> Charts > Narration Chart: "Harpua", 2010-07-04

Credit: team
TREY:: Happy Fourth of July everybody, happy Fourth of July. [Crowd cheers] Independence Day. [Crowd begins to chant “USA, USA, USA”] You know, it’s cool. I love you guys have been chanting that all night, you know I’m thinking, great country, it’s the greatest country on earth. There is one little funny thing that I was thinking backstage before I came out here.

That is that, I’m sure that most of you know that, the history that, you know the history of our country as we know it -- what they teach you in school books and all that is a little bit inaccurate. Some of you would say that the general thing that you learn, you know in the history books is, is a lot of lies actually, not really accurate at all, not what really happened in the history of this beautiful, amazing country. And, it’s true, I hate to break it to some of you, but it’s true. History books at school are mostly filled with lies.

So, there’s probably some of you have also heard there’s these alternate history books, and I’m here to tell you tonight that they are also completely filled with lies. Most people probably think that the Pilgrims came across in three big boats and they landed at Plymouth Rock, and that’s what happened. The thing that I want to tell you tonight is that -- it’s okay because we’re here, and we have been trying to tell the history of this story interlaced into the lyrics of every Phish song. It’s the actual alternate history of this amazing country.

You have to be very, very accurate and look at all the different lyrics and put them together. But it’s, we’ve spent thousands of hours writing these songs and it’s like a mystery, it’s a clue. When you hear a line like “Aboard a craft bereft of oar, I rowed upstream to find Lenore”, Lenore is the real… monarch that we ran away from. Anyway, this story of Harpua is really mixed in with the alternate history, and this is why we wanted to do Harpua on Independence Day.

Because, and let me tell you the story, there were not really three boats that came over here. It all started off with one guy, and he was over there in Europe. He wanted to escape tyranny and get religious freedom. He just had had it. [Mike teases “Ring Around the Rosie”] This was many, many years before the Pilgrims and all that. So, this guy jumped on a log with his little dog -- he had a little dog a puppy named Harpua -- and swam with a log all the way across the ocean, landed over here. He’s a young man. He got here. It was beautiful, green trees everything and nice, nice people met him. He was having a grand old time, and then what happened was, a few years later when boats came, and these people came they started setting up colonies and all that stuff. The next thing you know they’re building Wal-Marts, and there’s parking lots all over the place and really pretty much ruined everything. [Crowd boos]

So, this guy kept getting older and older and he was such a peaceful man that he actually lived for many, many hundreds of years. He got older and older, and as he got older, he got madder and madder with all the stuff that he saw, all just the mess that became of this beautiful, beautiful country turning more and more into a mess. He got more angrier and angrier, and his dog got angrier and angrier.

He moved to this very part of the country down South. He lives right up in, he lived in the, actually he lives up in the Blue Ridge Mountains up in a little… in a little shack. He just sits up there and seethes. He seethes, he’s so angry. Anyway, over the years of his life, as he grew, he had a few marriages. He had some children, and those children got married and they had children. And, one of his kinfolk was this little guy named Jimmy that I sing about all the time.

Jimmy didn’t know the old guy, so the old guy’s sitting up there on the hill and he’s got his dog. He’s just pissed,. He’s basically angry, and Jimmy is a nice young guy. He’s living in another house nearby, and he’s got his his favorite cat, that he lives with… in his little house. POSTER NUTBAG! Anyway, where am I going with this?

The thing about Jimmy is that, because he’s related to this angry old pre-, pre-modernized American angry old guy, he also has a little touch of that in him, and on this particular day he’s sitting in his apartment, he’s listening to his stereo, he’s listening to some music, one of his favorite all time favorite bands. He’s in there crankin’ it, and it actually happens to be one of the only other bands other than Phish that won’t bullshit you, that will tell you the truth, you know, in their songs. He’s crankin’ it, he’s rockin’ out. And, it sounds something like this…

[Fish counts down Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing in the Name”. Afterwards, the band returns to "Harpua."]

So, Jimmy is rocking out… And, he doesn’t notice that his cat runs out the door, and the angry old guy over the hill doeesn’t notice that Harpua runs out the door. The next thing you know, they meet in the clearing, and they stare at each other. There is going to be a horrible fight. They can see it. The hair is starting to rise on back, on the cat’s back. There’s gonna be a fight. An angry drop of saliva drips from Harpua’s mouth as he stares down the cat.

Look! The storm’s gone…
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