I turn and walk away then I come 'round again
It looks as though tomorrow I'll do pretty much the same.
I must turn down your offer but I'd like to ask a break
You know I'm ready to give everything for anything I take.
Someone called my name you know I turned around to see
It was midnight in the Mission and the bells were not for me.
Come again, walking along in the Mission in the rain,
Come again, walking along in the Mission in the rain,
Ten years ago, I walked this street my dreams were riding tall
Tonight I would be thankful Lord, for any dream at all.
Some folks would be happy just to have one dream come true
But everything you gather is just more that you can lose.
Come again, walking along in the Mission in the rain,
Come again, walking along in the Mission in the rain,
All the things I planned to do I only did half way
Tomorrow will be Sunday born of rainy Saturday.
There's some satisfaction in the San Francisco rain
No matter what comes down the Mission always looks the same.
Come again, walking along in the Mission in the rain.


Lyrics submitted by itsmyownmind

Mission In The Rain song meanings
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    General CommentThis song is listed under both Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia (it originally was on one of his solo albums but became a regular part of the Dead's set list during Garcia's life time). So I find it hard to believe that this achingly beautiful and excruciatingly sad song has elicited no comments thus far under either listing.

    Garcia and regular Dead lyricist Robert Hunter came up with this song during 1975 and was originally released on Garcia's (third) solo album "Reflections" in 1976. Garcia was quite open about the song's meaning: he reflects on his dreams of 10 years before (1965-66 when The Warlocks/The Grateful Dead were in their formative stage) and how the dreams of the hippie counterculture, exemplified by the Dead's participation in the dead center (as it were) of Kesey and the Merry Pranksters' Acid Tests in late '65 and '66, looking back from the disillusionment of the mid-'70s, seemed to come to nothing. Garcia recognizes his own responsibility when he sings about only doing things halfway in his life.

    It is one of the few songs in Garcia or The Dead's oeuvre that refers directly to the city of San Francisco, where Garcia (alone among the members of the band) was born and where he lived most of his youth (his family moved a lot after his father's untimely death). The Mission is the actual Mission District in the city, the largely Hispanic/Latino district south of Market St./downtown SF, not some small-town old Spanish mission as in one of the Dead's songs about the Old West, etc. I wonder what he would have thought about the city's recent transformation into an ultrarich enclave where the average price of a modest home is over $1 million, and where the traditional Latino/Hispanic working class community in the Mission is being priced out of the neighborhood (of course, the Haight, Hippie Central in the mid-'60s where the band were in residence '66-'68, is even higher priced now). He would have been even more disillusioned, I guess. Garcia was born in and lived much of his youth in Excelsior, a southern SF neighborhood close to the Mission District.

    Two footnotes: Garcia of course was not himself Latino/Hispanic; he was Euro-Spanish on his father's side (Latin American Hispanics have mixed feelings about Euro-Spaniards, whom they feel condescend to them) and Irish/Scandinavian on his mother's side. Garcia's older brother Clifford ("Tiff") was named for his mother's maiden name; Tiff just recently died (Sept. 2017) at the age of 79.

    My wife (who is Mexican and now a dual U.S./Mexican citizen) and I were in SF over the Indigenous People's Day/Columbus Day weekend (early Oct. 2017) a few weeks ago. We went down to the Mission to see what was left of the Mexican/Hispanic culture and neighborhood that hadn't been overrun by the new high-tech multimillionaires and their gentrification. This was Monday, Oct. 9, the first full day after the devastating fires began up north, in Sonoma, Napa, and Yolo counties, with smoke drifting down into San Francisco. We saw busloads of Hispanic families being brought to local churches and service organizations in the Mission; most of them were evacuated workers and their families in the Napa and Sonoma wineries whose homes were under threat or already destroyed by the fires. Now they were living temporarily in a neighborhood they couldn't afford any more. What would Jerry make of all this? What does Hunter, who actually lived in the Mission during the Haight's peak hippie years (1964-68) think about all of this?

    In any case, a sad, evocative song; even more resonant in this time with this cruel and despicable national Trumpist regime in power.
    mbrachmanon October 29, 2017   Link

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