My Brother Esau
Lyrics: John Perry Barlow
Music: Bob Weir
Reprinted with permissions: copyright Ice Nine Publishing

My brother Esau killed a hunter
Back in nineteen sixty nine
And before the killing was done
His inheritance was mine
But his birthright was a wand to wave
Before a weary band
Esau gave me sleeplessness
And a piece of moral land

My father favoured Esau
Who was eager to obey
All the bloody wild commandments
The old man shot his way
But all this favour ended when
My brother failed at war
He staggered home
And found me in the door

Esau skates on mirrors any more
Meets his pale reflection at the door
Yet sometimes at night I dream
He's still that hairy man
Shadow boxing the apocalypse
And wandering the land
Shadow boxing the apocalypse
And wandering the land

Esau holds a blessing
Brother Esau holds a curse
I would say that the blame is mine
But I suspect it's something worse
The more my brother looks like me
The less I understand
The silent war
That blooded both our hands

Sometimes at night
I think I understand
Way late at night
Oh, I feel I understand
It's brother to brother
And it's man to man
And it's face to face
And it's hand to hand
The shadow dance
The silent war within
The shadow dance
Never ends, never ends, never ends
Shadow boxing the apocalypse
Yet again, yet again
Shadow boxing the apocalypse
And wandering the land

Frustratingly, the Dead released the studio recording of this as the B-side of the "Touch Of Grey" single, and on the cassette version of "In The Dark", but not on LP or on the US-released CD. But it is included on a recent Japanese re-issue of "In The Dark".

First performance: March 25, 1983, at Compton Terrace Amphitheatre, Tempe, Arizona.

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