deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #0 of 26: David Dodd (ddodd) Mon 8 Sep 03 09:51
    
The Wheel
w: Hunter m: Garcia
AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/wheel.html
LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/WHEEL.HTM
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #1 of 26: Alex Allan (alexallan) Mon 8 Sep 03 18:40
    
The Wheel 
Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission.

Chorus 1:
The wheel is turning and you can't slow down
You can't let go and you can't hold on
You can't go back and you can't stand still
If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will

Chorus 2:
Won't you try just a little bit harder
Couldn't you try just a little bit more
Won't you try just a little bit harder
Couldn't you try just a little bit more

Round, round, Robin run around
Gotta get back where you belong
Little bit harder, just a little bit more
Little bit further than you gone before

[chorus 1]

Small wheel turning by the fire and rod
Big wheel turning by the grace of God
Every time that wheel turn round
Bound to cover just a little more ground

[chorus 1]

[chorus 2]
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #2 of 26: Alex Allan (alexallan) Wed 19 May 04 03:14
    
I did Bill Kreutzmann an injustice: he's credited as co-writing the
music.
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #3 of 26: David Gans (tnf) Wed 19 May 04 07:39
    

Indeed.  The new Garcia boxed set iincludes ample evidence that "The Wheel"
was created in the studio.
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #4 of 26: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Wed 19 May 04 07:57
    
Garcia's guitar on that number is possibly my favorite sound in music.
Fwiw.
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #5 of 26: David Dodd (ddodd) Wed 19 May 04 08:33
    
Me too. My son, Alex (4 years old) loves The Wheel--live and studio
versions, but of the studio version, he asked early on what that sound was?,
referring to the pedal steel. He thought it was some kind of horn. A great
piece of playing.
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #6 of 26: Christian Crumlish (xian) Thu 20 May 04 19:06
    
those sessions are revelatory! really amazing. when the chords for
Wheel, that introductory pattern, start up, it gives me chills.

I'm working on some thoughts about that collection, and putting
together a highlights mix for my iPod called "All Gooder Things" (and
one CD of the tippy-top stuff for my girlfriend called "All Goodest
Things").
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #7 of 26: from JEFF FERMON (tnf) Sat 29 May 04 22:09
    


Jeff Fermon writes:


I find especially amazing the Wheel's pedal steel and billy's opening drums
with the molecular animations in the GD Movie. That sequence of sight and
sound is so good. The whole audio/visual collage with snippets of songs
(BIODTL, Caution, and the solo Garcia album clips) the segue into US Blues
(with Lady Liberty smashing down the prison walls where the heart and soul of
this country was captive) to the live set where the band is just effervescing
with positive energy. I was too young to experience such a phenom, but the
vibrations are still rippling through the world. I also get chills!
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #8 of 26: from PAUL KENISTON (tnf) Sat 9 Apr 05 21:46
    


Paul Keniston writes:



This song never fails to set me soaring.

The two choruses produce a diametically opposed point of view that sets a
tension that keeps it all balanced.

first, There's that helpless feeling of despair that makes you wonder what's
the point of even trying.

" you can't ...you can't...you can't...if the thunder don't get you then the
lightening will"

then the reponse of

" Won't you try just a little bit harder "

It just strikes me as I write that this song is all about the little engine
that Could!
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #9 of 26: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Tue 8 Apr 08 06:00
    
I think of the small wheel turning within the big wheel, the quest to
understand the universe, and all the while the universe is changing.

But who is Robin?
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #10 of 26: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Tue 8 Apr 08 07:29
    <scribbled>
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #11 of 26: Scott MacFarlane (s-macfarlane) Tue 8 Apr 08 07:38
    <scribbled>
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #12 of 26: David Dodd (ddodd) Thu 10 Apr 08 15:46
    
Aren't YOU Robin?
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #13 of 26: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Sun 13 Apr 08 16:34
    
I'm the Robin in "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry".
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #14 of 26: David Dodd (ddodd) Thu 18 Feb 10 14:20
    
Posted on behalf of Bruce Whyte:

"Small wheel turn by the fire and rod"
 It would appear that the most straightfoward meaning to this line
is another railroad reference to a steam locomotive where
the wheels are turned firstly by the energy in the fire and
finally by the connecting rod which actually drives the diving wheels.

This would also tie in to the larger theme that the small wheels are
the work of man
and the big wheels are the work of god.

Do you think I am on the right track...

thank you
Bruce Whyte 
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #15 of 26: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Fri 19 Feb 10 08:02
    
Yes. Train hundred and two is on the wrong track.
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #16 of 26: *%* (jewel) Mon 22 Feb 10 15:41
    
Love that.  Thanks!
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #17 of 26: Tom White (tomwhite56) Tue 17 Aug 10 09:04
    
The lyric is "Small wheel turning by the firing rod", in other words,
the mechanical world, man's little works, being run by the creation of
man, the engine, whereas the big stuff is being turned by the hand
(grace) of God.
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #18 of 26: David Gans (tnf) Tue 17 Aug 10 09:13
    
No, it's "small wheel turn by the fire and rod," as in an internal-combustion
engine.
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #19 of 26: Tom White (tomwhite56) Tue 17 Aug 10 09:17
    
"Robin" is a reference to "round robin", the idea of beginning in one
place, going around in a circle -- as in a round robin discussion --
and coming back to the beginning.  Continuance of the idea that life is
a cosmic circle, that the end of the journey is its beginning, perhaps
even that no matter what the journey you are still the same.  

Try looking at it this way:

Round, round, robin run around
                         Round round robin run around
                                                Round...etc.

Also the robin reference may be tied to the circle of life, the robin
(bird's) existence in the round of the seasons, raising the robin
family, sending the kids off, surviving the winter, back into spring...

These things are only partially thought out in advance, I'm sure.  The
ideas pour out through the pen, when the writer is in the creative
flow...which is in itself riding a wheel...you write a song, you finish
the song, you write another (calling to mind another band's "Run,
rabbit run..."
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #20 of 26: Tom White (tomwhite56) Tue 17 Aug 10 09:18
    
Actually, Mr. Gans, same difference.  You said more succinctly what I
was trying to say.
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #21 of 26: Tom White (tomwhite56) Tue 17 Aug 10 09:24
    
And BTW Mr. Gans, it's nice to meet you!
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #22 of 26: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Thu 2 Sep 10 07:33
    
Robin could also be a specific person ...
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #23 of 26: David Dodd (ddodd) Thu 2 Sep 10 12:59
    
Hood? Sylvester? Roberts? 
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #24 of 26: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Fri 3 Sep 10 05:41
    
Might even be Robin, Duke of Bedford.
  
deadsongs.vue.223 : The Wheel
permalink #25 of 26: David Gans (tnf) Fri 3 Sep 10 09:29
    
Hunter being something of an Anglophile, I'd say we can't rule that out.  And
yet...
  

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