"Bertha" as written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter....
I had a hard run
Running from your window
I was all night running, running, running
I wonder if you care?
I had a run-in
Run around and run down
Run around a corner
Run smack into a tree

I had to move
Really had to move
That's why if you please
I am on my bended knees
Bertha don't you come around here anymore

Dressed myself in green
I went down to the sea
Try to see what's going down
Maybe read between the lines
Had a feeling I was falling, falling, falling

Turned around to see
Heard a voice calling, calling, calling
You was comin after me
Back to me

I had to move
Really had to move
That's why if you please
I am on my bended knees
Bertha don't you come around here anymore


Ran into a rainstorm
Ducked into a bar door
It was all night pouring, pouring rain
But not a drop on me

Test me, test me
Why don't you arrest me?
Throw me in the jail house
Until the sun goes down
Till it go down

I had to move
Really had to move
That's why if you please
I am on my bended knees
Bertha don't you come around here anymore


Lyrics submitted by itsmyownmind

"Bertha" as written by Jerome J. Garcia, Robert C. Hunter

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Bertha song meanings
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  • +1
    Song Meaningok the name Bertha comes from:

    The name Bertha is derived from the Old German word behrt (or behrat), meaning “bright, famous, intelligent” and from the Old English beorht, which also means “bright.” It’s a name which has a rich history, beginning with Norse mythology.

    Bertha was the goddess of spinning and domesticity. One telling of her story is that on the nights between Christmas and January 6th, she went through every street in every village and town, looking through every window to make sure the spinning was finished and had been done well. For the maidens who had taken care in doing their task, she left a gift of one of her own golden threads or a distaff full of extra-fine flax, but those who had been careless found their wheels broken and their flax spoiled. [1] Bertha herself was an excellent spinner and spent so much time pushing the treadle that she is often portrayed with a wide flat foot. This portrayal has led to speculation that she was, in fact, the original Mother Goose.

    Also known as “The White Lady,” goddess of fertility, and protector of children, Bertha stole into nurseries at night and cared for the little ones while their mothers slept. In some versions of her tale, she tended the good children and punished the bad.


    NOW this song reminds me of a Psalm really. Its a cry out to God not to punish one for the wrongs they have done. He actually asks his Lord the test him. It us true that they named the fan at 710 Bertha and it wobbled towards them, but if you would think about the amount of acid they were eating at that time, I dont think its a coincidence they picked the name Bertha. The fan was coming at them. So its not too surprising that maybe in some unconscious mystical way they called the fan Bertha. Bertha was going to come and punish the bad children like in the Norse mythology.

    When you think about the dead's spirituality and also their connection with mythology, it kinda makes sense. Heck the name grateful dead is a spiritual name it itself; a soul that is so grateful to someone that is still alive in the real world that they spend their after life helping and assisting that person.

    just my quick two cents
    rj5570on August 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow, this is an amazing song how did no one commented on this song. This song to me is the dead. This song got me hooked.
    iHatepoopingon May 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song itself is a straightforward relationship plaint, but the origin of the name "Bertha" is actually an old, large floor fan at 710 with a tendency to wobble so bad that it would haul ass across a room.
    PhilTLLon August 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love the jam band style mixed with the folk/bluegrass lyrics...dressed in green-marched down unto the scene(as in spying on bertha) not sea... i think this song is about how much he loves bertha and she just keeps messing with him and messing with him but without love its nothing so he is just like dont come around here aanymore because you keep getting me in trouble
    dylanandeadiskilleron October 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentreaqlly butter song. so cool to throw on at a party or something. brings me right back to the late 60,s........colb beer and green herb
    jbird4017on April 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHell yes.. definitive dead... Oh how awesome it must have been livin at 710
    jimmyjackjoneson March 13, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEveryone's entitled to their opinion. Mine comes from some possibly erroneous inside information: when I was going to shows in the 70s, many 'family' folk said Bertha was a very enthusiastic but very large fan. Supposedly in the early days she'd get right up front and obscure the acoustics with her generous mass. The story goes that the band loved her and immortalized her in the song though they had to continually ask her to move as to not mess up the sound.
    tbspollenon May 12, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEveryone's entitled to their opinion. Mine comes from some possibly erroneous inside information: when I was going to shows in the 70s, many 'family' folk said Bertha was a very enthusiastic but very large fan. Supposedly in the early days she'd get right up front and obscure the acoustics with her generous mass. The story goes that the band loved her and immortalized her in the song though they had to continually ask her to move as to not mess up the sound.
    tbspollenon May 12, 2014   Link

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