"It Must Have Been The Roses" as written by and Robert C. Hunter....
Annie laid her head down in the roses.
She had ribbons, ribbons, ribbons, in her long brown hair.
I don't know, maybe it was the roses,
All I know I could not leave her there.
I don't know, it must have been the roses,
The roses or the ribbons in her long brown hair.
I don't know, maybe it was the roses,
All I know I could not leave her there.
Ten years the waves roll the ships home from the sea,
Thinkin' well how it may blow in all good company,
If I tell another what your own lips told to me,
Let me lay 'neath the roses, till my eyes no longer see.
I don't know, it must have been the roses,
The roses or the ribbons in her long brown hair.
I don't know, maybe it was the roses,
All I know I could not leave her there.
One pane of glass in the window,
No one is complaining, no, come in and shut the door,
Faded is the crimson from the ribbons that she wore,
And it's strange how no one comes round any more.
I don't know, it must have been the roses,
The roses or the ribbons in her long brown hair.
I don't know, maybe it was the roses,
All I know I could not leave her there.
Annie laid her head down in the roses.
She had ribbons, ribbons, ribbons, in her long brown hair.
I don't know, maybe it was the roses,
All I know I could not leave her there.


Lyrics submitted by itsmyownmind

It Must Have Been The Roses song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commentcan't believe no one has even tried to show what it means, this song. let me start with it is a intimate and personal angle song, the delivery of the singing is very... crucial to what the feeling of the song is... since otherwise it may seem vague...
    but to me, Annie is dead and she is laid down in a bed of roses and her hair is dressed up with crimson ribbons.
    well chances are, you won't lay your head down in roses unless your dead since their thorns would hurt and it would be too frivolous to roll around in roses... however, while alive certainly, Annie must have expressed a vivid image that she should like to be covered in roses till she couldn't see... meaning, that is an awful lot of roses, a lot of expense, a lot of feeling being loved, a beautiful fantasy, you know, what with the lovely smell and decadence...
    well she looks so beautiful, the image is never going to leave...(and i assume she died some unfortunate early death, still with her beauty) nor the bond between the two... there was a vision shared between the two of them that is no longer possible with our man left alone... there may be good company from ten years out to sea, since the locals already know and dread the state of his, one pane left and neglect in his home... he is haunted with the vision of his Annie... he tells the story to new sympathetic ears, but it really is a beautiful but sad tale that doesn't ask for repeat visits... he is alone with the vision she left him with. something like that... I think it is like a mantra that is reflective of pain and the beauty of love lost.
    foggynotionon May 06, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHave no idea what this is about. Death and the loss of a loved one apparently, but I don't know. This is one of the few songs Robert Hunter wrote for the Dead which do not have at least one of the members of the performing ban (usually Garcia, Weir, and/or Lesh) as a co-author, meaning it's completely a Hunter opus. Has a definite melancholy C & W feel to it. Even the Annotated Dead Lyrics project started by David Dodd out of U.C. Santa Cruz has no annotations on this one. Has Hunter ever discussed what the song means to him? If not, why has no one ever asked him?
    mbrachmanon December 02, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI cant believe no ones commented on this song! Its so beautiful! There best in my opinion.
    allmanfan456on July 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit is a beautiful song by the dead, the persuasions with their cover cd "might as well..." does an awesome acappella version of this song, too
    rockisgroovyon August 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is about a man who shared some secret with a woman. Were they having an affair or had she pledged to marry him?

    He went off to sea for 10 years.

    When he returned she had already died and was placed in a mausoleum.

    In old days since there was no embalming caskets were frequently made with a small pane of glass in them so people could see the dead but not smell them.

    This fellow came back from the sea to find his love, dead.

    There is one pane of glass in the window of the casket, but nobody is complaining and he tells whomever in the song has come upon him to come in and shut the door.

    He then remarks that the ribbons and flowers in her hair are faded with time, and that she has been dead so long nobody comes around to view her anymore.

    As the previous poster said laying her head in the roses was saying she died just like in the song he says that he would lay his head in the roses rather than reveal whatever she told him

    This is probably one of my favorite Dead songs. The Dead were "Americana" before it was a genre, and Jerry truly loved a sad sweet song and Hunter wrote them for him.

    How traditional, a man who lost his love and lingers at her casket even though she died years ago and her body has been corrupted.
    Hollowdwelleron August 23, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a song about a man who lost his wife, but couldn't bear to leave her at the funeral parlor so he brought her home. Ten years on and his house is in ill repair and nobody from town visits the old man and his sun bleached corpse of a wife.
    spivon August 13, 2016   Link

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