Music/Lyrics: Gordon, Linitz
Historian: Mark Toscano, Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo)
Among Phish's ballads, quite a few fans consider this wonderful Mike tune one of their favorites. Trey's softly repeating guitar riff shares the tracks with the dreamily evocative narration sung by Mike and from the combined pen of Mike and Joe Linitz (also Mike's collaborator on "Round Room" and "Banks of the Deep End"). "Train Song" winds a sweet and subtle tune perfect for mellowing out any unruly, hyperactive set.
"Train Song" – 5/23/00, New York, NY
Premiering in Germany on 7/21/96, "Train Song" made its U.S. debut in a mini-acoustic setting at Red Rocks on 8/5/96. The Billy Breathes version is recommended for crystal clarity. While live versions don't reflect any substantial variation, be sure to check out the 8/16/97 Great Went version which flowed out of a very short “YEM” vocal jam, the last vocalized chord of which was the same as “Train Song’s” opening.
"Train Song" was a setlist semi-regular for the remainder 90s, but then after a single performance in 2000 – at the comparably intimate for the time 5/23/00 Roseland Ballroom gig – it disappeared for the next nine years and 111 shows. Fans of "Train Song" were rewarded in Phish's return to the stage in 2009 with multiple offerings including during the opening return set on 3/6/09 Hampton, 6/16/09 at the Fabulous Fox Theatre, and a full acoustic performance on 11/1/09 at Festival 8.
"Train Song" – 11/1/09, Indio, CA