a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

Performances Song History


Music: Anastasio

Vocals: Instrumental

Albums: A Picture of Nectar

Debut: 1990-09-15

Historian: Ellis Godard

When Trey wrote “Eliza,” he named it for his then girlfriend, Sue Eliza. The song combines a slow and jazzy bass line, dual voices (on piano and guitar), and drum accents to render a brief but elaborate instrumental ballad, like a prelude to a fabulous children’s story. While “kind of a quiet one,” (said Trey on 10/13/91) which doesn’t vary even from its album version, the song often precedes fiery numbers such as “Rift” (3/24/92) or “Llama” (5/8/92). The sincerity was broken on 11/1/91 by Mike’s crack that it was written by “Ringo,” but the title was returned to placidity when Trey and Sue married and named their first (of two) daughter Eliza. And while young Eliza grows and energizes, the song remains silent: Phish has not performed it since 5/14/92.

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