Tripping Billies

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"Tripping Billies"
Single by Dave Matthews Band
from the album Crash
Released March 1997
Format CD
Genre Rock
Length 4:18 (Radio Edit)
5:00 (Album Version)
Label RCA
Writer(s) David J. Matthews
Producer(s) Steve Lillywhite
Dave Matthews Band singles chronology
"Crash into Me"
"Tripping Billies"
"Don't Drink the Water"
Remember Two Things track listing
"Ants Marching" (live)
"Tripping Billies" (live)
"Recently" (live)
Crash track listing
"Cry Freedom"
"Tripping Billies"
"Proudest Monkey"

"Tripping Billies" is a song by the Dave Matthews Band, released as the fifth single from the album Crash. It originally debuted on their independent release Remember Two Things. It reached #18 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. It has been regarded as having a very difficult and precise drum part played by the band's Carter Beauford.[citation needed] The song was featured in the film White Man's Burden.

History and production[edit]

The name "Tripping Billies" came to be when a band member's girlfriend told Dave Matthews that his band sounded like "a bunch of hillbillies tripping on acid".[citation needed] The band thought this was hilarious and named this song after it.

Matthews talked about the origins of this song at the show that was recorded for VH1 Storytellers on March 24, 1999. This part of the show, however, was not part of the aired program but can be heard on the fan traded tape of the show. He said that the "Dragons were smoked" line is a reference to "Puff, the Magic Dragon". He also mentioned taking some LSD on a beach in South Africa with Julia Grey and some friends. Then shortly thereafter deciding that he did not want to trip. "I was looking at my girlfriend Julia's face and then it melted into my mother's! And I thought, 'oh, no, that's not good.'"[citation needed]


Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett has performed "Tripping Billies" at concerts on numerous occasions.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Tripping Billies" (Edit) — 4:18
  2. "Tripping Billies" (Album Version) — 5:00
  3. "Tripping Billies" (Live Version) — 5:28


Chart (1996) Peak
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 18