Words by John Perry Barlow; music by Bob Weir

Reprinted with permissions: Copyright Ice Nine Publishing

I have seen where the wolf has slept by the silver stream.
I can tell by the mark he left you were in his dream.
Ah, child of countless trees.
Ah, child of boundless seas.
What you are, what you're meant to be
Speaks his name, though you were born to me,
Born to me,

Lost now on the country miles in his Cadillac.
I can tell by the way you smile he's rolling back.
Come wash the nighttime clean,
Come grow this scorched ground green,
Blow the horn, tap the tambourine
Close the gap of the dark years in between
You and me,

Quick beats in an icy heart.
catch-colt draws a coffin cart.
There he goes now, here she starts:
Hear her cry.
Flight of the seabirds, scattered like lost words
Wheel to the storm and fly.

Faring thee well now.
Let your life proceed by its own design.
Nothing to tell now.
Let the words be yours, I'm done with mine.
Faring thee well now.
Let your life proceed by its own design.
Nothing to tell now.
Let the words be yours, I'm done with mine.

Written in Cora, Wyoming, February, 1972. Seen by many as a tribute to Neal Cassady and also the name of a worker in the Dead's office Cassidy Law.

First performed on March 23, 1974 at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California.

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: http://www.charm.net/~brooklyn/Topics/BarlowOnNeal.html

Suzanne Vega contributed a haunting version of this song to Deadicated, a 1991 benefit record whose proceeds went in part to the Rainforest Action Network. Her comments from the record's liner notes:

A couple of years ago I was invited by the Grateful Dead to perform with them at Madison Square Garden in New York for the Rainforest Benefit. I went to the hotel to rehearse with them and said, "What do you think I should do?" I was nervous—I'd never met them and we were going to perform in front of 20,000 people. So Jerry Garcia gave me a big smile and said, "We just want you to be happy." And all week long, I used that as my guide and did only things that made me happy. We sang "Chinese Bones" by Robin Hitchcock and my song, "Neighborhood Girls." And we had a great show. (Deadicated liner notes, 1991 Arista Records)

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