user picture
Default Avatar

Member for

13 years

(1) I believe Weir once sang "When at first my brother walked away" here (2) the sheet music has "Our father ..." but Barlow's lyrics have it as "My father ..." and that's what Weir sang (3) the first version, on 25 March 1983, had a different second verse (thanks to Todd Prusin for pointing this out)

Esau tried to build a world A marvelous disguise Where every street is easy And there?s nothing to deny And although he gave me all his cards I could not play his hand I made a choice That soon became a stand

(4) the sheet music has "... at the door" but Barlow's lyrics have "...in the door." Weir sang both versions (5) in place of these two lines, Weir sometimes sang

Esau, he's on rollerskates today Selling real estate to someone in LA

or (from 14 July 1985: thanks to Todd Prusin)

Esau he?s on rollerskates today He gets around the darkside of town, way down around LA

(6) the sheet music wrongly has "But sometimes at night ..."

(7) this is what Weir sings, and the sheet music has, but Barlow's lyric site has "Brother Esau bears a curse"

(8) the sheet music has "I suspected something worse" but that seems to be another mistake

(9) Weir sometimes sang "the more I understand," eg on 30 December 1986 (thanks to Brian Schnapp for this)

(10) The version here is as on "In The Dark." Live versions differed in this last semi-ad-lib section.

Lyrics By
John Barlow
Music By
Bob Weir
Lyrics

My brother Esau killed a hunter
Back in nineteen sixty nine
And before the killing was done
His inheritance was mine
But his birthright was a wand to wave (note 1)
Before a weary band
Esau gave me sleeplessness
And a piece of moral land

My father favoured Esau (note 2) (note 3)
Who was eager to obey
All the bloody wild commandments
The old man shot his way
But all this favour ended when
My brother failed at war
He staggered home
And found me in the door (note 4)

Esau skates on mirrors any more (note 5)
Meets his pale reflection at the door
Yet sometimes at night I dream (note 6)
He's still that hairy man
Shadow boxing the apocalypse
And wandering the land
Shadow boxing the apocalypse
And wandering the land

Esau holds a blessing
Brother Esa

  • My Brother Esau
    Lyrics By:
    Music By:

    My brother Esau killed a hunter
    Back in nineteen sixty nine
    And before the killing was done
    His inheritance was mine
    But his birthright was a wand to wave (note 1)
    Before a weary band
    Esau gave me sleeplessness
    And a piece of moral land

    My father favoured Esau (note 2) (note 3)
    Who was eager to obey
    All the bloody wild commandments
    The old man shot his way
    But all this favour ended when
    My brother failed at war
    He staggered home
    And found me in the door (note 4)

    Esau skates on mirrors any more (note 5)
    Meets his pale reflection at the door
    Yet sometimes at night I dream (note 6)
    He's still that hairy man
    Shadow boxing the apocalypse
    And wandering the land
    Shadow boxing the apocalypse
    And wandering the land

    Esau holds a blessing
    Brother Esa

    (1) I believe Weir once sang "When at first my brother walked away" here (2) the sheet music has "Our father ..." but Barlow's lyrics have it as "My father ..." and that's what Weir sang (3) the first version, on 25 March 1983, had a different second verse (thanks to Todd Prusin for pointing this out)

    Esau tried to build a world A marvelous disguise Where every street is easy And there?s nothing to deny And although he gave me all his cards I could not play his hand I made a choice That soon became a stand

    (4) the sheet music has "... at the door" but Barlow's lyrics have "...in the door." Weir sang both versions (5) in place of these two lines, Weir sometimes sang

    Esau, he's on rollerskates today Selling real estate to someone in LA

    or (from 14 July 1985: thanks to Todd Prusin)

    Esau he?s on rollerskates today He gets around the darkside of town, way down around LA

    (6) the sheet music wrongly has "But sometimes at night ..."

    (7) this is what Weir sings, and the sheet music has, but Barlow's lyric site has "Brother Esau bears a curse"

    (8) the sheet music has "I suspected something worse" but that seems to be another mistake

    (9) Weir sometimes sang "the more I understand," eg on 30 December 1986 (thanks to Brian Schnapp for this)

    (10) The version here is as on "In The Dark." Live versions differed in this last semi-ad-lib section.