning the death of his girlfriend, David Crosby found renewed strength in meeting a lady who reminded him of her:

Guinnevere had green eyes
Like yours, my lady like yours 

The song provides the mournful feeling for a lost love with the cry, “Why can’t she see me?” It marks the end of his relationship with the Guinnevere of his life, and the beginning of something else. He sings in silent harmony that we all shall be free.

This version differs from the one on the Crosby Stills & Nash album. It features Jack Casady on bass and was recorded during the PERRO sessions.

I Used To Be A King, Graham Nash, Songs for Beginners (lyrics)

Writer: Graham Nash

The PERRO got together again for Graham Nash‘s first solo album. Nash wrote the song while nursing a broken heart (for Joni Mitchell) in a bungalow at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood Hills. 

I used to be a king
And everything around me turned to gold

No longer a king, he must be truthful to himself. 

And everything around me turned to rust
It’s ’cause I built my life on sand
And I watched it crumble in the dust

But hey, “it’s all right, I’m okay, how are you?” The singer is speaking to all of us, including all of us in the broken dream. And here is the resolve that the Love Generation must demonstrate as the utopian fantasies crumble: to allow your heart to open again, but not to break again:

But I know all I have to do is sing
And I’ll lift myself way off the ground…
Someone is going to take my heart
But no one is going to break my heart again

Song With No Words (Tree With No Leaves), David Crosby, If I Could Only Remember My Name…. 

Writer: David Crosby

The end of the dream has come, and there are no more words to say. The musicians gather for an incredibly collaborative instrumental jam, with gentle duets by Jerry Garcia and Jorma Kaukonen, and with David Crosby and Graham Nash harmonizing on nothing-words.

Find The Cost Of Freedom, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, single (CSN box set) (lyrics)

Writer: Stephen Stills

This version is the only chorus in the song. The missing verse before the chorus:

Daylight again, following me to bed
I think about a hundred years ago, how my fathers bled
I think I see a valley, covered with bones in blue
All the brave soldiers that cannot get older been askin’ after
You
Hear the past a callin’, from Ar-megeddon’s side
When everyone’s talkin’ and noone is listenin’, how can we
Decide?

The cost of freedom is death (buried in the ground). You must lay your body down for freedom. That is the next-to-final message of this fantasy album.

The Wheel, Jerry Garcia, Garcia (lyrics)

Writers: Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter

“The Wheel” is an answer song to David Crosby‘s “Laughing”. It lays down the central truth of life (borrowed from “Ezekiel Saw a Wheel” which began its life as an African American spiritual), and provides the final message of this fantasy album:

Small wheel turn by the fire and rod
Big wheel turn by the grace of God
Everytime that wheel turn round
bound to cover just a little more ground

The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down
You can’t let go and you can’t hold on
You can’t go back and you can’t stand still
If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will

For background, see What’s the story with Ezekiel’s Wheels?

 

Overall Copyright (c) 2019 by Tony Bove (for Rockument.com).