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Which Phish Songs Have Changed Over Time, And How?

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Phish's music has evolved in a number of ways over their history, including changes in titles, lyrics, performance, structure, and jams becoming songs.

Some songs have been renamed: Strange Design was originally "Companions", Mozambique was "Free Thought", At the Barbeque was "Blow Wind Blow", and at least four tunes introduced Fall 1997 were renamed in summer 1998, prior to the release of Ghost, including Moma Dance ("Black-Eyed Katy" before it had lyrics), Shafty (formerly "Oblivious Fool"), Roggae ("Roget"), and Frankie Says ("Relax"). Other songs were introduced under a different nameTweezer was first introduced (by Trey) as "Tweezer so Cold." And Paul and Silas (a cover) was for awhile listed and sung as "Hall in Solace." But most examples were larks, including Rift introduced by Fishman (on 2-25-90) as "Rift, Part I", Glide introduced by Trey (on 5-22-94) as "Whoomp! There it is!", and Fikus introduced as "Fikus, but we're toying with calling it 'I, Fikus'." But some titles changes have just been fan confusion: Timber (Jerry) is almost invariably called and labelled "Timber (Ho)," and NICU was often listed as "And I See You." Lastly, some titles have just been inconsistently spelled, especially Chalk Dust Torture (on Picture of Nectar) but Chalkdust Torture (on A Live One). 

Some songs involve common lyrics play, including Run Like an Antelope, Makisupa Policeman, Icculus, and Sanity. Others have experienced changes in lyrics: "Cavern" is notable for the having lost the "turn the blade back on the bitch" and "penile erector" lyrics (last heard 4/5/98 and ___, respectively). In "Tela", "from the multibeast on which she rides" was changed to "at the river by which she rides" sometime between 6/26/94 and 12/14/95. Early versions of "Esther" didn't end so sinisterly/abruptly. (Esther escaped from the water and the mob, though these lyrics sometimes recur, such as 11-26-97.) Entire verses have been dropped from early versions of songs "Runaway Jim" and "Alumni Blues". And lines in "Wilson" have been altered. And on some occasions, songs have used lyrics from another song: "BBFCFM" with "Scent of a Mule" 7-13-94; "Catapult" sung to the tune of "Simple" at 12-8-94; "Catapult" and "David Bowie" 4-17-92; "Wilson" and "Antelope" a few times (and don't forget the "Roll Like a Cantaloupes" from 7-12-883-11-90, and 11-4-91; or the Roll Like a Creaturelope from __.)

Some songs have been crafted from improvisational jams: Much of Wingsuit (see 10/31/13) is said to have been written from jams Mike identified in his journal. Earlier examples include "Tweezer" from the 12-31-89 soundcheck; "Simple" from the '94 Warfield jam;"Birds of a Feather" from the 12-3-97 set II jam preceding "Prince Caspian" and the 12-13-97 jam after "Piper"; "At the Barbeque" from the crazy Desenzano soundcheck (7/6/97) (where the wind was blowing like crazy, thus the original title, "Blow Wind Blow."), and "First Tube" from the 7/10/98 jam between Halley's and Roggae

"I can't stand to sing the same song the same way two nights in succession, let alone two years or ten years. If you can, then it ain't music; it's close-order drill or exercise or yodeling or something, not music.""
-- Billie Holliday"

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