Phish.net > Charts > Narration Chart: "Harpua", 1994-05-03

Credit: phish.net team
TREY: A long time ago in a place far far away, this whole thing i’m about to tell you took place. It was a strange day indeed that this took place. I remember it well, though, I remember it well. It all happened in my neighborhood because I lived in the little suburban area back in New Jersey; that’s actually where I grew up.

What most people don’t know is that, when you’re driving through the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike there through New Jersey, which is right near where I grew up, you see a whole lot of factories and all this awful... highway of hate, they call it, all this stuff, smoke and fire and factories. Of course, on the outskirts of that you’ve got suburbs with all these little blocks of towns which is where I grew up, also where Page grew up there in the suburbs of New Jersey.

But, what people don’t realize that is when you get off the highway and start heading up in the direction of the north, toward the northern part of New Jersey, it turns into a wild teeming jungle [Page teases “I Wanna Be Like You”]. People are so against -- you know, they’re driving through New Jersey so fast that they don’t even realize if they just go a couple of miles, it’s like a strip of factories, but up in the distance there is a teeming jungle of mountains, vines, volcanoes, and wild animals. People have never been there.

So that’s where all, this place, this story, because up in the mountains there lived this weird guy and his strange little dog, and the dog’s name was Harpua. This dog Harpua was an awful, evil, mangy hound that lived up in the mountains. His owner was like an outcast. He’d lived down in the suburbs for years but he couldn’t get along the normal way of life with all the people that lived in the suburbs, though. They kind of pushed him aside. He first became that guy that you see walking along the streets that no one really wanted to talk to, and you’d move to the other side of the street. It kept getting worse and worse; he kept getting meaner and meaner. It got him madder and madder to keep seeing people pushing him aside like that.

So, finally he moved up into the back mountains and jungles of New Jersey, the teeming jungles of New Jersey, with his dog Harpua. He sat up on top of the mountain there looking down on the suburbs below, and he just kept getting madder and madder as the years went by, really pissed. He said I don’t like these people at all; i’m going to do something to get them back. So what he did was start to training his dog to become an attack dog. Over the years, Harpua got meaner and meaner, really mean. [music intensifies, Fish screams]

He would have him, he’d set up little mummy dolls and stuff, and the dog would chew the little dolls apart. Finally, he decided one day that Harpua was an evil killing machine, and it was time to send him back down into the suburbs. So, he said, “go get those people that cast me out, take my revenge on the evil suburbs of New Jersey.” So, Harpua started walking down the mountain, down the mountain [music descends], down down down the mountain until he blended in. [pause in narration] He came down and blended in until he found himself walking along the streets of New Jersey in a little suburb, and no one really noticed him because despite his awful, mean heart inside, he still just looked like a lost dog.

Meanwhile, [slow bluesy swinging beat] inside one of these little houses, there lived a little boy. And, in this little house he lived, he lived, he lived, and his name was… Jimmy. Now on this particular day, Jimmy was sitting in his house, sitting next to his cat he loved so much, a little cat sitting on the couch with him. Jimmy was playing along with his stereo, and he couldn’t decide what to put on that day. He had a couple of favorite albums. He started going back through the older stuff, and he pulled out the Best of Cream. He said, “shall I put that on? I dunno.” And he pulled out a Stevie Wonder album. He just, he couldn’t decide, he was torn, he couldn’t decide what to put on so he decided to play them both, simultaneously.

[Band launches into “You Are the Sunshine (of My Love)”] So he goes, layering the two songs down simultaneously. Sitting there listening, he decides to try something so he puts his headphones on. Meanwhile, the cat cat is kind of clawing at his leg, the cat is clawing at the leg here. He looks down, and the cat wants to go outside. He says, “O, you little cat of mine, I love you so much, and i’m gonna let you go outside.”

He picks the cat up, holds the cat, pets the cat, and looks deeply into the cat’s eyes and says, “My little cat, you know i’m kind of a confused person, I can’t figure out what to put on my stereo, I don’t know what i’m going to do with my life, but there’s one thing that I know: and that’s that I love you, my little, my little kitty-kat. I love you so much. God, I love you, I love you my little, my little pussy cat [Trey is breathing heavily]. I really, I really couldn’t make without you; you’re everything to me! I love you so much! I love you so much! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! MY GOD, [unintelligible exclamations of his love for the cat while the music spirals upward]... POSTER NUTBAG!!! [very good instrumental breakdown]

Poster Nutbag, Jimmy’s little cat, looks him back in the eye and says ok he’s going to go out. Jimmy opens up the door, and the cat goes out the door. Cat is wandering out the driveway. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the cat, Harpua, the evil dog, is now rounding the corner and coming down the street. Now, Harpua has been trained to spring anytime he sees a little innocent cat because this is exactly what Harpua’s owner was hoping: to rob a boy of his one love and thereby take revenge on the town that cast him out.

So Harpua walks around the corner. Suddenly, Poster Nutbag turns and see Harpua coming towards him. The two of them look into each other’s eyes with sheer hatred. Poster Nutbag coils his body into a deadly arch. Harpua lets an evil drop of saliva drop on the ground. There’s going to be a fight!

Look, the storm’s gone...
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