deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #0 of 27: (alexallan) Wed 10 Sep 03 23:56
    
Box Of Rain
w: Hunter m: Lesh 
AGDL: http://arts.ucsc.edu/gdead/agdl/box.html
LASF: http://www.whitegum.com/songfile/BOXRAIN.HTM
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #1 of 27: Alex Allan (alexallan) Wed 10 Sep 03 23:57
    
Box Of Rain 
Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Phil Lesh

Copyright Ice Nine Publishing; used by permission.

Look out of any window
Any morning, any evening, any day
Maybe the sun is shining
Birds are winging, no rain is falling from a heavy sky
What do you want me to do
To do for you to see you through?
For this is all a dream we dreamed one afternoon long ago

Walk out of any doorway
Feel your way like the day before
Maybe you'll find direction
Around some corner where it's been waiting to meet you
What do you want me to do
To watch for you while you're sleeping?
Then please don't be surprised when you find me dreaming too

Look into any eyes
You find by you; you can see clear to another day
Maybe been seen before
Through other eyes on other days while going home
What do you want me to do
To do for you to see you through?
It's all a dream we dreamed one afternoon long ago

Walk into splintered sunlight
Inch your way through dead dreams to another land
Maybe you're tired and broken
Your tongue is twisted with words half spoken and thoughts unclear
What do you want me to do
To do for you, to see you through?
A box of rain will ease the pain and love will see you through

Just a box of rain, wind and water
Believe it if you need it, if you don't just pass it on
Sun and shower, wind and rain
In and out the window like a moth before a flame

And it's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there
Believe it if you need it or leave it if you dare
And it's just a box of rain, or a ribbon for your hair
Such a long, long time to be gone and a short time to be there
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #2 of 27: stella blue (artlife) Fri 26 Sep 03 14:52
    
lessons taught to me, still practicing
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #3 of 27: windowpane (comet) Fri 26 Sep 03 21:39
    
Care to expand on that?
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #4 of 27: from DENNIS SCHREIBER (tnf) Mon 9 Aug 04 12:36
    


Dennnis Schreiber writes:


When I read that it was written with a son to his dying father, it came
clear. It's about the journey to the other side.

"Find your way, like you always have. Allow the souls you encounter to guide
you to the next place, you know it's there - we've felt it; trust it. This
earth is just a physical phase we show up in and pass through, like wind
through a glass chime. Now your body is wrecked and your mind is going - but
people and sights familiar to you will ease the fear and pain until you're
free. Life here is such a sensory experience - you can choose to move on
when you've risen above it, but it sure is a treat, and it's such a brief
stay, measured against eternity."

The moth image reminds me of Carlos Castanedas' description of souls
returning from their earthly existence in "The Eagle's Gift."
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #5 of 27: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Mon 9 Aug 04 16:50
    
Yes...
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #6 of 27: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Tue 10 Aug 04 07:54
    
We are all tourists here, out on the perimeter where limited
dimensions allow physical presence.
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #7 of 27: from MAX PROSDOCIMI (tnf) Sat 24 Sep 05 08:19
    


Max Prosdocimi writes:


Hi,

For the first time in over 20 years I analysed the lyrics to 'Box of Rain'.
Could it be Pandora's box?  Everything is perfect, 'Sunshine, birds singing'
but then there is unleashed on the world the 'Rain'.  There is a suggestion
in the song that the perfect world was both planned and achieved but without
the 'rain', the very thing which sustains life and metaphorically, makes us
human, is only a dream.

Just a thought.

You can eme back anytime.  I could write a whole essay on this theory if
that's what's required to get onto the website.  More specifically, however,
I would welcome any comment on the idea.

Keep on keeping on,
Luvvies,
Max.
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #8 of 27: David Dodd (ddodd) Thu 1 Jan 09 20:54
    
Posted on behalf of Ross Alford:

Hello,

I've been an admirer of the Dead since the 1970s; recently saw a
special called "Classic Albums" being broadcast on the Australian ABC
network about the making on American Beauty (one of my all-time
favorite albums), dug out the CD and started thinking about it again.

Don't know if you are still working on this project or updating the
web site, but anyway, could not resist sending some thoughts.

Box of Rain is one of my absolute favorite Dead songs, and certainly
poetry in its own right.  I have always felt that it is about the
fleeting nature of life and the uncertainty of our perception and
experience of it.  I have also always thought that the box of rain
itself was the world, and I was really happy to come across the
response from Hunter himself confirming that interpretation is correct
that is reproduced on your page.

That's all by way of intro really; what I was moved to write about in
the interpretational sense is the passage

Sun and shower -
Wind and rain -
in and out the window
like a moth before a flame

There are several sections in the interpretive part of the web site in
which the moth/flame part is discussed in the context of the way that
moths immolate themselves.  I have never thought that is what this is
about.  Particularly in context, it seems to me that it is about the
(often) random-seeming way that events in our lives can pass from good
to bad, happy to sad--changing in the same unpredictable way from
moment to moment that moths often appear to move as they approach a
light.

The last lines

Such a long long time to be gone
and a short time to be there

I think make it very clear that it refers to life on Earth and the
uncertainty of what (if anything) else there is.  They make me think of
one of the best responses I've ever heard to this question, from
Philip Adams, who among many other things is a long-time broadcaster of
thought-provoking shows on the Australian ABC Radio National network. 
He was talking about how he, an atheist, responds to religious people
who ask him what he thinks happens after you die, and said (paraphrased
from memory) "I don't worry about that at all.  I already know what
it's like after you die--it's exactly the same as it was before you
were born"

Cheers,
Ross
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #9 of 27: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Sat 3 Jan 09 12:51
    
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A conceptual link tangential to Dark Star (tatters, the forces tear
loose from the axis) and more closely to modern astrophysics… we are
quite possibly living in a universe, one of many, that is the other
side of a black hole in one of those other universes. I don't know if
it's generally true or just true of the physicists I know thru my
connection with the GD, but an amazing percentage of them share my own
affinity with Hunter's lyrics and the Dead's music.
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #10 of 27: David Gans (tnf) Sat 3 Jan 09 15:25
    

>  I already know what it's like after you die--it's exactly the same as it
>  was before you were born

I like that a lot.
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #11 of 27: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Sun 4 Jan 09 18:06
    
"The end is the beginning born knowing." - WS Burroughs
  
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permalink #12 of 27: John (delphinus) Mon 5 Jan 09 18:49
    
>  I already know what it's like after you die--it's exactly the same
as it
>  was before you were born

Neatly bookended but begging the question, "How was it before you were
born?"
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #13 of 27: John (delphinus) Mon 5 Jan 09 20:22
    
> "The end is the beginning born knowing." - WS Burroughs

Nice echo of mytho-biblical pairing of knowledge and mortality.
  
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permalink #14 of 27: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Wed 7 Jan 09 03:54
    
One hand clapping…
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #15 of 27: David Gans (tnf) Wed 7 Jan 09 19:19
    

> "How was it before you were born?"

We can't know that, and we can't know how it is after we die.  So why worry
abut it?
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #16 of 27: Hugh Watkins (hughw1936uk) Thu 8 Jan 09 00:23
    
#15 DG
not a worry 
but a subject of discussion in every language that exists and the
basis of local philosophy or religion
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #17 of 27: David Gans (tnf) Thu 8 Jan 09 11:05
    

And a worthy subject, for sure.  I just grow weary of people who think they
know the unknowable forcing others to behave in accord with their
presumptions.

<http://dgans.com/lyrics.html#SaveUs>
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #18 of 27: Hugh Watkins (hughw1936uk) Thu 8 Jan 09 14:29
    
even Mac users think that they are "saved"

and to slim effectively needs the dedication of a born again christian
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #19 of 27: John (delphinus) Tue 13 Jan 09 12:43
    
Leaving the unknowns that bracket our fleeting existence aside for the
moment. 

Whenever I think about it, I am blown away by the fact that anything
exists at all.  Talk about unreasonable.  Makes sense to me that this
would be a productive conundrum for mythopoesis over the eons.

Mythology abhors a vacuum. 
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #20 of 27: Robin Russell (rrussell8) Thu 15 Jan 09 15:15
    
Nicely put. Are we touring a fluke?
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #21 of 27: Marked from the Day That I was Born (ssol) Thu 15 Jan 09 16:09
    
> I am blown away by the fact that anything exists at all<

Yes. For this atheist, Reality (such as it is or appears to be) is a
pretty good operational definition of a miracle.
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #22 of 27: John (delphinus) Thu 22 Jan 09 18:48
    
>Look out of any window

>Walk out of any doorway

>Look into any eyes

>Walk into splintered sunlight

Strike me as calls to experience and transformation that Hunter and
Lesh offer, strong because they rely on the basics of intimacy with the
world around us and each other, universal because they draw on
experiences that we share, immediate because they are so tied into
sense experiences of transition (crossing thresholds, looking across
boundaries, encountering the other, entering light)
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #23 of 27: John (delphinus) Thu 22 Jan 09 19:25
    
Hunter counterposes each of these calls to experience and passage
stanza by stanza with memory, sleep, and dreamy recollection ending up
with the call to inch through dead dreams to another land.

Life may not be "but a dream" but I'd argue for a kinship between
memory and dream.
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #24 of 27: David Dodd (ddodd) Fri 23 Jan 09 13:15
    
"Shall we go..."
  
deadsongs.vue.28 : Box Of Rain
permalink #25 of 27: form ANDY FERGUSON (tnf) Mon 14 Sep 09 11:35
    



Andy Ferguson writes:




I want to comment on the song "Box of Rain."

First of all, I believe that this song can be seen in comparison to the Dylan
Thomas poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night."  In the Thomas poem, the
poet is urging the dying father to rage against dying as if death is to be
fought.  In Box of Rain, however, the singer seems to have come to a
spiritual acceptance of his father's coming death.

Box of Rain seems to suggest that in death the soul moves on to either
another land or another home while the body is returned to the earth.  Ashes
to ashes, dust to dust.

The "Box of Rain" in the title can easily be interpreted as the planet earth,
with the systems of sea and storms and rain, as Hunter has in many ways
admited.  The Box of Rain, however, could also be interpreted as the human
body, where our blood and tears are the rain contained in the physical shells
(or boxes) of our skin.

In truth, the Box of Rain could be referring to both planet and body as one
and the same.  Considered in this manner, there are numerous links between
the song "Box of Rain" and "Eyes of the World" with the themes of transition
and seasons.

Box of Rain

Look out of any window
any morning, any evening, any day
Maybe the sun is shining
birds are winging or
rain is falling from a heavy sky

Eyes of the World

Right outside this lazy summer home
you don't have time to call your soul a critic, no
Right outside the lazy gate of winter's summer home
wondering where the nuthatch winters
Wings a mile long just carried the bird away
Wake up to find out
that you are the eyes of the world
  

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