>Lyrically Speaking: Mission in the Rain

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  “Mission in the Rain” is my favorite Jerry-penned Grateful Dead song…
  That’s how I was going to start this Lyrically Speaking entry. But I could just hear in my head Deadheads everywhere grumbling and huffing and puffing, and decided just to get the disclaimer* out of the way, right up top, to help ease their worried minds.
  So here it is:
   *“Mission” technically is not a Grateful Dead song, since it was recorded (on the album “Reflections“) and mostly performed as Jerry’s solo project the Jerry Garcia Band. And, technically, Garcia didn’t write the lyrics — they were penned by Robert Hunter, Garcia’s songwriting partner.
So anyways, “Mission in the Rain” is my favorite Jerry-penned Grateful Dead song.
  I love the imagery — a guy walking through a deserted part of the city at midnight thinking about his life and the choices he has made: “Ten years ago, I walked this street my dreams were riding tall/ Tonight I would be thankful Lord, for any dream at all/ Some folks would be happy just to have one dream come true/ But everything you gather is just more that you can lose.” Wonderful.
  Though Hunter wrote the lyrics, Garcia has been quoted as saying, “it’s autobiographical, though I didn’t write it.” Very Grateful Dead-esque. He actually sings the tune like he’s lived it. You really feel the guy’s pain, and yet the comfort he gets from his surroundings: “Thereís some satisfaction in the San Francisco rain/No matter what comes down the Mission always looks the same.”
  Hunter says he wrote the tune about his time that he lived in the Mission District in San Francisco in the ’60s. The area apparently came alive with hookers and other creatures of the night after dark. (For more on the history of the song, click HERE).
  As stated in the disclaimer, the Dead only performed this song for a brief period, and I’m not sure why. All I know is that when it comes on my iPod, I turn it up real loud and sing every word — with feeling.

Mission in the Rain
I turn and walk away then I come Ďround again
It looks as though tomorrow Iíll do pretty much the same.

I must turn down your offer but Iíd like to ask a break
You know Iím ready to give everything for anything I take.

Someone called my name you know I turned around to see
It was midnight in the Mission and the bells were not for me.

Come again, walking along in the Mission in the rain,
Come again, walking along in the Mission in the rain,

Ten years ago, I walked this street my dreams were riding tall
Tonight I would be thankful Lord, for any dream at all.

Some folks would be happy just to have one dream come true
But everything you gather is just more that you can lose.

Come again, walking along in the Mission in the rain,
Come again, walking along in the Mission in the rain,

All the things I planned to do I only did half way
Tomorrow will be Sunday born of rainy Saturday.

Thereís some satisfaction in the San Francisco rain
No matter what comes down the Mission always looks the same.

Come again, walking along in the Mission in the rain.

Jerry Garcia Band – 11/11/93
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrDBvqt2A64]

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