Box of Rain (5:18)

Cover of 1972-12-11: San Francisco, CA, USA

From 1972-12-11: San Francisco, CA, USA and 74 other releases

It was originally released on the GD’s fifth studio album, “American Beauty,” and was written by Phil Lesh (melody and vocal phrasing) with Robert Hunter, the band’s primary lyricist, writing the lyrics. The album was released in late 1970, making that year the only one in the band’s history to have two studio albums released in the same calendar year (“AB” and the earlier “Workingman’s Dead”). Lesh, the band’s bassist, was struggling with the fact that his father was dying of cancer at the time of the making of AB. Lesh would visit his father at the VA where the old man was dying after the bassist had spent hours with the rest of the band working on new tracks in the studio. He wanted a song he could sing to his dad while visiting. The fact of Lesh’s father’s illness and impending death provided the context for the song’s wistful and elegiac feel. Hunter has said in interviews that Lesh had already worked out the melody and the vocal patterns (Lesh scat-singing nonsense syllables to Hunter) and that his (Hunter’s) lyrics flowed pretty easily as a result. According to Hunter, the title “Box of Rain” refers to “the world we live in.” The song was, according to reliable sources, not performed live for the first time until about 2 years after the release of the album. Several artists have covered it.


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Look out of any window, any morning, any evening, any day
Maybe the sun is shining, birds are winging
No rain is falling from a heavy sky

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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