Only A Dream
"Only a Dream" tells the story of someone who is having trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. Worse, he seems unsure which of these realms he'd rather inhabit. Struggling with relationship problems, apparently of his own doing, he at first seems relieved to discover that a series of unfortunate events, such as being swallowed by a spiral staircase and being spit out in the woods, is only a dream. Our narrator attempts to repent for trading his lover's trust for lust, but is ultimately left alone. This would seem to be a bad thing, but instead it just "confirms his fears" that "it's only a dream." And so we're left at the end of this Mobius strip of a song not really knowing what's real and what isn't and why he's so disappointed to find out that his being left alone was only a dream. In other words, just another journey into the mind of Mike Gordon.
Phish has yet to play "Only a Dream" live, though the song does appear on the Party Time bonus CD that came with the Joy Box. The song is however a fixture in Mike's solo repertoire, often serving as a set opener or closer. Check out 9/12/09 and 3/11/10 for representative examples.
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