Grateful Dead

About Ripple

"Ripple" is the sixth song on the Grateful Dead album American Beauty. It was released as the B-side to the single "Truckin'".


 The easy, fast & fun way to learn how to sing:

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice come through the music
Would you hold it near as it were your own?

It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they're better left unsung
I don't know, don't really care
Let there be songs to fill the air

Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full may it be again
Let it be known there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of men

There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone

Ripple in still water
When there is no pebble tossed
Nor wind to blow

You who choose to lead must follow
But if you fall you fall alone
If you should stand then who's to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home

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Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. The band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, and space rock, and for live performances of long musical improvisation. "Their music," writes Lenny Kaye, "touches on ground that most other groups don't even know exists." These various influences were distilled into a diverse and psychedelic whole that made the Grateful Dead "the pioneering Godfathers of the jam band world." They were ranked 57th in the issue The Greatest Artists of all Time by Rolling Stone magazine. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and their Barton Hall Concert at Cor… more »

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Written by: Jerome J. Garcia, Robert C. Hunter

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

7 facts about this song

Songwriting Facts
"Ripple" is a song written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter. - It first appeared on the "American Beauty" album by the Grateful Dead in 1970, and it also appears on the live album "Reckoning."
The song’s lyrics were penned by famed Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. Hunter said the song was written under the influence of heart pain following a surgery.
Music Style
The style of "Ripple" is folk music, and it is largely acoustic. - It features excellent musicianship, with Garcia on guitar and vocals and David Grisman on mandolin.
Song Popularity
Despite its popularity among Deadheads and its seminal place in the band's repertoire, "Ripple" was played only a few times a year during concerts. - It did not appear in any singles charts.
Cultural Influence
The song has been covered by various artists and continues to be a favorite at gatherings of Deadheads. - "Ripple" became a meme in 2020, shared among fans as an anthem of hope and resilience during the global pandemic.
Song Interpretation
Like many of Grateful Dead's songs, "Ripple" is open to multiple interpretations, and its intent can be subjective, often seeking to evoke feelings or ideas rather than explicitly convey a tight narrative. - Some fans interpret the lyrics of "Ripple" as a meditation on the nature of songwriting and music itself.
In the Media
In the final episode of the television series "Freaks and Geeks," "Ripple" was used, depicting the characters sitting around a campfire and singing the song. - In 2015, "Ripple" was used in a commercial for the cannabis business alliance to espouse the benefits of regulating and taxing cannabis in Colorado.

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