a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

Performances Song History Lyrics


Music/Lyrics: Anastasio/Marshall/Herman

Vocals: Trey, Mike

Albums: Round Room

Debut: 2003-01-04

Historian: Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo)

"Friday" is a metaphorical dialog; between whom or what, it isn’t clear. Is it between a person and an ideal? An adult and child? Wife and husband? Band and audience? Trust and mistrust? One character stands unfulfilled, though their ultimate desires are unconvincing at best, and are certainly ambiguous. Trey assumes these dreary, lilting initial lines, and Mike responds in child-like refrains – “Why? Why? Why?” One interpretation has a father drowning his child (or a certain songwriting husband drowning his wife) – “Please follow me, into the sea, don’t worry if it’s cold” and then later as she descends into the murk, so clueless as to be unaware of her imminent fate: “Why is the sea cool? Why is it blue?” Or perhaps the song is an indictment of blind obedience and the inherently lame naiveté of any individual or group engaged in herd mentality. 

Whatever the scenario envisioned by its authors, “Friday” has to say the least never caught fire as a fan favorite. "Friday" has in fact been the object of an unusually vocal group of detractors (even for Phish fans!). Aside from the usual drone of online fan commentators, a small but notable chorus of “boos” could be heard flowing from the audience as “Friday” closed the otherwise extremely well received 2/16/03 gig. Regardless of the relative merits of “Friday” itself, the song’s prominent placement in the middle of 2nd sets or as an encore seems to leave a taste of “buzz kill” among many fans. “Friday” debuted as the encore on 1/4/03 and again filled the encore slot on 11/29/03, and then it appeared in the middle of 2nd sets on 7/10/03 and 12/28/03, among others. That it closed the third set of 8/14/04 in Coventry was however more expected than ironic, given the overall quality of that performance. "Friday" has yet to make an appearance in Phish 3.0.

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