Phish.net > Charts > Narration Chart: "Harpua", 1992-12-31

Credit: phish.net team
[Original narration transcription by Yance Davis for the Harpua Files]

TREY: It's New Year's Eve tonight, the dawning of the new year and I'm gonna tell you a little story now about a New Year's Eve ritual that takes place in a different, a different place than where we are right now. And this has to do of course with the ugly dog Harpua, his miserable master who has no name and a little boy named Jimmy and uh, the music goes like this...

[band plays a bit]

Well, most of the time as you know when the story happens you've got Jimmy and the old man up in the woods. Well, every year on New Year's Eve, the people in the town that Jimmy lives in all get together because this is no ordinary town. This town is a special town that has a special kind of magic around it, and every year on New Year's Eve, all the people in the town get together to summon up the spirits of the New Year and try to create this new good feeling. So, every year this happens and it always just happens to happen in Jimmy's apartment. So come with us now to Jimmy's apartment over hill and over dale and over the woods and over the hills and far away and all that stuff. We come the little suburban town where Jimmy's apartment.

This year, everybody's there, even the old man who owns Harpua has come down out of the woods, the evil old man. Normally he's looking around for trouble and trying to make trouble. But this year, because of this gathering, he's gotten together with Jimmy. So, they're all their room now; you've got Jimmy and Jimmy's friends, there's about 15 people, all the main people in town. And, you've got Harpua, the ugly dog, sitting there, the miserable dog. And you've got, sitting next to Jimmy, his faithful feline, the unnamed kitty-cat.

Ok, so here they are, sitting. They're all sitting around, and every year, they call up the spirits of the New Year. They have a huge iron trough of stew, boiling and bubbling over and steam is coming out of it, and they're all holding hands and walking around, walking around this huge pot. It's a cauldron, a bubbling cauldron, and they're walking around. They're saying this, and they're saying that, all kinds of chants. Jimmy, who normally is an innocent little boy, his eyes are opening and bloodshot coming out, and he's looking into the thing. Spirits rising, steam coming out of the cauldron, turning into the face of old people long since dead from years ago.

Everybody bubbling up and they're throwing this thing and that thing into the stew. They're throwing all kinds of stuff and everybody is there -- Reba is there, throwing her stuff into the stew -- and they're all there. They look down at the stew, and they're circling over it and.. So the stew is bubbling along... [Bubbling Signal?] You hear the stew bubbling and that's the sound of the spirits.. That's the sound of the spirit's coming up out of the stew.

[Trey starts talking in a weird voice at this point like from underwater and making the baby sound with his finger against his lips] bBbBbBbBbB... The spirits start to come together. The spirits sort of rising up in the cauldron, all the spirits of the dead and passed away people that have gone and Jimmy... All the times that Jimmy's listened to the stereo, all those time, the spirits rising out of friends and neighbors and they're all looking around and suddenly, out of the middle of the cauldron starts to bubble and out of it comes the main spirit that they're trying to lift.

They're bubbling along and they're looking and they're trying to lift... the bubbles start to come up bigger and slower. Slowly, a horrible ugly creature starts to rise up out of the cauldron. An ugly awful creature with a white frock on with eyeballs sticking all over it comes up and starts to chant the ancient words of New Year's Eve. He rises out of the cauldron!

[Fish begins “Kung”]

TREY: And then the ugly apparition starts to disappear back into the awful cauldron and the people all start to dance around in a circle holding hands, Jimmy and everyone dancing around in a circle, thanking everyone for all the things that they love on this New Year's Eve, all the people that they have and how happy they are to have all the different great things. The evil old man looks down and he says "Oh Harpua! I'm so happy to have you," and he opens up the door and lets Harpua go for a walk because Harpua's sick of this. All the people and… Jimmy are thanking. He looks down, and he says, "I.. I love my stereo and I love this and I love everything, but most of all, I... I love my ... my beautiful little kitty cat. I… I love you so much. Aaaah, I love you so much, I… Oh God.. I LOVE you, you're so warm. Warm and furry. Oooh, cuddle up with me my... POSTER NUTBAG. POSTER NUTBAG. POSTER NUTBAG. Aaaaaaah!!! Poster Nutbag. Ah Poster Nutbag, you furry feline creature.. ahh, why don't you go for a walk too.”

He opens the door and lets Poster Nutbag go out for a walk, and Poster Nutbag goes for a walk. The door slowly swings closed, the ritual continues, and they start to break out all the... the other implements of… ritualistic implements that they break out each year. They break them out, and, meanwhile, the New Year's ritualistic implement party goes on backstage and.. Aaah, wherever it happens... In the room, behind the door... out here, I dunno.

Alright, so anyway, Poster Nutbag is walking, walking outside and trotting along, enjoying the moon and the stars, the trees, the rocks, pavement, stone, cars, skyline, skyscrapers, buildings. Looking around and he's thinking, “Oh, what a wonderful world.” Suddenly, he sees... [whispered] Harpua! Harpua is over there behind that tree. Maybe if I just stand here and don't move, he won't notice that I'm standing here. Maybe if that guy over there.. blows his trombone then Harpua will disappear… [Fish plays trombone]

Harpua looks over, and they see each other. Ahh, maybe if you blow that silly thing you're blowing, Harpua will disappear. Ahh, it doesn't work though. Harpua is looking back, and they're treading each other's ground and looking at each other. Poster Nutbag realizes that most dogs are afraid of cats. Really, dogs think they're tough, but then they run off at cats. They run away because cats are actually meaner, so Poster Nutbag decides to stand ground… [Trey makes hissing raspberry sounds]

Harpua doesn't even budge. Harpua is meaner than most dogs. Poster Nutbag is getting a little bit scared. Harpua starts to walk forward. Slowly, step by step, one foot in front of the other, ugly mean gross slime coming out of its nose.. [Trey snorts into the mic a few times] And, they're head to head and suddenly, Poster Nutbag looks to Harpua and sees a tiny drop of saliva dripping off of Harpua's grrr...Harpua's lip.

It's too late! There's no time to get away! RUN! Poster Nutbag RUN! Run! POSTER NUTBAG, OH My GOOOOOOOD! IT'S TOOOO LAAAAATE!!!!

Look, the storms gone...
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