70 Inspiring Grateful Dead Quotes About Music, Love, and Death

These Grateful Dead quotes will inspire you to remember what truly matters and live your best life.

In the 1960s, the Grateful Dead emerged from California and would soon become one of the most iconic rock bands in music history.

The band was very avant-garde and mixed a blend of music genres, including electric rock, jazz, blues, and folk to make their sound.

The band was fronted by Jerry Garcia who used music to heal a traumatic past he experienced in the army.

Garcia formed the band by pulling together a crew of musicians he worked with at the Menlo Park music store.

Though the Grateful Dead only ever had one hit song (“Touch of Grey”), the band has still become one of the most well-known rock bands from the 60s still known today.

Check out these Grateful Dead quotes to be inspired by their lyrics and words.

Don’t forget to also check out these Chester Bennington quotes from the alternative rock icon.

If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement. 

Check out more inspirational quotes on our motivational quotes category page.

Best Grateful Dead quotes and lyrics about love

1. ”Without love in a dream, it will never come true.”- Grateful Dead

2. “Love will see you through.” – Grateful Dead

3. “A selfish heart is trouble, but a foolish heart is worse.” – Grateful Dead

4. ”Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile” – Grateful Dead

5. “Ain’t no time to hate, barely time to wait.” – Grateful Dead

6. “Put your money where your love is.” – Grateful Dead

7. Love is like an April rain that makes the harvest grow.” – Grateful Dead

You will also enjoy our article on Rock & Roll quotes.

Grateful Dead quotes about death

8. “The grass ain’t greener, the wine ain’t sweeter, either side of the hill.” – Grateful Dead

9. “If you plant ice, you’re gonna harvest wind.” – Grateful Dead

10. “I’d rather be a free man in my grave, than living as a puppet or a slave.” – Grateful Dead

11. “When it seems like the night will last forever, and there’s nothing left to do but count the years. When the strings of my harp sever, and stones fall from my eyes instead of tears, I will walk alone by the black muddy river.” – Grateful Dead

12. “Rat cat ally, roll them bones, need that cash to feed the jones. And the politicians throwing stones, singing ashes, ashes, all fall down.” – Grateful Dead

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Inspirational Grateful Dead quotes

13. “Hang it up and see what tomorrow brings” – Grateful Dead

14. ”Somebody has to do something, and it’s just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.” – Jerry Garcia

15. “Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil “- Jerry Garcia

16. “What good is spilling blood, it will not grow a thing.” – Grateful Dead

17. “Well it’s kind of the last great American adventure, you know what I mean? Human beings need a little danger, a little uncertainty, a little adventure in their lives and our society frowns upon that.” – Phil Lesh

18. “Gone are the days we stopped to decide, where we should go, we just ride.” – Grateful Dead

19. “People will always try to find themselves and their place in the world.” – Mickey Hart

Wise Grateful Dead quotes

20. “Watch each card you play and play it slow.” – Grateful Dead

21. “Some folks look for answers, others look for fights.” – Grateful Dead

22. “Every silver lining’s got a touch of grey.” – Grateful Dead

23. “Don’t be a collector of more than you need, got a lot of things growing, but keep watching your seeds.” – Grateful Dead

24. “Don’t lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools.” – Grateful Dead

25. “The trouble with you is the trouble with me, got two good eyes, but you still don’t see.” – Grateful Dead

26. “Since it costs a lot to win and even more to lose, you and me are bound to spend some time wondering what to choose.” – Grateful Dead

27. “Even a blind man knows when the sun is shining.” – Grateful Dead

28. “Keep your day job, ’til your night job pays.” – Grateful Dead

Grateful Dead quotes about music

29. ”If you get confused just listen to the music” – Grateful Dead

30. “And the input that we always got from Deadheads, at the moment of making the music, was always a factor.” –Phil Lesh

31. “Now consider Garcia – all of the s**t he gets out of an electric guitar. They say that an electric guitar is a very limited instrument.” – Phil Lesh

32. “Life is about rhythm” – Mickey Hart

33. “Let there be songs to fill the air” – Grateful Dead

34. “There’s nothing like music to relieve the soul and uplift it.” – Mickey Hart

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35. “I thought the ’60s was the most exciting time and the most vital music, and we were really together as one mind then.” – Mickey Hart

36. “There’s nothing like music to relieve the soul and uplift it.” –Mickey Hart

37. “We didn’t invent the Grateful Dead, the crowd invented the Grateful Dead. We were just in line to see what was going to happen.” – Jerry Garcia

More Grateful Dead quotes

38. For me, the lame part of the Sixties was the political part, the social part. The real part was the spiritual part.” –Jerry Garcia

39. “Standing on the moon with nothing left to do. Lovely view of heaven, but I’d rather be with you.” – Grateful Dead

40. ”We sing a little song before we eat, a little blessing before we eat, and it’s really – we’re thanking the Lord and the Earth for the food that we eat, and it really brings you together in a profound way” – Phil Lesh

41. “To sing a simple round is truly an enlightening experience” – Phil Lesh

42. “I’ll drink to your health, share your wealth, run your life, steal your wife.” – Grateful Dead

43. “We can share women, we can share wine. We can share what we got of yours, cause we done shared all of mine.” – Grateful Dead

44. “Well I ain’t often right, but I’ve never been wrong.” – Grateful Dead

45. “Living on reds, vitamin C, and cocaine.” – Grateful Dead

46. “If you got a warrant, I guess you’re gonna come in.” – Grateful Dead

47. “Going down that road feeling bad” – The Grateful Dead

48. “The shoe is on the hand that fits.”- Grateful Dead

49. “When God way up in heaven, for whatever it was worth, thought he’d have a big old party, thought he’d call it planet Earth.” – Grateful Dead

50. “I may be going to hell in a bucket, baby, but at least I’m enjoying the ride.” – Grateful Dead

Grateful dead quotes from Jerry Garcia

51. “We are not completely autonomous.” – Jerry Garcia

52. “I have all the patience in the world about Sirens. For me it’s not a Grateful Dead project, it’s a Me project.” – Jerry Garcia

53. “So every once in a while I get an idea about plumbing… they come the way they come.” –Jerry Garcia

54. We are the Don Quixotes of rock ‘n’ roll. We’re doing something nobody cares to do.” – Jerry Garcia

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55. “I’m not Beethoven!” – Jerry Garcia

56. “You ain’t gonna learn what you don’t wanna know.” – Jerry Garcia

57. “Everybody… has the capacity to really surprise me musically.” – Jerry Garcia

58. “It isn’t something that we manipulate and control.” – Jerry Garcia

59. “When people get to play together for a long time that’s when the music gets good.” – Jerry Garcia

60.  “What we are recording is the whole event, not just the music… the whole experience.” – Jerry Garcia

Grateful Dead Quotes From Jerry Garcia and Others

61. “I don’t know what it tells about, all I know is I like it.” ― Jerry Garcia

62. “If the thunder don’t get ya then the lightning will.” ― Jerry Garcia

63. “I will get by… I will survive.” ― Robert Hunter

64. “His humor, his ideals, his whole behavior… was like a consciousness revolution.” ― Carlos Santana

65. “Live life expecting the worst, hoping for the best, and living for the future!” ― Jerry Garcia

66. “The meetings can be a lot of fun or they can be frustrating.” ― Bob Weir

67. “Run faster, jump higher, reach farther, and you’ll always win!” ― Jerry Garcia

68. “His genius was that he was able to bring new ideas into a given vein of music.” ― Bob Weir

69. “Part of the way you can tell you’re alive is by how much pain you’re experiencing, or how little.” ― Jerry Garcia

70. “Death comes at you no matter what you do in this life…” ― Jerry Garcia

Which Grateful Dead song is your favorite?

When Jerry Garcia first formed the Grateful Dead, they went by a different name.

Originally called the Warlocks, the band decided to change their moniker after discovering another band that went by the same name.

Unsure of what to call themselves, the band decided to pick a name at random out of the dictionary, so when their finger landed on “Grateful Dead” the rest became history.

Grateful Dead is a term that represents a folktale that appears in many cultures.

As the tale goes, when a person settles the debt of a deceased stranger they will later be repaid in good karma by the spirit of that person, otherwise known as the grateful dead.

Did you enjoy these Grateful Dead quotes and sayings?

Which quote was your favorite?

Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Jenny O

    August 16, 2022 at 2:25 PM

    #33 Let there be songs to fill the air (la la la la).
    One not mentioned: The night comes so quiet it’s close on the heels of the day.” I enjoyed reading this article!

    • Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor

      August 18, 2022 at 2:20 PM

      Thanks! We are glad you liked it.

  2. Zippy

    July 24, 2021 at 7:23 PM

    #11 is actually a Jimmy Cliff quote from “The Harder They Come”.

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