This is track #4 on Phish's 1999 studio album "The Story of the Ghost," and it's been a phan favorite since its debut on October 7, 1994. It features cryptic, creepy lyrics that reminded me of Esther the first time I heard it. The long instrumental at the heart of Guyute has some hoedown to it--and perhaps even a jig, but it also reflects some of the bright energetic sound that fans recognize in songs like Golgi Apparatus and Tweezer. The studio version has their new, tighter noodling: Trey Anastasio's guitar is sweet, crisp, and mellow, Jon Fishman's drums run triplets tighter than a Marine's haircut in 6/8 time signature just as easily as when they switch to the 2/2 jig, and back again, and Mike Gordon keeps a tight backbeat on the bass guitar. Page McConnell gets to shine in several places in the song; switching between a pounding fugue and a gentle romp through a meadow (in which one is romping with a homicidal pig!). The whistling gives the song that light, childish flavor that worked so well in Reba, and the same light-hearted glee that makes makes clowns so terrifying to little kids.

I won't apologize for the lyrics; they're vintage Phish, and if you're listening to the lyrics for enlightenment behind the silliness, go put on some They Might Be Giants until you're ready for an unapologetic jam band. I will, however, tip you off to one thing: it's pronounced "guy-OO-tee" (to rhyme with booty and beauty), not "GUY-oot" (to rhyme with galoot and taboot). Give it a listen on this album, and then go find a live version--share and enjoy!


Guyute was the ugly pig
who walked on me, and danced a jig,
that he had learned when he was six,
then stopped and did some other tricks:
like pulling weapons from his coat,
and holding them against my throat.
He lectured me in a language strange,
then scampered quickly out of range.

Trey whistles
extended slow front-side jam, then climbing, climbing...
JIG!
then rising and falling... to a feverish stutter jam
building up for an explosion
...and the feverish stutter jam again, into
the nearly-finished Guyute theme...

I'm bouncing like a newborn elf
I can't remain inside myself
Guyute glances in my eyes
and manages to hypnotize
me as I sleep the sleep of death.
He sucks from me my only breath
that I have breathed since I was ten:
I hope this happens once again!

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