Let Me Lie

Originally Performed ByTrey Anastasio
Original AlbumBar 17 (2006)
Appears On
Music/LyricsAnastasio, Marshall
VocalsTrey (lead) Mike, Page (backing)
Phish Debut2009-06-06
Last Played2016-10-15
Current Gap292
HistorianPhillip Zerbo (pzerbo)
Last Update2012-03-24


The self-referential "Let Me Lie" seems to encompass multiple threads running through Trey's life in the aftermath of Phish's 2004 breakup. At one level the song represents the realization of a yearning to escape the confines of being the de facto leader of Phish – of finding peace and self-expression unburdened by business meetings, a demanding fan base, and a staff comprised mostly of friends and utterly dependent on Trey and the rest of the band for their livelihood. In this respect the song represents a catharsis of personal and artistic rediscovery, despite the fact that recovery was still in Trey's future when the song was written. The flip-side of this story is to read "lie" not as "to lie down" but rather as lying, a direct reference to Trey's well-documented drug abuse – a story of addiction, of friends and employees as enablers, of lying to one's self.

"Let Me Lie" – TAB, 10/16/08, New York, NY

"Let Me Lie" made its debut with the "70 Volt Parade" version of TAB on 4/26/06 at Atlanta's Tabernacle and it has been in regular rotation with all TAB incarnations to date. A studio version was released on Trey's 2006 Bar 17; this dark and haunting track features Trey repeating the chorus throughout the song, a device abandoned in live versions with both TAB and Phish. When Trey re-emerged from his stint in Washington County drug court for solo acoustic performances in the summer and with Classic TAB in fall 2008, "Let Me Lie" – in parallel with Trey's life in general – was delivered with a decidedly more positive tone and vocal clarity. This slightly more upbeat approach carried through to the Phish studio version on Party Time, making it the first song released on both a band member's solo album and a Phish studio release.

The Phish debut of "Let Me Lie" took place at Great Woods on 6/6/09 and it was in regular rotation with seven appearances in 2009, and one version to date in 2010, 8/10/10 in the cozy confines of Telluride, CO. The song was initially met with a mixed reception among Phish's fans, many of whom characterized the song as classic "buzz-kill." The only live notable outlier to date by Phish was the wonderful acoustic offering at Festival 8 on 11/1/09.

"Let Me Lie" – Phish, 11/1/09, Indio, CA

While quality audience recordings are thus far scarce, fans of the song will want to seek out the three versions of "Let Me Lie" with orchestral accompaniment: 9/27/08 (with Orchestra Nashville), 5/21/09 (with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) and 9/12/09 (at Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic).

"Let Me Lie" – Trey Anastasio w/Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, 5/21/09, Baltimore, MD

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