It must have been the roses

Updated: Jun 25, 2018

Illustrating the words of Robert Hunter...

Culturally, we ascribe love and death with the (false?) characteristic of eternity. In a way, they are mirror-images, both reflecting the weight of "forever." In "It must have been the roses," Hunter echoes that symmetry with a repetitive lyrical structure, and the Dead play the tune with a slow melancholy that seems too to last forever.

Heart-wrenching and beautiful, the song is at once a love ballad and a funeral march. The haunting sincerity of Jerry's croon floats above it all and makes this a case in point example of The American rock band.

Colored pencil and ink studies for a larger painting inspired by "It must have been the roses." The drawings focus on the repetition and symmetry within the tune, and identify immediately with a classic Grateful Dead aesthetic.

Contact with inquiries. Size, text, color and design are customizable upon request.

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© Candice Lee Smith 2019.