Daniel Saw the Stone
Vocals: Mike, Page, Trey
Original Artist: Traditional
Albums: Live Phish 07
Historian: Ellis Godard
Last Update: 2016-02-16
Instrumentally, Phish's version of “Daniel Saw the Stone” is faithful to the customary, upbeat, bluegrass spiritual. Lyrically, however, they trim the spiritual a bit. For example, they repeat: “Daniel saw the stone” in each chorus, rather than the customary changes (to “Jesus was the stone” and “I found the stone”) without which the (rock of ages, born again) meaning is unclear.
Atlanta's Chorale New Creation, “Daniel Saw the Stone”
Phish versions did not vary greatly, in accuracy or energy, though two notable appearances include 7/31/93 – which followed the religious lyrics with AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” – and 8/21/93, which featured a guest appearance by The Flecktones. After fourteen appearances on the summer 1993 tour, including both the first and last nights (7/15 and 8/28), “Daniel” was soundchecked several times on 12/28/93 and then largely slipped away. It appeared on 2/23/97 after 288 shows, and again on 7/29/03 after 285 shows, though then a mere four shows later, on 8/3/03, where it opened the show. Someone at IT must have seen the stone, too. “Daniel” has been played just twice thus far in the 3.0 era – 6/11/11 Merriweather, and 6/30/12 Alpine Valley.
Phish, “Daniel Saw the Stone” – 7/29/03, Burgettstown, PA