Every Story Ends in Stone

Originally Performed ByTrey Anastasio
Appears On
Music/LyricsAnastasio, Marshall
VocalsTrey (Lead)
HistorianTim Wade (TheEmu)
Last Update2011-09-29


Cemeteries are a memorial to those who have passed on, but they also speak to us of the life that we will someday lose. Each epitaph is a silent punctuation at the end of a tale, while at the same time whispering the simple truth of our mortality. Whatever our story, wherever our scene; someday the last line will be written, and the last verse will be sung. It is a somber reminder that Trey and Tom Marshall give us with “Every Story Ends in Stone.”

The song creeps lightly, hoping not to disturb the dead as it strolls through the graveyard. An airy theme is carried by flute, which floats above a heavy, tuba-generated atmosphere. The percussion work is appropriately sparse, and Trey’s guitar flits in and out in spectral fashion. Lyrically, “Every Story Ends in Stone” may not be a simple, dire admonishment. The song’s subject is trying to ignore the markers in the yard and hopes to return home. At the same time, though, he feels the same as the dead; he doesn’t rub his arm, he rubs his bones; he is breathing in timelessness and releasing selflessness; and his hand is on a name. Is the wanderer just visiting, or is he confused about where he belongs? The name is not given, so we can’t be sure; but the difference between dead and alive is simply time.

 “Every Story Ends in Stone” made its debut – along with eight other tunes – at the surprise gig at Higher Ground in Winooski, VT on 7/4/01 (though Trey gave the name as “Every Story Has a Stone”). There were a handful of strolls through the yard at TAB shows in 2001 and 2002; check out 8/5/01 and especially 7/26/01 for an ominous segue from the remains of “First Tube.” For now, the second date on its headstone reads “6/8/03, Burlington, VT,” but whether the story ended on that date or will end on a date yet to come, only time will tell.

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