"Brokedown Palace" as written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter....
Fare you well my honey
Fare you well my only true one
All the birds that were singing
Have flown except you alone

Going to leave this broke-down palace
On my hands and my knees I will roll roll roll
Make myself a bed by the waterside
In my time, 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 gonna take me
Sing me sweet and sleepy
Sing me sweet and sleepy
All the way back back home
It's a far gone lullaby
Sung many years ago
Mama, mama, many worlds I've come
Since I first left home

Going home, going home
By the waterside 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


Lyrics submitted by itsmyownmind

"Brokedown Palace" as written by Robert C. Hunter Jerome J. Garcia

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Brokedown Palace song meanings
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36 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis is my favorite Grateful Dead song. I agree that it's about death, but it's peaceful and seems almost like a lullaby. It makes me think of Jerry Garcia :'(
    singisloveon April 21, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDefinitely one of my favorite Dead songs... It's so beautiful
    demo0043on August 21, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about someone who has led a long life, and is getting ready to die and saying a last goodbye to the one person (the last singing bird) who has stayed the whole time. He\'s wants to be buried by the river, the only constant thing where \'lovers come and go\' but where his loved one can come and see the willow that he planted as a remembrance and hear the sound of the river that also gives him peace in the afterlife. One of the most achingly sweet and beautiful songs ever written.
    sloopon April 22, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmy first impression upon hearing this and knowing the date it was written is that it's about someone who lived in the haight / san francisco in the 60s leaving it after it went to shit and remembering what it used to be.

    but maybe i'm wrong.
    nichieon May 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentone of the most beautiful songs ever written. i wanted to use this song as my senior quote, literally, but they obviously wouldnt let me so i was told to pick a chunk of it. it was so hard to decide that i ended up missing the deadline. highschool was so sad for me and so hard, but i grew so much from it, and learned so much from analyzing it, i love it more than words could tell. invaluably indebted. in retrospect i should have settled right away for

    "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."

    i learned more than most of the people who graduated with top grades, that year at least, always knew i was "smarter" than most of em. i knew i didnt need to move at the schools pace, i was there to learn, not to recieve assignments. i'd leave on my hands and knees if it's the last thing i did. i skimmed by just barely senior year because i didnt have it in me to do much of anything at the time. i was so fed up with feeling unhappy and imprisoned. but in my time i know i'll be up in vermont by a river, or down south just the same, happy as can be, and forever grateful.

    this one right here is one of those tears of joy and pain at the same time songs.
    FreeJigsawEarthon January 18, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis might be one of the best songs ever recorded. Listening to it leaves me feeling peaceful, but also kind of sad because deep down when I hear it I know that the time of true artistic expression in music has passed. It is now just another mass produced commodity created for the sole purpose of generating revenue. A sad day for our world, indeed.
    murphyhurtmeon June 17, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthow could only ONE person have posted something on this song? i have to agree with you (who else is there to agree with?) well, i dunno if it's my favorite...i think it just talks about the place you go, when you're peaceful, and yes, it is just beautiful! so perfect and fitting for any emotion you're feeling
    gabiroxon February 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is one of the greatest songs ever made in the history of time. i can not believe how few people have posted on this song!
    tenneseejedon March 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah maybe its about death, i mean its FARE YOU WELL and by the riverside i will REST MY BONES...but thats not necessarily the point of it, i mean thats not why it caught my ear...death doesnt move me that much....i think its more of the fact that he is leaving, hes going, and all he can think about it love, and how he might be gonig into his last hour, a dark and scary time, but hes in this forest, nature is so innocent, and all he thinks about it love instead of his death, (the death is probably the loss of a loved one, someone who left him, because the willow tree signifys unlucky love)
    Phr2963on June 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah maybe its about death, i mean its FARE YOU WELL and by the riverside i will REST MY BONES...but thats not necessarily the point of it, i mean thats not why it caught my ear...death doesnt move me that much....i think its more of the fact that he is leaving, hes going, and all he can think about it love, and how he might be gonig into his last hour, a dark and scary time, but hes in this forest, nature is so innocent, and all he thinks about it love instead of his death, (the death is probably the loss of a loved one, someone who left him, because the willow tree signifys unlucky love)
    Phr2963on June 30, 2005   Link

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