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Grateful Dead – Brokedown Palace lyrics

Fare you well, my honey, fare you well my only true one.
All the birds that were singing are flown, except you alone.

Going to leave this brokedown palace,
On my hand and knees, I will roll, roll, roll.
Make myself a bed in the waterside,
In my time, I will roll, roll roll.

In a bed, in a bed, by the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul.

River going to take me, sing sweet and sleepy,
Sing me sweet and sleepy all the way back home.
Its a far gone lullaby, sung many years ago.
Mama, mama many worlds I've come since I first left home.

Goin home, goin home, by the riverside I will rest my bones,
Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul.

Going to plant a weeping willow,
On the banks green edge it will grow, grow, grow.
Sing a lullaby beside the water,
Lovers come and go, the river roll, roll, roll.

Fare you well, fare you well, I love you more than words can tell,
Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul.

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  • j
    My favorite Dead song, to me it has always meant looking forward to my future plans. As a single mother of three, never meaning to become stuck in the place I live, and desiring to move someplace with natural beauty, rivers, etc., I have always loved the lines (with reasons parenthesized): "Going to leave this brokedown palace" (crappy house), "In my time, in my time, I will roll, roll, roll" (when I don't have responsibilities here, it will be 'my time' to roll, roll, roll). Also I have always loved rivers, especially sleeping beside a roaring, or softly rolling, river, camping out. And since my boys had a few problems as teenagers, and some since leaving, the line "Mama, mama, many worlds have come since I first left home" has special meaning to me. It is so true, for all of us in some way. And with two horrible marriages and other lost lovers, "Lovers come and go, the river roll, roll, roll" means that (unlike 'loves, ' the river is always there). True that! Summarizing, I want to leave my 'brokedown palace', 'roll' out West, and sleep by the river, which does indeed "sing sweet songs to rock my soul."
    One of my sons passed away this year, and as he was a Dead fan, and Further tour bum, himself, it now has some different meanings, which I may post later.
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