The music for the song Cassidy was written by Bob Weir and the words were written by John Perry Barlow. As my daughter is named Cassidy (and my son is named Neil...hmmmm think I had any interest in Neal Cassady?) I was interested in the background of this song, so I did some digging. I found one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I've ever come across. It's a piece by Barlow on how the song came to be, and what it meant. It's a song of two Cassidys, Neal Cassady, who had just died, and Cassidy Law, who had just been born. I will include the link at the end.
Neal Cassady, the most interesting person I've ever come across, died a lonely, cold death on a railroad track in Mexico in 1968. The world, especially the world of The Grateful Dead and their extended family, seemed to be in a downward spiral. As Barlow put it " The Summer of Love festered into the Winter of Our Bad Craziness". In 1970, Barlow traveled to Rucka Rucka Ranch in West Marin, and there he met a newborn Cassidy Law. Barlow speaks of two things shining brightly in his memory from that bleak time. One was the beautiful baby girl, daughter of Eileen Law and Rex Jackson. Cassidy was a catch-colt, a foal born out of pedigree. The other bright memory was the beginning of a song that Bobby Weir had strung together the night Cassidy Law was born. The song that joined with Barlow's lyrics would become Cassidy.
The chords that Weir had strung together and the memories of Cassidy Law and Neal Cassady stayed strong in Barlow's mind for the next few years. He knew that somehow these things would be joined. Then one night, while plowing snow so he could rush to his dying father's bedside, Barlow began thinking about "the delicately balanced dance of necessary dualities" and about his father's upcoming death, and about Neal's death. "Somewhere in there, the words to Cassidy arrived, complete and intact. I just found myself singing the song as though I'd known it for years". The song was completed.
"Some things don't change. People die. Others get born to take their place. Storms cover the land with trouble. And then, always, the sun breaks through again."
Information taken from: