"Foolish Heart" as written by Jerome J. Garcia and Robert C. Hunter....
Carve your name
Carve your name in ice and wind
Search for where
Search for where the rivers end
Or where the rivers start
Do everything that's in you
That you feel to be your part
But never give your love, my friend,
Unto a foolish heart

Leap from ledges
Leap from ledges high and wild
Learn to speak
Speak with wisdom like a child
Directly from the heart
Crown yourself the king of clowns
Or stand way back apart
But never give your love, my friend,
Unto a foolish heart

Shun a friend
Shun a brother and a friend
Never look
Never look around the bend
Or check a weather chart
Sign the Mona Lisa
With a spray can, call it art
But never give your love, my friend,
Unto a foolish heart

A foolish heart will call on you
To toss your dreams away
Then turn around and blame you
For the way you went astray
A foolish heart will cost you sleep
And often make you curse
A selfish heart is trouble
But a foolish heart is worse

Bite the hand
Bite the hand that bakes your bread
Dare to leap
Where the angels fear to tread
Till you are torn apart
Stoke the fires of paradise
With coals from hell to start
But never give your love, my friend
Unto a foolish heart

Unto a foolish heart [Repeats]


Lyrics submitted by itsmyownmind

"Foolish Heart" as written by Robert C. Hunter Jerome J. Garcia

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Foolish Heart song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI love this song. Mostly the lyrics. Let me explain my interpretation, which I think is pretty accurate. As an overview, it's saying don't date someone who sucks (not literally haha).

    The first part is saying do something that won't last (carve your name in ice and wind), something that's impossible (finding the end or beginning of life (river) - the river is a metaphor for life because of the famous idea that (to quote led zeppelin) "though the course may change sometime, rivers always reach the sea" - an idea about fate. But I'm getting off track... just trust me) but don't give your love to a foolish heart.

    I could go through all of these, but I decided I'm not going to. If someone posts asking me to I will. I'm just going to say that they all give options of things to do, just as long as you don't give your love to a foolish heart. Because that is the only thing you shouldn't do, it's the worst thing you can do. They also describe what a foolish heart is: "A foolish heart will call on you
    To toss your dreams away.
    Turn around and blame you,
    For the way you went astray.
    A foolish heart will cause you grief,
    And often make you hurt.
    A selfish heart is trouble,
    But a foolish heart is worse."

    And lastly, they say that if you're with one you should break up:
    "Bite the hand,
    Bite the hand that bakes your bread.
    Dare to lead,
    Where the angels fear to tread,
    'till you are torn apart,
    Start the fire of paradise,
    With coals from Hell to start."

    Paradise being a love thats better than what you have, and Hell being going through the breakup.
    pezdelon December 09, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment what a great song to me this song is about to go out live life, be free, be merry and forget all about responsibility, and whatever you do don't listen to the ones who care about your well being, don't listen to the ones who wish you to lead a simple life, get a well paying job or go to church and find a marriage to someone who cares because they will just prevent you from doing hellbent things like partying to much, or sleeping around town, blame you for not paying your bills, and ultimately being deviant. Do what you want to do, keep digging that hole, and what ever you do, don't fall for someone who you can appreciate.
    naitsirhc42on February 03, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My Opinion"my foolish heart" was a song and movie from the 1940's...it was very popular and Robert Hunter surely would have known that song..... since both he and Jerry were 1940's kids, many of their tunes reference pop culture of that era....one of the things that make the dead so innovative is their updating of tired old classics mixed with biblical and literary references, as well as nursery rhymes- Jerry adds a nice melodic guitar riff between the verses.
    oreokookieon October 30, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationTo me this song is about to go out live life, be free, be merry and forget all about responsibility, and whatever you do don't listen to the ones who care about your well being, don't listen to the ones who wish you to lead a simple life, get a well paying job or go to church and find a marriage to someone who cares because they will just prevent you from doing hellbent things like partying to much, or sleeping around town, blame you for not paying your bills, and ultimately being deviant. Do what you want to do, keep digging that hole, and what ever you do, don't fall for someone who you can appreciate.
    naitsirhc42on February 03, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationTo me this song is about to go out live life, be free, be merry and forget all about responsibility, and whatever you do don't listen to the ones who care about your well being, don't listen to the ones who wish you to lead a simple life, get a well paying job or go to church and find a marriage to someone who cares because they will just prevent you from doing hellbent things like partying to much, or sleeping around town, blame you for not paying your bills, and ultimately being deviant. Do what you want to do, keep digging that hole, and what ever you do, don't fall for someone who you can appreciate.
    naitsirhc42on February 03, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationTo me this song is about to go out live life, be free, be merry and forget all about responsibility, and whatever you do don't listen to the ones who care about your well being, don't listen to the ones who wish you to lead a simple life, get a well paying job or go to church and find a marriage to someone who cares because they will just prevent you from doing hellbent things like partying to much, or sleeping around town, blame you for not paying your bills, and ultimately being deviant. Do what you want to do, keep digging that hole, and what ever you do, don't fall for someone who you can appreciate.
    naitsirhc42on February 03, 2016   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation what a great song to me this song is about to go out live life, be free, be merry and forget all about responsibility, and whatever you do don't listen to the ones who care about your well being, don't listen to the ones who wish you to lead a simple life, get a well paying job or go to church and find a marriage to someone who cares because they will just prevent you from doing hellbent things like partying to much, or sleeping around town, blame you for not paying your bills, and ultimately being deviant. Do what you want to do, keep digging that hole, and what ever you do, don't fall for someone who you can appreciate.
    naitsirhc42on February 03, 2016   Link

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