Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tarot Cards (The Tower): Franklin’s Tower

Grateful Dead: Franklin‘s Tower


To begin our week of Tarot cards, I wanted to make a fairly obvious connection between a card and a song. I will get all mystical on everyone later in the week. But I’m starting with Franklin’s Tower, simply because it has the word Tower in the title of the song.

Actually, Franklin’s Tower has one of Robert Hunter’s more mysterious lyrics. I could make a somewhat forced connection to the meaning of the card if I wanted to. But I think it suffices to say that a tower is, symbolically, a solid structure, a foundation upon which to build. For Hunter, it is a beacon, guiding the traveler through a mysterious landscape. It is a song that asks the listener to use their imagination to fill in the blanks. The Grateful Dead were famed for their musical imaginations, so this song represents at least one side of their artistry perfectly. The version of Franklin’s Tower heard here is a live version from the album Dead Set.

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