Yarmouth Road

Originally Performed ByPhish
Appears On
Music/LyricsGordon, Murawski
Phish Debut2013-07-05
Last Played2022-07-24
Current Gap82
HistorianEric Wyman (ericwyman)
Last Update2014-01-14


Barn raisings have been a part of American culture since the colonization of the late 18th century. A living example of “It takes a village,” constructing a barn wasn’t something that just one man or one family could execute on their own. The cost of labor and materials needed to build a structure of such size and magnitude required the help of a community. You received help with your barn and then paid it forward for the next man. A rather ordinary feat made remarkable by the organization and efficiency with which it was completed, without the assistance of modern machinery. The tradition still continues with the additional power of hydraulics, but that original process is something we must marvel at.

The barn raising was a whole community event. Men working in the high sun were supported by their wives and children at what was commonly referred to as a “bee.” Women would commonly prepare the food and drink and work on traditional activities like quilting. 

Which brings us to “Yarmouth Road.” The story of a man who builds a home and the unrequited love of that home by the woman to whom he sings. The protagonist is seemingly quite dejected that the apple of his eye never comes to live in the home he’s so lovingly crafted, despite the fact that he has filled the home with all of this person’s favorite things – they have since disappeared, never to see the finished home. He makes dinner for two in the hopes that she will someday return, but the car seemingly never arrives, and he is left to do nothing but continue to work and convince her to one day come and join him.

The reggae styled song penned by Mike and Scott Murawski, initially played by Phish, was recorded for Mike’s 2014 album Overstep. The album version, produced by Paul Q. Kolderie is most identifiable through its bent notes heightened with use of a Banshee pedals and its heavy beat. But in typical Mike fashion, the lyrics and vocals are odd, to say the least, ultimately proving to be the true shining point in this expertly crafted song. 

Though the discernible difficulty in both the guitar part and the vocals left some early versions  a bit rough, after making its debut at SPAC on 7/5/13, by the end of summer 2013 the song was well rehearsed and tight. The version from 8/31/13 at Dick’s in Colorado is highlighted by a pretty solo from Trey.

On January 14, 2014, the full album track was released via RollingStone.com.

"Yarmouth Road" – 7/13/13, Columbia, MD

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