Earlier this year, someone asked me "Most Grateful Dead songs are happy, right?". Well, not really. I was just re-listening to a 1988 concert by Brent Mydland that included two of the songs he co-wrote, and "happy" isn't the right word for them.
Gentlemen, Start Your Engines is probably the darkest song of the Dead's repertoire. Lines such as "One if these days I'm gonna pull myself together / Soon as I finish tearin' myself apart" and "It's dark outside, but it's darker within" paint it deep black.
I Will Take You Home is a much brighter song about a father who promises to always be there for his daughters. Two years after this performance, with the song still a regular in the Dead's rotation, Brent killed himself with a heroin overdose. I simply can't imagine what it would be like to have your father call you onstage a huge rock concert, sing you that song, and then break the promise forever.