Will I Dance

Originally Performed ByPhish
Lyrics ByTom Marshall
HistorianDavid Steinberg ZZYZX
Last Update2023-09-17


In 2003, Tom Marshall was posting to the Phantasy Tour message boards and was asked what the worst lyric he ever wrote was. Apparently Tom wrote a poem (“a dreadful thing that was never meant to see the light of day”) that Trey absolutely loved. They were immediately put into a song much to the ire of Fishman. Jon ranted about how bad the lyrics were to the point where this became a running joke. Trey would constantly pretend to put these lyrics into a song just to annoy Fish. While Tom was willing to admit that the final line of the song (“Will I dance on grave?”) appeared in “Mock Song,” it took some work to finally have him admit to the entire lyric. The “official” all-time worst lyric penned by Tom Marshall turned out to be:

Basking in the silence

Soaking up the violence

Will the good lord save?

Will I dance on grave?

For many years, many fans believed these were the lyrics to "Guy Forget." But this turned out to be mistaken. These are the lyrics of an unnamed, unwritten “song” that we’re now calling “Will I Dance” (with Tom’s permission), because it appears to have only been put to music by Trey---as a joke---during the soundcheck of 5/3/93. But pull out your copy of Live in Vegas and listen around the 11-minute mark of the “Piper.” The first two lines of “Will I Dance” are transposed, but those are clearly the lyrics. And check out the looks that Trey gives Fishman after every line. Phish might not be as silly as they used to be, but they can still get away with referencing inside jokes in front of thousands of people with none of us being the wiser.

And if you just love those “Will I Dance” lyrics, they also can be found in the 4/25/93I Didn’t Know,” where Trey says that Jon would ask the “eternal musical question,” of, “a) Will the good lord save? and b) Will I dance on grave?” That’s asking quite a bit out of a washboard solo, but Fishman tries his best. And they can also be heard in the 4/25/93 "Mike's Song," as Trey screams them out during it.

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