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Helpless Dancer

Helpless Dancer has not been seen in 1012 Phish shows.
It was last played: 1995-10-31.
It was played at 0.05% of live shows.
It has been performed live 1 time(s).

Music/Lyrics: Pete Townsend

Original Artist: The Who

Original Album: Quadrophenia (1973)

Vocals: Trey

Debut: 1995-10-31

Historian: Craig DeLucia

At Halloween ‘95, Phish avoided this dark, eerie song about giving up by only playing a few lines from each verse and building them into a crescendo of inaudibility as Trey tried in vain to keep pace with Page’s rapidly accelerating chords. Arising out of the horn fanfare that segued out of “The Dirty Jobs” (mimicking the version recorded on Quadrophenia to a note), the band seemed to regard “Helpless Dancer” in an off-kilter, joking manner. Still, the key to the song is a response to the age-old question “What happens to a beaten man,” and Trey belted that line out in all its glory: “you stop dancing.” This song, like much of Quadrophenia, only “danced” once on stage with Phish.

Albums: Live Phish 14


(Townsend) © Fabulous Music, Ltd.

When a man is running from his boss
Who hold a gun that fires "cost"
And people die from being cold
Or left alone because they're old
And bombs are dropped on fighting cats
And children's dreams are run with rats
If you complain you disappear
Just like the lesbians and queers
No one can love without the grace
Of some unseen and distant face
And you get beaten up by blacks
Who though they worked still got the sack
And when your soul tells you to hide
Your very right to die denied
And in the battle on the streets
You fight computers and receipts
And when a man is trying to change
But only causes further pain
You realize that all along
Something in us going wrong

You stop dancing.

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