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In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea has not been seen in 434 Phish shows.
It was last played: 2010-06-26.
It was played at 0.05% of live shows.
It has been performed live 1 time(s).

Music/Lyrics: Jeff Mangum

Original Artist: Neutral Milk Hotel

Original Album: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998)

Vocals: Trey

Debut: 2010-06-26

Historian: Dan Mielcarz (ColForbin)

Phish’s summer tour 2010 featured several new covers, including "The Rover" by Led Zeppelin, "Free Man in Paris" by Joni Mitchell and "Instant Karma!" by John Lennon. On 6/26/2010 at Merriweather, Phish reached back into the 1990s indie rock canon and picked out "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" by Neutral Milk Hotel. Apparently Trey asked for a copy of the lyrics 45 minutes before showtime; even with such late studying, he nailed the song.

The arrangement was straightforward, without the studio effects and horns that make the album version such a wonder to behold. Trey has mentioned listening to In the Aeroplane Over the Sea in interviews – and Phish has covered other indie acts before, i.e. Pavement’s   “Gold Soundz,”) – so perhaps the appearance of the most recognizable song from the album shouldn't have been a surprise. That said, it was certainly a surprise for most fans at the show.

Sometime before recording the album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Jeff Mangum – the songwriter/singer/guitarist of Neutral Milk Hotel – read The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. Instead of seeing only tragedy in the harrowing tale of a young Jewish girl hiding from the Nazis in an apartment in Amsterdam, eventually being found and sent to a concentration camp where she died, Magnum had a different reaction – he fell in love. Much of the album is informed by this impossible and unrequited love and the melancholia it engendered in Mangum, and the title track is no exception. While not as explicit in referring to Anne Frank as "Holland, 1945" or parts of "Oh, Comely," with lines referring to "Anna's ghost all around" and "When we meet on a cloud, I'll be laughing out loud" it's clear that Mangum's love across a distance of 50 years and life and death informed his writing of "In the Aeroplane." One might think this subject matter could turn a song into a bleak affair, but Magnum's delivery turns it into an absolutely brilliant affirmation of love and life." target="_blank">Watch In the Aeroplane Over the Sea on YouTube



What a beautiful face
I have found in this place
That is circling all round the sun
What a beautiful dream
That could flash on the screen
In a blink of an eye and be gone from me
Soft and sweet
Let me hold it close and keep it here with me

And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly from the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see
Love to be
In the arms of all I'm keeping here with me

Anna's ghost all around
Hear her voice as it's rolling and ringing through me
Soft and sweet
How the notes all bend and reach above the trees

Now how I remember you
How I would push my fingers through
Your mouth to make those muscles move
That made your voice so smooth and sweet
And now we keep where we don't know
All secrets sleep in winter clothes
With one you loved so long ago
Now he don't even know his name

What a beautiful face
I have found in this place
That is circling all round the sun
And when we meet on a cloud
I'll be laughing out loud
I'll be laughing with everyone I see
Can't believe how strange it is to be anything at all

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