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"I Will Take You Home"

Words by John Perry Barlow; music by Brent Mydland
Reprinted with permissions copyright Ice Nine Publishing




One of the sweetest Grateful Dead songs ever. Listening to it can make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
Very much a lullabye


Little girl lost
In a forest of dreams.
It's a dark old wood
And it's damp with dew.
Hoot owl hoots
For a moment it seems
Something big and cold
Just got ahold of you.
Just when everything gets scary,
Daddy's come 'round for his darlin' again.
Hold my hand with your little fingers.
Daddy's loving arms gonna gather you in.
Ain't no way the Bogeyman can get you,
You can close your eyes, the world is gonna let you,
Your daddy's here and never will forget you,
I will take you home.
I will take you home.
Gonna carry you back home
In my arms.
I will take you home.

Long is the road
We must travel on down.
Short are the legs
That will struggle behind.
I wish I knew for sure
Just where we're bound,
What we will be doin'
And what we're gonna find.
Wherever we go, there will be birds to cheer you
Flower to color in the fields around.
Wherever we go, I'll be right here near you
You can't get lost when you're always found.

Ain't no fog that's thick enough to hide you
Your daddy's gonna be right here beside you
If your fears should start to get inside you
I will take you home.
I will take you home.
Gonna carry you back home
In my arms.
I will take you home.

------------------------------------------------------------

First performance: Wednesday, June 22, 1988, at Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, Wisconsin.
Final performance: July 14, 1990, at Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, twelve days before Mydland's death on July 26.

I’m guessing that anybody who has ever carried a sleeping toddler upstairs to bed will tell you that it’s sort of a special feeling. It's just another one of those things that you can’t quite put your finger on but you sure know what it is when you’re lucky enough to feel it.

There’s just something about the way they wrap their legs around your waist and their arms around your neck that seems so natural. Their face seems to find that little crook in your neck and buries itself there and to them, it probably feels like the safest place in the world.

A little girl lost
In a forest of dreams.
It's a dark old wood
And it's damp with dew.

And as you carry them up those ten or twelve steps, they might stir a bit or let out a little sigh along the way. Their eyes might flutter a little bit and if they do you might feel a little tickle go down the side of your neck that travels all the way down to your spine and sends one of those chills, the good kind, up your back.

A hoot owl hoots
For a moment it seems
Something big and cold
Just got a hold of you.

And then you finally get them up to their room you have to do something that’s almost the equivalent of a balancing act. With one hand you have to gently pull back the covers while holding on tightly with the other one. And then, you start to lower the toddler down and just before they hit the sheets there’s usually a bit of a startle. I don’t know if that’s the right word or not but there always seems to be a moment before their little head hits the pillow that their little eyes open and you can see the fear that lies within.

Just when everything gets scary,
Daddy's come 'round for his darlin' again.
Hold my hand with your little fingers.
Daddy's lovin’ arms gonna gather you in.

And you whisper things like “Shhh, everything’s ok. Go to sleep. Shhh.” And you pull up the blankets and they look at you first as if you were a stranger and then the recognition sets in and they close their eyes and maybe turn over on their side and grab for whatever stuffed animal that they keep on hand to ward off the nightmares and to comfort them through the night.

And you take a moment to gaze at them and maybe say something like “’Night night” and then tiptoe out of the room and make your way downstairs.

Ain't no way the Boogeyman can get you,
You can close your eyes, the world is gonna let you,
Your daddy's here and he never will forget you,
I will take you home.
I will take you home.
Gonna carry you back home
In my arms.
I will take you home.

And the house is quiet and you sit down at the kitchen table and pop yourself a beer or finish off a cold cup of coffee and tend to whatever matters are at hand like paying the bills or balancing the checkbook but for some reason you can’t seem to focus and your mind begins to wander…

Long is the road
We must travel on down.
Short are the legs
That will struggle behind.

It begins to wander and to wonder about the future, about what lies in store for both you and your little one and what they’re going to turn into and how you’re going to cope with the changing times. You begin to wonder if you’re up to the task and maybe a little self doubt and trepidation sets in along the way and you pray to whatever god that will listen to guide both you and them on a safe journey.

I wish I knew for sure
Just where we're bound,
What we will be doin'
And what we're gonna find.

You wonder how bumpy the road will be and how many twists and turns it might take and where it might end or even if it ever will end at all. You come to discover that there are no so-called “right answers” and maybe after you’ve figured that out for yourself, you can let anticipation be your guide rather than fear.

And everything seems a bit clearer now.

Wherever we go, there will be birds to cheer you
Flower to color in the fields around.
Wherever we go, I'll be right here near you
You can't get lost when you're always found.

And the next day the child awakes and comes downstairs as if nothing special had happened and, in reality, nothing special really did. It’s just another night gone by and you ask things like “How did you sleep?” and the routine resumes itself like the ticking of the clock but maybe you take a moment or two and let the smile spread across your face and make them their favorite breakfast instead of a cold bowl of cereal that normally greets them at the breakfast table. Maybe you take a little extra time and have that second cup of coffee and say to yourself that it’s ok to be a little late for work before hustling them off to school.

Ain't no fog that's thick enough to hide you
Your daddy's gonna be right here beside you
If your fears should start to get inside you
I will take you home.
I will take you home.
Gonna carry you back home
In my arms.
I will take you home.

And you sit in your office and you can’t seem to concentrate and what thoughts do come to mind are fractured and you decide to try and throw them together on this little website you like to visit and hope that one day your little one will be old enough to read them and understand them and maybe pass them on to their little ones should they be so inclined.

And then, before you know it, it’s time to go pick them up from school and the cycle starts all over again and you think to yourself.

“You know our love will not fade away.”

For copyright info regarding “I Will Take You Home, please see Grateful Dead lyrics – thanks.

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