‘Long Strange Trip’ Film Shows the Grateful Dead’s Anti-Authoritarian Streak – “A musical Statue of Liberty”

I post this because I am a Deadhead, it’s Friday, and because it’s a Reason video. (Which are always excellent.)

A few years ago I wrote an essay about why a Grateful Dead show parking lot was the freest, freest market place one was ever likely to witness. Indeed it was in those parking lots that at least some of my economic vision started to come into focus. I saw Hayek’s spontaneous order in the tie dies, the VW buses, and the pot smoke.

I also loved the Dead’s deep anti-authoritarian streak. They had a western, as in western United States, sensibility to them. In some ways like Goldwater on acid.

By the way, the last song of any consequence to come from Jerry Garcia before he died was entitled “Liberty.” Check out these lyrics.

LIBERTY

Lyrics By: Robert Hunter
Music By: Jerry Garcia

Saw a bird with a tear in his eye
Walking to New Orleans my oh my
Hey, now, Bird, wouldn’t you rather die
Than walk this world when you’re born to fly?

If I was the sun, I’d look for shade
If I was a bed, I would stay unmade
If I was a river I’d run uphill
If you call me you know I will
If you call me you know I will

Ooo, freedom
Ooo, liberty
Ooo, leave me alone
To find my own way home
To find my own way home

Say what I mean and I don’t give a damn
I do believe and I am who I am
Hey now Mama come and take my hand
Whole lotta shakin’ all over this land

If I was an eagle I’d dress like a duck
Crawl like a lizard and honk like a truck
If I get a notion I’ll climb this tree
or chop it down and you can’t stop me
Chop it down and you can’t stop me

Ooo, freedom
Ooo, liberty
Ooo, leave me alone
To find my own way home
To find my own way home

Went to the well but the water was dry
Dipped my bucket in the clear blue sky
Looked in the bottom and what did I see?
The whole damned world looking back at me

If I was a bottle I’d spill for love
Sake of mercy I’d kill for love
If I was a liar I’d lie for love
Sake of my baby I’d die for love
Sake of my baby I’d die for love

Ooo, freedom
Ooo, liberty
Ooo, leave me alone
To find my own way home
To find my own way home
I’m gonna find my own way home