Theme From The Bottom
Phish (studio) Lyrics


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I feed from the bottom, you feed from the top
I live upon morsels you happen to drop
And coffee that somehow leaks out of your cup
If nothing comes down then I'm forced to swim up
On the way upwards, the colors come back
But all along the bottom is blue, grey, and black
The darkness is cold and perception goes wrong
And the night seems to go on incredibly long

So I ask you why if I'm swimming by,
Don't you see anything you'd like to try?

Pantomime mixtures of heaven and earth
Jumbled events that have less than no worth
Time in the forest to dig under rocks
Or float in the ocean asleep in a box

Or sink just below all the churning and froth
And swim to the light source or fly like a moth
So toss away stuff you don't need in the end
But keep what's important and know who's your friend

So I ask you why if I'm swimming by,
Don't you see anything that you'd like to try?

If I'm swimming by

From the bottom, from the top
From the bottom, from the top
From the bottom, from the top
From the bottom, from the top

From the bottom, from the top
From the bottom, from the top




From the bottom, from the top
From the bottom, from the top

Overall Meaning

The song "Theme From The Bottom" by Phish can be interpreted in various ways, but at its core, it talks about two different perspectives: the bottom and the top. The lyrics suggest that while one person (presumably the singer) struggles to survive by feeding on scraps, the other person lives comfortably by dropping crumbs from above. The singer then talks about how they have to swim upwards to survive, and while doing so, they see the colors returning. However, at the bottom, everything is dark and the perception is wrong, which makes the night seem to go on forever.


The chorus of the song asks the question of why the other person doesn't try anything different, even when the singer is swimming by. The rest of the lyrics take a surreal turn, with the singer talking about pantomime mixtures, jumbled events, time in the forest, and floating in the ocean asleep in a box. The song ends with a message of discarding unnecessary things and keeping what is important.


Overall, "Theme From The Bottom" is a poignant song that speaks to the inequalities of life and the struggles of survival, while also highlighting the importance of taking chances and discarding excess baggage.


Line by Line Meaning

I feed from the bottom, you feed from the top
I am struggling and surviving with the bare minimum, while you have access to everything you need from the top.


I live upon morsels you happen to drop
I am surviving on the small amount of resources you happen to share with me.


And coffee that somehow leaks out of your cup
Even the smallest things you give away mean the world to me, like the drop of coffee that leaks out of your cup.


If nothing comes down then I'm forced to swim up
If you give me nothing, I am forced to struggle even harder and find a way to survive on my own.


On the way upwards, the colors come back
As I start to climb out of my struggle, the brightness and joy in life returns to me.


But all along the bottom is blue, grey, and black
The depths of my struggle are dark and full of despair.


The darkness is cold and perception goes wrong
The struggles I face can distort my perception and make me feel isolated and detached.


And the night seems to go on incredibly long
The struggle can feel endless and overwhelming, like the darkness of a never-ending night.


So I ask you why if I'm swimming by, Don't you see anything you'd like to try?
As I am making progress, I invite you to join me and see if there's something you can learn from my experience.


Pantomime mixtures of heaven and earth
I imagine a world where heaven and earth coexist, where dreams and reality blend together.


Jumbled events that have less than no worth
Meaningless events and chaos that leave me feeling hopeless and defeated.


Time in the forest to dig under rocks
The peace and stillness found in nature, where I can find hidden treasures by exploring beneath the surface.


Or float in the ocean asleep in a box
The freedom and weightlessness of drifting in the vastness of the ocean, free from the burdens of the world.


Or sink just below all the churning and froth
To take a step back from the chaos and commotion of life and find peace in the stillness below the surface.


And swim to the light source or fly like a moth
To find my way towards the light and emerge from the darkness, like a moth to a flame.


So toss away stuff you don't need in the end, But keep what's important and know who's your friend
In the end, it is important to let go of material possessions that don't really matter and hold onto the things and people that truly add value to our lives.


If I'm swimming by
As I continue on my journey forward.


From the bottom, from the top
No matter where we come from or where we are in life, we can all find common ground and move forward together.




Lyrics © O/B/O APRA/AMCOS

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

Matt Clinton

One of those more subtle, gentler jams that grows on you each time you listen. I like how Trey doesn’t hog the floor… when he does play it doesn’t overshadow the others and there is good balance in the band. I’ve noticed this more this tour and I’m really digging it.. light and fluffy jams like this are great to play at work or in the car

Dan Kachelries

Well I glad you found phish. The other part, I’m not sure what you mean. Maybe I’m “that” elitist ahole that’s seen over a hundred shows but it’s never about overplaying another member. Does Trey play too many note? Ask Cactus lol… but seriously, glad you jumped in, waters nice.. now go listen to a S&SS for that nice balance

Missy Templeman

🙂

Shane Rabideau

My new favorite Theme...it took many many years to be able to make this statement but this Theme...wow! Beautiful

Ribrack TV

Probably one of the most under rated songs from the tour

herbythechef

I was there for this one, it was certainly an awesome vibe for this jam. Everyone around me was passing joints around and people were just grooving to it. Its a moment i wont forget

Billy

This was a feeling

Bee

Please come to Peru 🇵🇪

Starwind

I’m loving these larger melodic themes Treys been bringing into these explorations. Turn on the MIDI and it’s psychedelic heaven

David Lawrence

All I want when I see Phish is that they jam and I get one beloved song. Mission accomplished.

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