"That's It For The Other One" as written by Jerome J. Garcia, William Kreutzmann, Philip Lesh, Ronald Charles Mckernan and Robert Hall Weir....
The other day they waited, the sky was dark and faded,
Solemnly they stated, "he has to die, you know he has to die."
All the children learnin', from books that they were burnin',
Every leaf was turnin'; to watch him die, you know he had to die.

The summer sun looked down on him, his mother could but frown on him,
And all the others sound on him, but it doesn't seem to matter.

And when the day had ended, with rainbow colors blended,
His mind remained unbended, he had to die, you know he had to die.

Spanish lady comes to me, she lays on me this roes.
It rainbow spirals round and round it trembles and explodes.
It left a smoking crater of my mind i like to blow away.
But the heat came 'round and busted me for smiling on a cloudy day.

[Chorus]
Comin', comin', comin' around, comin', around,
Comin', around, in a circle
Comin', comin', comin' around, comin' around, in a circle,
Comin', comin', comin' around, comin' in a circle.

Skippin' through the lily fields i came across an empty space,
It trembled and exploded, left a bus stop in it's place.
The bus came by and i got on, that's when it all began,
There was cowboy neal at the wheel of the bus to never ever land.

[Chorus]

And when the day had ended, with rainbow colors blended,
Their minds remained unbended,
He had to die, oh, you know he had to die.


Lyrics submitted by itsmyownmind

"That's It for the Other One" as written by Philip Lesh Jerome J. Garcia

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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That's It For The Other One song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentThis song is talking Ken Kesey and his Merry Prankster's trip from california to new york in '64. Neal Cassady drove the famous "Further" bus, which was painted in swirls of day-glo paint and contained a cooler of orange juice laced with LSD. The trip is documented in Tom Wolfe's book "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test."
    goodeadheadon March 12, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI see this song as an almost perfect representation of an LSD trip, musically explained.

    The imagery is clearly acid induced.

    Spanish lady comes to me, she lays on me this rose.
    It rainbow spirals round and round it trembles and explodes.
    It left a smoking crater of my mind I like to blow away.

    If that isn't a description of being on LSD nothing ever was.

    But even more importantly was the music behind the lyrics.

    It starts out structured with plenty of energy, but as the "trip" proceeds things start to break down. Connections become confused. Your senses are mixed up. You can see sounds, or taste colors.

    Eventually during the "peak" of the trip all order and all connections are severed and there is only the chaos of the peak.

    Then, eventually you start to come down. LSD does not last forever. And the most intense periods are relatively short. And after the peak the rhythm and lyrics start to reappear.

    And order is restored to your mind.

    I see this as the basis of all the Grateful Dead jams and Jerry's most excellent guitar playing. But I see it best on the Skull and Roses album in both The Other and Not Fade Away>Going Down the Road. And Dark Star, of course

    It is acid rock at it's absolute best.

    As well as the best musical description of LSD ever conceived.

    Not to mention some of the finest guitar playing this side of Heaven.

    What did they say the goal of the Grateful Dead was? "Describing the indescribable"
    Durangoon May 12, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"But the heat came 'round and busted me for smiling on a cloudy day"

    Bobby was arrested for smiling at a cop after he was hit with a water balloon.
    gr8ful_kenon April 19, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"There was cowboy Neal at the wheel of the bus to never ever land."
    Cowboy Neal= Neal Cassady
    kelley BELLYYYon February 04, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is amazing... and 'Durango' explained almost everything about the lyrics.

    It's so acid, and so marvelous... i wish i had discovered GD some years before, listening this song is a mind blowing experience... just beautiful!
    brunobunjakon January 25, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor the uninitiated (although, if you're reading this, you're chances of being initiated already are 99.99%) grab the Skull and Roses LP and listen to The Other One if you want to know what IT's all about. Of course, there are more complex Other One's, but I like the simplicity in that '71 mean ol' bitch of an Other One. :)
    DaysBetweenon May 07, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI find it really sad that whenever an artist in general is known for somehow employing recreational drugs as part of their creational process, some people seem to think that all that is created by him can be reduced to simple "it is describing the effects of drugs". It's like drugs can't be used as tools for connecting thoughts and images regarding some subject, the subject itself of such artworks can only be a description of drug effects. Grateful Dead are a good example of this. While most of their songs have pretty strong metaphorical and poetical meaning and imagery, people are always going to take the "it's about drugs" easy way.
    So, talking about the song, if it ain't about drugs, what is it about?
    The beginning of the song starts describing a group of people waiting for something, in what seems to be a kind of apocalyptical scenario with dark skies and people silently stating that someone has to die.
    Though there's not much to be added since these lyrics are way more descriptions of scenes than a single narrative, I think there's a subtle indication of some kind of collective persecution against some individuals, which can be interpreted as criticism on authoritarian governments, religious dogmas or social ostracism. This is further supported by the line regarding children learning from books people were burning. Intellectual and artistical censorship is one of the trademark modus operandi of all of the institutions cited above.
    After this part, the song shifts to a faster pace, with chugging rhythms courtesy of Kreutzmann and Hart.
    "Spanish lady comes to me, she lays on me this rose.
    It rainbow spirals round and round it trembles and explodes.
    It left a smoking crater of my mind I like to blow away."

    Yeah, there is a possibility this a description of the effects of LSD. It may be. Still, it may be a description of love, as given to a man by a lady. The smoking crater line refers to something stuck on the poetic persona's mind. Then comes
    "But the heat came 'round and busted me for smiling on a cloudy day."

    Bob Weir has said that this line refers to a day in which, long story short, he got busted for grinning at an officer. The idea of being busted by smilin' on a cloudy day and the first set of lyrics about people judging an individual and stating it has to die resembles kafkian scenarios of institutions rising above the grasp of understanding and is a commentary on US politics around that time. This is true especially if we consider that [1] Kafka intended his characters and narratives not as something apart from reality, but a mirror of it (By showing the reverse opposite of things, the mirror shows things as they are.) and, [2] that such criticism of US policies were common among artists, reaching it's peak with the anti-war movement of the late 60s with such anti-authoritarian groups like the YIP.

    "Skippin' through the lily fields i came across an empty space,
    It trembled and exploded, left a bus stop in it's place.
    The bus came by and i got on, that's when it all began,
    There was cowboy neal at the wheel of the bus to never ever land."

    Bob Weir has also said that these lines recreate an encounter he had with poet/writer ("Basically, it's a little, a little fantastic, uh, episode about my meeting Neal Cassady. I wrote the two verses - that's all there is to it, really, is two verses").

    The last couple of lines recall the verses "And when the day had ended/with rainbow colors blended/His mind remained unbended/he had to die" which sum what the song is about:

    Freedom.

    Even after he died, children were learning from the burned books and his mind was still unbended. The fact that he had to die is not met with sorrow, but the bittersweet joy of realizing his mind is still out there, unbended. It's a song about being free, being driven fast through hazy roads on the backseat of a bus, being busted by smilin' on a rainy day.
    danielmoraeson January 02, 2020   Link

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