Molly Dee

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Mickey Hart

Robert Hunter has performed this live (eg at Ranch Rock 86, with Mickey Hart and others). In "Box Of Rain," he notes:

"France" was written to tapes of a joyous afternoon Latin jam at Mickey Hart's ranch, the same jam that spawned "Molly Dee" and "Northeast by West."
It was rehearsed by the Grateful Dead during the sessions for "Go To Heaven," but not released or performed live. The tapes that circulate do not include vocals.

These are the full Hunter lyrics, as in "Box Of Rain":
Wish I was in Chatanooga, Paris, France or Rome
Anyplace but California, anywhere but home
Acapulco, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Chad
I don't care how good it is, don't even care how bad

Bali Hi or Bali Low, or Bali in-between
Somewhere I've never been or hardly ever seen
Years go slipping by like weeks, I know that can't be right
My love life has me twisted till I dream of it at night

Oh Molly Dee, I'm setting you free
Give back the love you borrowed, whoa-oh

There's a limit to the limit even love can bear
Look to see how high the moon, it isn't even there ...
Nothing where a star provoked a wish your heart proclaimed
All along the water tower singing in the rain

Maybe I did something you can never quite forgive
I'm sorry from the heart, you know, but I still have to live
No point at all to prove whose moves have brought us where we are
We make it sound so serious, but that's just who we are

Oh Molly Dee, I'm setting you free
Give back the love you borrowed, whoa-oh

Sunshine tangled in my hair, a beam caught in my eye
Every now and then appears a fool somewhat like I
Half-a-dollar moon arising on my windowsill
If I were easily moved to tears, I think perhaps I'd spill

Half a year in solitary, staring at the wall
I know every chip and crack, and baby that ain't all
Jaybird on the windowsill, a catfight in the street
Hand me down my walking cane and raise me to my feet

Oh Molly Dee, I'm setting you free
Give back the love you borrowed, whoa-oh

Hangman, do your duty, tie a rope around my neck
Bought too much on credit, can't begin to pay the check
I can't even come up with the interest on the loan
I'd call to say I'm sorry but I can't afford the phone

I woke up one morning without any song to sing
If I can last through this, I can last through anything
It either comes too easy or it doesn't come at all
You think you have a calling, it depends on who you call

Oh Molly Dee, I'm setting you free
Give back the love you borrowed, whoa-oh

Looking back upon the years to see where I went wrong
Not too much time for friendship, and too much time for song
When the music's over, the singing's said and done
Looking back is looking right into a loaded gun

Oh Molly Dee, I'm setting you free
Give back the love you borrowed, whoa-oh

Sing a song of seven cents, a pocket full of sand
A bird or two behind each bush, but nothing in the hand
Used to play with Eric Dolphy, started out with Fats
I don't play much anymore, there ain't no call for sax

Something singing in the sky, but not like any bird
Longest, sweetest melancholy note I ever heard
Pretty close to sundown so it might have been a star
Strumming the horizon like the string of a guitar

Oh Molly Dee, hold on and see
We'll roll along tomorrow, whoa-oh

Sometimes it's all right to wander homeless in the street
Sacking out in open cars and lining up to eat
Maybe I'll get lucky one more time before I die
Cure our ills with dollar bills, I hate to see you cry

If they made a road map of the backroads of the heart
We might find out where we went wrong and make another start
As it is we travel blind, trusting to a song
We may seek and never find but still we roll along

Molly Dee, hold on and sing
A song for a long tomorrow, whoa-oh
The version Hunter performed at Ranch Rock in 1986 is severely truncated:
Something singing in the sky, it might have been a bird
Longest, sweetest, strangest melancholy note I've heard
Pretty close to sundown so it might have been a star
Strumming like a wind on the wings of a guitar

Oh Molly Dee, stay here with me
We'll roll along tomorrow, whoa-oh

If they made a road map of the backroads of the soul
We might find out where we went wrong and [?] at all
As it is we travel blind, [?] on the road
Anyway we can try, and try and steer our load

Oh Molly Dee, stay here with me
We'll roll along tomorrow, whoa-oh

I pulled out my walking cane and followed me to the screen
[?] I can hear it scream
All I really need to know is can I count on you
If we do not dare to dream, what do we dare to do

Oh Molly Dee, stay here with me
We'll roll along tomorrow, whoa-oh

Oh Molly Dee, stay here by me
We'll roll along tomorrow, whoa-oh

Oh Molly Dee, stay here with me
We'll roll along tomorrow, whoa-oh

Oh Molly Dee, stay here with me
We'll roll along tomorrow, whoa-oh

 


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