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The first half of the last song on Phish's 1993 album Rift, listed separately here because it's a separate track. The first thing you need to know is that it is, by all normal definitions, a separate song. The next thing you need to know is that Phish have never played The Horse in concert without following it up with Silent in the Morning. Never ever. I am not making this up.

Why? Because the two songs go together so well. The Horse ends on the same chord that Silent in the Morning begins on, and on Rift there is no discrete moment where one track ends and the next begins. The lyrics of The Horse are short and sweet, a quiet quatrain:

It's time I slip the baggage off this overburdened horse,
sink my toes into the ground, and set a different course.
For if I were here, and you were there, I'd meet you in between,
and not until my dying day confess what I had seen.

At 1:23, it's one of Phish's shortest, but it's still very heavy on the instrumental; the lyrics only take up the last 30 seconds of the song. The "intro" is almost a minute of sparse classical acoustic guitar, highlighting Trey Anastasio's talents with something that's not plugged in for once. The Horse almost serves as the intro to Silent in the Morning--a breather before the big car chase, or, more appropriately, the quiet conversation in the cafe before the silver screen kiss.

One last note about this song: it is the only song on Rift that is not represented in the cover art of that album. There is a marvelous painting by David Welker in indigo and black and shades of blue, and while he manages to put in a Maze, an ice skater, and even includes the song "Lengthwise," he couldn't manage to paint The Horse anywhere on the cover. This was rectified by their next album Hoist, whose cover features a bold Day-Glo background with the artist, album title, and a bright magenta horse.


I'm sorry, I tricked you. See, now you absolutely have to go read about Silent in the Morning because you can't have The Horse without following it with Silent in the Morning. Again, I apologize for any inconvenience--that's just the way it is.

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