a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

Performances Song History Lyrics

Beauty of a Broken Heart

Music/Lyrics: Page McConnell

Vocals: Page (lead), Trey, Mike (backing)

Albums: Page McConnell

Debut: 2009-03-07

Historian: Grant Calof

If you hit every show since Phish returned in 2009 and transitioned from stasis to stable and shook off the cobwebs, you'd have a long list of repeats but still only be able to make six notches in the "Beauty of a Broken Heart" column. A hypnotic song that will hopefully become a stable part of the rotation, "Beauty of a Broken Heart" was written by Phish's Chairman of the Boards after the break-up that thankfully turned out to be the band's second hiatus.

Lyrically, "Beauty of a Broken Heart" is one of of the more pensive, revealing (and rocking) tunes from Page's eponymous 2007 solo album. Whether it's exploring the dissolution of his band or other longtime relationships, the song explores notions of immense, sometimes painful transitions. The lyrics seem to reflect Page at his most vulnerable and offers insight into the healing power of music -- for those who hear it as well as write it.

While the song was penned by Page, the rest of the band adds their own divine and secret ingredients to render it a Phish tune from start to finish. Along with it's thought-provoking lyrics, "Beauty of a Broken Heart" contains an indelible, soaring guitar riff, an instantly hook-y chorus and piano refrains that almost harken back to another time (dare I say, Hoist-era Phish).

Upon their mighty return to the interplanetary, most extraordinary craft (aka the 'Hampton Spaceship'), Phish debuted "Beauty of a Broken Heart" on 3/7/09 and it immediately showed up on 'best new song' lists across the interwebs. The song has appeared sporadically since, including versions at Red Rocks on 8/2/09, Merriweather on 8/15/09, and most recently in Miami on 12/28/09. The song has yet to make an appearance in 2010. Still, crossed fingers are knocking wood that "Beauty of a Broken Heart" will get the showcase it so richly deserves.

"Beauty of a Broken Heart" – 8/2/09, Morrison, CO

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kipmat Reply
kipmat Finally brought back by the band in 2012! Although 8/15/09 MPP currently has the lowest rating of Phish shows from 2009 on this site, the first set contains what is still the best version of this song by Phish. The boys gives BOABH a tight, aggressive run-through; it's all Trey can do to hold himself back from playing over Page's organ fills, because the groove is so heavy. The band avoids a blown ending by taking it around one more time, and Page's organ at the very end says it all.
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