It was about 25 years ago when I first became acquainted with the music of the Grateful Dead. Unlike many of the other rock bands or mainstream music acts I’d grown to know and love in the 50s, 60s and 70s, the music of the Grateful Dead always had seemed somehow different and less accessible to me.
Ironically, my first true introduction to the band came later in my life through my daughter Laura.
As we sat in Laura’s living room one evening, “Ripple” began to play. I was immediately enthralled by its words. When the song finished playing, I asked Laura if we could listen to it again and then I played it over and over and over.
Written in the 1970s by Rob Hunter and Jerry Garcia, “Ripple” has a unique rhythm and a message full of spiritual undertones. The lyrics grabbed my attention the first time I listened to them and contemplated the meaning of the line, “there is a fountain / That was not made by the hands of men.”
I was so impressed by the words and message of the song, I decided to research its origins. I learned that it may have been inspired by Psalm 23, with its reference to still water and to a full or empty cup.
The words to the song have continued to reverberate through my life, more often today than when I heard it for the first time. I am drawn to the melody and especially the spiritual connection I feel when I listen. The truth of the words in the song are born out in my life as I continue to move forward.
Often our history’s true stories take years, decades and even centuries before they are told, understood, shared and commemorated in written records.
Please listen to this rendition of “Ripple” and watch for my regular blog post this week. Sometimes, the ripple effect takes years before the demand for the truth of our stories are written.
© Tyra Manning 2018