a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

Performances Song History Lyrics

Let Me Lie

Music/Lyrics: Anastasio, Marshall

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

Original Artist: Trey Anastasio

Original Album: Bar 17 (2006)

Albums: Party Time, Bar 17, Traveler

Debut: 2009-06-06

Historian: Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo)

Last Update: 2012-03-24

The self-referential "Let Me Lie" seems to encompass multiple threads running through Trey's life in the aftermath of Phish's 2004 breakup. At one level the song represents the realization of a yearning to escape the confines of being the de facto leader of Phish – of finding peace and self-expression unburdened by business meetings, a demanding fan base, and a staff comprised mostly of friends and utterly dependent on Trey and the rest of the band for their livelihood. In this respect the song represents a catharsis of personal and artistic rediscovery, despite the fact that recovery was still in Trey's future when the song was written. The flip-side of this story is to read "lie" not as "to lie down" but rather as lying, a direct reference to Trey's well-documented drug abuse – a story of addiction, of friends and employees as enablers, of lying to one's self.

"Let Me Lie" – TAB, 10/16/08, New York, NY

"Let Me Lie" made its debut with the "70 Volt Parade" version of TAB on 4/26/06 at Atlanta's Tabernacle and it has been in regular rotation with all TAB incarnations to date. A studio version was released on Trey's 2006 Bar 17; this dark and haunting track features Trey repeating the chorus throughout the song, a device abandoned in live versions with both TAB and Phish. When Trey re-emerged from his stint in Washington County drug court for solo acoustic performances in the summer and with Classic TAB in fall 2008, "Let Me Lie" – in parallel with Trey's life in general – was delivered with a decidedly more positive tone and vocal clarity. This slightly more upbeat approach carried through to the Phish studio version on Party Time, making it the first song released on both a band member's solo album and a Phish studio release.

The Phish debut of "Let Me Lie" took place at Great Woods on 6/6/09 and it was in regular rotation with seven appearances in 2009, and one version to date in 2010, 8/10/10 in the cozy confines of Telluride, CO. The song was initially met with a mixed reception among Phish's fans, many of whom characterized the song as classic "buzz-kill." The only live notable outlier to date by Phish was the wonderful acoustic offering at Festival 8 on 11/1/09.

"Let Me Lie" – Phish, 11/1/09, Indio, CA

While quality audience recordings are thus far scarce, fans of the song will want to seek out the three versions of "Let Me Lie" with orchestral accompaniment: 9/27/08 (with Orchestra Nashville), 5/21/09 (with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) and 9/12/09 (at Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic).

"Let Me Lie" – Trey Anastasio w/Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, 5/21/09, Baltimore, MD

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mfisher32 Reply
mfisher32 I'd add TAB's Chicago Feb. 27, 2011 as another great live version. Backing vocals add beautiful depth and strength to this tune. Breaking the song down to just Trey's acoustic guitar and the three part harmonies in the vocals makes for a great experience with Let Me Lie.
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