Lie in Our Graves
|"Lie in Our Graves"|
|Song by Dave Matthews Band from the album Crash|
|Released||April 30, 1996|
|Recorded||Bearsville Studios, Woodstock, New York & Green Street Recording Studios, New York City, New York|
|Writer||David J. Matthews|
|Crash track listing|
"Lie in Our Graves" is one of many songs in the band's catalog with a carpe diem theme, speaking to the importance of embracing what life has to offer ("When I step into the light / My arms are open wide") while one still can ("I can't believe that we would lie in our graves / Wondering if we had spent our living days well"). Its merry, upbeat feel in the face of dark subject matter is reminiscent of a lot of the band's other earlier songs such as "What Would You Say", "Tripping Billies", and most famously, "Ants Marching".
It has been introduced by Matthews in a wide variety of ways, running from the succinct (Matthews frequently will jibe, "This is a song about being dead") to the introspective. During a performance from Marcus Amphitheater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 23, 1996, Matthews had this to say about it:
"This is a song that sings about the hopes that when we all get to the end of our lives, that we'll feel pretty good about what we did, so don't compromise yourself."
The song was originally titled "Peanuts".
Live performance history
"Lie in Our Graves" is one of the band's oldest songs, having been played by the full band on a regular basis as early as the fall of 1992 during the band's regular gigs at Trax Nightclub in Charlottesville, Virginia, and even earlier as a solo song for Matthews. It has been a staple of every major tour the band has performed since its introduction, and has also been played extensively on Matthews's tours with Tim Reynolds and on the Dave Matthews & Friends tour in 2003 and 2004. As of the close of the band's tour in 2007, the song is the ninth most-frequently played song in DMB live performance history, with 633 full performances.
During its early years, the song was performed live in a similar fashion to how it was recorded in studio for Crash. Over time, though, the live performance of the song gradually evolved so that the jam portion in the song's middle (before the final lyrical "reprise" portion) was extensively protracted from how it was played in studio. By 1998, running times in excess of 10 minutes were commonplace, and a mere two years later, performances exceeding 15 minutes were occurring regularly. This expansion allowed for an ever-expanding group of guest collaborators to contribute performances to the song.
During the latter portion of the 2007 tour, the live performance evolved further still, as the band experimented with splitting the "reprise" portion from the rest of the song. This resulted in performances where the song (minus the reprise) was played in full early in the show, with the reprise being played out of nowhere much later in the show; or even merely the reprise being played on its own somewhere in the show, absent the rest of the song.
Special guest collaborators
- Tim Reynolds
- Trey Anastasio of Phish
- Béla Fleck of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones
- The Richmond Symphony Orchestra
- Danny Barnes
- Greg Howard
Official live releases
This is a partial list of albums which have featured "Lie in Our Graves" as a live track.
- Live at Red Rocks 8.15.95
- Live in Chicago 12.19.98
- The Gorge
- The Complete Weekend on the Rocks
- 4-night Summer 2005 tour stand from Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado
- Live Trax Vol. 2
- Live Trax Vol. 4
- Live Trax Vol. 7
- Live Trax Vol. 10
- Live Trax Vol. 18
- On the studio recording, if you listen closely, you can hear sounds of table tennis being played in the background during the jam portion. This was a common form of recreation for the band during the Crash sessions, with producer Steve Lillywhite frequently challenging members of the band to marathon sessions of the game.