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Train Song

Train Song has not been seen in 9 Phish shows.
It was last played: 2023-12-30.
It was played at 2.89% of live shows.
It has been performed live 58 time(s).

Music/Lyrics: Gordon, Linitz

Vocals: Mike

Debut: 1996-07-21

Historian: Mark Toscano, Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo)

Among Phish's ballads, quite a few fans consider this wonderful Mike tune one of their favorites. Trey's softly repeating guitar riff shares the tracks with the dreamily evocative narration sung by Mike and from the combined pen of Mike and Joe Linitz (also Mike's collaborator on "Round Room" and "Banks of the Deep End"). "Train Song" winds a sweet and subtle tune perfect for mellowing out any unruly, hyperactive set.

Watch Train Song on YouTube "Train Song" – 5/23/00, New York, NY

Premiering in Germany on 7/21/96, "Train Song" made its U.S. debut in a mini-acoustic setting at Red Rocks on 8/5/96. The Billy Breathes version is recommended for crystal clarity. While live versions don't reflect any substantial variation, be sure to check out the 8/16/97 Great Went version which flowed out of a very short “YEM” vocal jam, the last vocalized chord of which was the same as “Train Song’s” opening. 

"Train Song" was a setlist semi-regular for the remainder 90s, but then after a single performance in 2000 – at the comparably intimate for the time 5/23/00 Roseland Ballroom gig – it disappeared for the next nine years and 111 shows. Fans of "Train Song" were rewarded in Phish's return to the stage in 2009 with multiple offerings including during the opening return set on 3/6/09 Hampton, 6/16/09 at the Fabulous Fox Theatre, and a full acoustic performance on 11/1/09 at Festival 8.

Watch Train Song on YouTube "Train Song" – 11/1/09, Indio, CA

Albums: Billy Breathes, Hampton Comes Alive, Live Phish 11, Live Phish 12, Hampton/Winston-Salem '97, The Clifford Ball


(Gordon, Linitz)
© by Who Is She? Music, Inc (BMI)

All the way home we felt we had a chance
To review the coulds before we were born
And to invite a new game of cant’s
Absorbed in the clouds, a voice from afar said,
“With the right device you can make a pattern grow
or you can tune up your car”

So we stayed on the train admiring the time
As the lights of the city drew near
We drank a little wine
They were blurry and green, outer space in between,
With a depth and a form unclear
Then we saw it up ahead

A flickering lantern lit up on the tracks
In the rugs that had covered up the bridge
From the banks of a river
to the bed of a valley upstream
to the place where you live

The glass from the lantern cast back the sight
of a drive-in movie we drove by below
We saw where we’d been in the pictures within,
Projecting all the places we would go

So we followed the scene and flowed up your steps
To a smooth wooden floor in a trance
The train whistle melody wove through the trees
and in through the door to signal the turns of a dance

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