"Cosmic Charlie" as written by Jerome J. Garcia and Robert C. Hunter....
Cosmic Charlie how do you do
Truckin' in style along the avenue
Dum de dum de do da lee do
Go on home your mama's calling you.

Calico Cal, ya come tell me the news
Calamity's waiting for a way to get to her
Rosey red and electric blue
I bought you a paddle for your paper canoe.

Say you'll come back when you can
Whenever your airplane happens to land
Maybe I'll be back here too
It all depends on what's with you.

Woke up waiting for a windy day
Cat on I ? since the first of February
Mama keeps saying that the wind might blow
But standing here I say I just don't know.

New ones come in as the old ones go
Everything's moving here but much too slowly
A little bit quicker and we might have time
To say how do you do before we left behind.

Calliope wail like a seaside zoo
The very last lately inquired about you
It's really very one or two
The first you wanted the last I knew.

I just wonder if you shouldn't feel
Less concerned about the people unreal
The very first word is how do you do
The last go home your mama's calling you.

Calling you oh, oh, oh, oh, h,
Calling you oh, oh, oh,
Calling you oh, oh, oh,
Calling you oh, oh, oh

Calling you oh, oh, oh,
Go on home your mama's calling you
Calling you oh, oh, oh,
Go on home your mama's calling you
Calling you oh, oh, oh,
Go on home your mama's calling you
Go on home your mama's calling you


Lyrics submitted by itsmyownmind

"Cosmic Charlie" as written by Robert C. Hunter Jerome J. Garcia

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Cosmic Charlie song meanings
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  • +1
    Song MeaningCosmic Charlie is the Dead poking fun at some of their own (psychedelically challenged) fans...
    The thing is, when you are trippin' on acid a lot, you tend to get "concerned about the deep unreal" a little too much.
    And you don't pay enough attention to the basics and the nitty gritty of daily life.
    I grew up in the 70's and I remember guys that had blown their minds with too much acid. And had kinda lost their grip on reality. Fit the description of "Cosmic Charlie" perfectly. We used to call these folks "burn outs" because something in their brain got fried...
    The ones I remember were very dependent on family members to take care of them as otherwise they would have ended up homeless. So think about a "space cadet" acid head that took it too far "out there" and has lost his or her grip on consensual reality and then some of these lyrics start to make sense, like:

    "Go on home your mama's calling you." - Childlike and dependent.
    Rosy red and electric blue I bought you a paddle for your paper canoe - Living in fantasy land.
    Say you'll come back when you can, whenever your airplane happens to land - Flying high in the chemical skies? You ever coming back down?
    Maybe I'll be back here, too. It all depends on what's with you. - I'll be here whenever you come down from your cosmic acid trip...

    Then there's that incredibly classic line:
    "I just wonder if you shouldn't feel,
    Less concerned about the deep unreal". - Having tripped on acid a couple hundred times, I can tell you that when you are on a STRONG psychedelic kick, you become VERY concerned about the deep unreal and NOT very concerned about basic day to day survival issues, like even food and shelter become secondary....

    The very first word is "How do you do?",
    The last "Go home your mama's callin' you."
    Calling you, calling you, calling you, calling you,
    Go on home your mama's calling you.
    - This last section is like they're singing to the person that's taken too much acid "Just relax man, you'll be allright" go on back to a space of safety (home), addressing the Cosmic Acid tripper like if they are a child. (If you've ever been with someone who is tripping heavily on acid, they ARE vulnerable like a child....

    Anyone who's done A LOT of psychedelics will understand this song. However, it's not something I recommend (other than in moderation). You gotta be VERY strong to handle messing with your psyche that heavily...
    Hope this helps....
    ShivaXon January 20, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favorite grateful dead song by far... The live track on the remade American Beauty CD is intense! I am puzzled by the hidden messages in this song, however, I do notice the emphasis on "home" which can be seen in many other GD songs as well. My favorite line is, "I just wonder if you shouldn't feel, less concerned about the deep unreal." Can someone offer their feedback, please?
    thewohlon May 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe remade Aoxomoxoa CD rather.
    thewohlon August 13, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJerry kills the slide in this song.
    jdelprioron October 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    MemoryI love the Dead and was particularly enchanted with this song since my early teens, which was BEFORE I did any psychedelics. Didn't end up like Charlie though, just enjoyed the beautiful song. Then my first child was born on the first of February (a windy day in New York City), and I sang this to her as a lullaby.
    HomerWellson March 16, 2013   Link
  • 0
    Song FactThe song was written about my friend,Charlie. He used to hang out with them.
    lisaduon December 02, 2014   Link

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