Originally Performed ByTraditional
Appears On
Also Known AsCarolina in the Morning
MusicWalter Donaldson
Lyrics ByGus Kahn
Phish Debut1990-01-20
Last Played2019-12-06
Current Gap185
HistorianDan Mielcarz (ColForbin)
Last Update2023-11-27



"Carolina" (a.k.a. "Carolina in the Morning") represents one of several forays Phish has made into the barbershop quartet genre. It made its debut at Dartmouth College on 1/20/90, and in small (and sometimes not so small) venues was sung without amplification. Unfortunately, this often leads to a live recording consisting solely of the yells of an appreciative audience. 

A setlist workhorse from its debut through 1994, between 1995 and 1998 it was played seven times, and only once during “2.0” on 3/1/03 (in North Carolina). Remaining a rarity, the song has been played twice since the band returned from the break-up, both as show openers, including in Charleston, SC, in 2019.

Phish, "Carolina" – 4/29/90, Woodbury, CT

In concert, Phish takes “Carolina” seriously, respecting the uniquely American roots of the song. However, in one hilarious soundcheck from 5/4/90, Fishman makes the song eternally his. By rhyming “Carolina” with a certain female body part, Fish lets all of us experience what he calls “The Boy Scout Anthem.” Interested fans will seek this version out, as well as some of the later, amplified versions of “Carolina.”

Phish, "Carolina" – 3/1/03, Greensboro, NC

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