It Must Have Been The Roses

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Robert Hunter

One of only two songs where the Dead played Robert Hunter's music as well as his lyrics.

Annie laid her head down in the roses
She had ribbons, ribbons, ribbons in her long brown hair
I don't know, maybe it was the roses
All I know, I could not leave her there

Chorus
I don't know, it must have been the roses
The roses or the ribbons in her long brown hair
I don't know, maybe it was the roses
All I know, I could not leave her there

Ten years the waves rolled the ships home from the sea
Thinking well how it may blow in all good company
If I tell another what your own lips told to me
Let me lay 'neath the roses and my eyes no longer see

[chorus]

One pane of glass in the window
No one is complaining, though, come in and shut the door
Faded is the crimson from the ribbons that she wore
And it's strange how no one comes round any more

[chorus]
Grateful Dead Recordings
     Date Album
     24 Feb 1974 Dave's Picks Volume 13
     14 May 1974 Dave's Picks Volume 9
     31 Jul 1974 Dave's Picks Volume 2
      5 Aug 1974 Dick's Picks Vol 31
     20 Oct 1974 Steal Your Face
     13 Aug 1975 One From The Vault
      9 Jun 1976 Road Trips Volume 4, Number 5
      4 Nov 1977 Dave's Picks Volume 12
      5 Nov 1977 Dick's Picks Vol 34
     24 Apr 1978 Dave's Picks Volume 7
     23 Oct 1980 Reckoning (note 1)
     26 Oct 1980 Reckoning
     30 Nov 1980 Dave's Picks Volume 8
      7 Aug 1982 Dick's Picks Vol 32
     22 Mar 1990 Spring 1990
     25 Sep 1991 Dick's Picks 17

Recordings from dead.net Tapers Section

"The Dead" Concert Recordings

Furthur Digital Downloads and CDs

Phil Lesh and Friends Digital Download Series

Ratdoglive CDs and downloads
 
Dead-related recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     1973 Untitled Robert Hunter
     1974 Tales Of The Great Rum Runners Robert Hunter (note 2)
     studio 1976 Reflections Jerry Garcia (note 3)
     1985 Live '85 Robert Hunter

Robert Hunter Concert Recordings
 
Covers By Other Artists
     Date Album Recorded By
     16 Apr 1987 Stolen Roses Elvis Costello
     2000 Dead Grass Vassar Clements
     2000 Might As Well The Persuasions (note 4)
     2001 Blues Tribute To The Grateful Dead Various (Charles Butler)
     2003 The Tussler (re-issue) Motorpsycho
     2005 Jerry Jams, Jerry Cares Catherine Moon and Josh Rubin
     2008 Fennario: Songs by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter Emory Joseph
Notes
(1) additional version issued as a bonus track in the box set Beyond Description (1973-1990)
(2) also on the Robert Hunter compilation Promontory Rider
(3) although it is included on a Jerry Garcia Band CD, this recording was made by all the members of the Grateful Dead.
(4) re-released in 2011 on "Persuasions of the Dead"

Background
Robert Hunter introduced this song in a 1979 solo performance:
"This is a song I wrote for a friend of mine, Butch Waller of High Country - a great bluegrass band [on the] West Coast. They never got around to doing it, [so] I finally recorded it myself [on my] first record."
In live performances (for example on "Live 85") Robert Hunter sometimes included the Robbie Burns poem "Red, Red Rose":
My love is like a red, red rose
That's laid in summer bloom
My love is like a melody
That's sweetly play'd in tune
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass
So deep in love am I
And I will love thee still
Till all the seas gang dry

Till all the seas gang dry, my love
And the rocks melt wi' the sun
And I will love thee still, my dear
While the sands o' life shall run
And fare thee well, my own true luve,
And fare thee well a while
And I will come again my love
Tho' it were ten thousand mile

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 1 (piano arrangement)

 


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