Lots of folks have opinions about the jam band Phish (and their fans).
As a casual Phan, I sometimes wonder if these people have ever listened to many Phish songs. The lyrics can be totally absurd! Sometimes you wonder if grown men actually wrote these words, or if it wasn’t one kid sitting on another kid’s shoulders masquerading as an adult.
So many of Phish’s songs are ideal for sharing with your little ones. That’s why, on June 4, Saturday Morning Tunes presents Phish for Kids featuring the Baltimore Phish tribute band Phoam. The show starts at noon at Power Plant Live, a surprisingly kid-friendly venue for some surprisingly kid-friendly music.
Here are the Top 10 Phish Songs for Kids, a list that was tricky to put together only because there are so many family friendly Phish songs to choose from in the first place.
Top 10 Phish Songs for Kids
Half the lyrics come so fast it’s hard to understand what singer Trey Anastasio is saying, except for the two most important lines, which every child (and inner child) can relate to: “Can’t this wait ’til I’m old? Can’t I live while I’m young?!?”
“Bouncing Around the Room”
When my kids were toddlers I used to change the words from “That time and, once again, I’m bouncing round the room” to “Naptime and, once again, I’m bouncing round the room” or “Bathtime and, once again …”
Don’t you remember the tiny triumphs of being a kid? Like finally tying your shoe after trying for what seemed like months, or your parents surprising you with ice cream after dinner. This song is that feeling in song form.
We all have songs we love as kids and then grow up and realize it’s about something totally different and maybe even a little taboo. These lyrics have kings, bathtubs, jokers, cats and a riff that gets stuck in your head for days.
There are, what, like 25 total words in this song? It’s like a Dr. Seuss book – weird and charming and unexpected. “Look who’s in the freezer – Uncle Ebenezer!”
“Backwards Down the Number Line”
A song about kids making a promise that, every year on their birthday, they’ll call each other and sing a song. It’s the kind of tradition that sounds silly when you say it out loud but can make a friendship last a lifetime.
Grownups love call-and-response, but kids love it even more. Two notes – “duh-dun, duh-dun” – repeated over and over with the whole crowd yelling “Willllllsonnnnnn.” It’s irresistible.
Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? Especially when it’s not super scary. When you’re a kid, there’s more magic in the world.
Eventually we all learn how to actually speak a language but sometimes it’s more fun to make up words. Sometimes kids even come up with whole made up sentences or a made up language. This is Phish’s.
The song doesn’t end well for the possum, but it’s so much fun to sing along with!
WTMD’s Saturday Morning Tunes Phish for Kids featuring Phoam is June 4 at Power Plant Live, 34 Market Place in Baltimore. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the music starts at noon. Tickets and more info here.