Songs I Didn’t Listen to Then…

In this kind of post, I usually designate a time, and play the songs I listened to then.  Recently, I heard a song by Grateful Dead, which band I thought, when I was in college, was only for freaks.  I made that judgment without listening to any of their music, based on the psychedelic skulls and the dirty bare feet.  (I was still heavily influenced by my father’s military sense of order — I hadn’t yet learned to think for myself.)  As a result, while I heard one or two of their songs in the meantime, I never actively listened to them until around 1994.

At that time, I learned that I missed a lot of chances to hear some remarkably good country/folk/other genre of music they played, and I missed a dozen concerts that would have been a blast.  Now, I enjoy their music a lot, and I so wish I was a Deadhead when Jerry was still alive.  Here, with lyrics below, from their 1970 album American Beauty, this is Ripple:

Writer(s): Jerry Garcia, Robert Hunter
Copyright: Ice Nine Publishing Co. Inc.

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,
Would you hear my voice come thru the music,
Would you hold it near as it were your own?

It’s a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken,
Perhaps they’re better left unsung.
I don’t know, don’t really care
Let there be songs to fill the air.

Ripple in still water,

When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
If your cup is full may it be again,
Let it be known there is a fountain,
That was not made by the hands of men.

There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone.

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

But if you fall you fall alone,
If you should stand then who’s to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home.

La dee da da da, La da da da da, Da da da, Da da, Da da da da da
La da da da, La da da, Da da, La da da da, La da, Da da


Another singer, David Bowie, released several hits played on pop radio.  The first was Space Oddity, (Ground Control to Major Tom…He then recorded a concept album in 1972 called The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Marsfrom which a couple of singles were released.  When the album came out, the only song I recognized was Suffragette City , which got some air time on radio.  The rest of the album flew right past me when I was still listening to The Osmonds and other, similar groups  In 1994, my then-squeaky-clean new husband introduced me to the album, and I heard the other songs.  One that grabbed me immediately almost didn’t make it onto the album.  I’m so glad it did.  Here is Starman:


Of course, how could this list not include something from Led Zeppelin.  So many of my peers loved this band, and played them all the time.  But I never paid much attention, excepting Stairway to Heaven and D’yer Mak’er.  I didn’t want to bother with the screamed songs  of LZ.  Too much pop to listen to.  Not until after New Wave did I even listen to them, much less to understand what their songs concerned.  Even then, in the late 80s, only one good friend was responsible for all my LZ knowledge and appreciation.  His favorite Led Zeppelin number, from their 1973 album Houses of the Holy, is No Quarter:


6 responses to “Songs I Didn’t Listen to Then…

  1. Pingback: “Ripple” – The Grateful Dead | Ed Robinson's Music Appreciation Blog

  2. I haven’t heard any of the Grateful Dead musings, but liked the mainstream Led Zeppelin and Bowie songs.
    I had a giggle at the title too, given its normally songs I listened to. How can write about songs you haven’t listened to if you haven’t listened to them… lol 😉

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