It's hidden far away but someday I may tell

The tale of metal tangle when into your world I fell

Without you now I wander soaking secretly afraid

'Cause in your grasp the fears don't last and some of them have stayed

I wheeled around because I didn't hear what you had said

And saw you dancing with Elihu up on Leemor's bed

And I was foggy rather groggy, you helped me to my car

The binding belt enclosing me, a sample in a jar

And on the market stands unfolding with all their willies and their wares

I shuffle by alert but numb to all the glances and the glares

And I think of you unheeding all the times I raise my cup

It's now I know that you knew that I'd soon end up end up


You tricked me like the others and now I don't belong

The simple smiles and good times seem all wrong

Lyrics submitted by oofus

Sample In A Jar song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentHere's a quote I've heard from a reliable source:
    Sample in a Jar is about a time Trey got really drunk at a bar. The
    "Sample in a Jar" is Trey on the ride home from the bar as all his buddies
    were taking car of him. The "binding belt enclosing me" is a seat belt.
    "The glances and glares" probably refer to people being worried about him,
    and to those who are angry at him. If anyone has ever taken care of an
    extremely drunk friend it can be very annoying and frustrating. He speaks
    of being "foggy, rather groggy," which probably describes being intoxicated.
    All the other strange lines are about things he saw on the ride home,
    staring out the window. "The marketplace unfolding with all their willies
    and their ware" could mean the ride home took them through a main
    strip/town square/strip mall/center of commerce. "Elihu," and "Leemor" and
    other strange nonsense in the song refer to signs and stores he saw on the
    ride home.

    I think the most definitive lines are towards the end of the song:
    "And I think of you unheeding
    All the times I've raised my cup
    It's now I know that you knew that
    I'd soon end up end up."

    Basically, this seems to say:
    "I know you don't like drinking,
    but I've been drunk a lot in my life.
    I guess now I know you were right,
    I did end up flat on my face."

    The person to whom he is speaking could be someone who disapproves of
    drinking, a friend, or Significant Other. Lastly, "The simple smiles and
    good times seem all wrong," tells me that boozing can be a good time,
    although sometimes drinking can make you miserable. Of course, if I am
    wrong and this is a Marshall song, not an Anastasio song, then this whole
    thing applies to Tom Marshall. However, I remember hearing that Trey
    personally really liked the song, and that's why it why played so often in
    '95, right after it was written.
    Lookin4spaceon August 02, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGives me the impression of a handicapped person going home from a party slightly drunk and alone.
    subskinon May 05, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"wheeled around" doesn't necessarily mean he's in a wheelchair, but I used to get that impression as well.
    ThePythonon September 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA little boy went to the show/circus/whatever you call it. He went and played a game where you have to shoot the ducks with an air rifle. He knocked it down. He won a fish.
    beaneron November 23, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know where you got that from, but to each their own. I look at this like looking back on a relationship gone bad. Sounds like the writer is slowly coming to terms with what the other person put them through. Now, the chorus, on the other hand kinda paints a picture of maybe running into that other person at like a party or something. Something gets said, there's some degree of animosity, but that other person still helps him/her to their car to end the night....

    ...the Elihu and Lemore thing is totally foreign to me. Best I could dig up is that they're both modern-era philosophers....
    NUCC98on February 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think it's about getting a drug test
    SmokeyJon March 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdriving drunk is in there somwhere
    dividedhoodon May 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentim hard
    jleo897on May 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about hooking up with someone at a party when the singer was drunk, and he's confused why she doesn't have lasting feelings for him (and she seems to just be helping him to his car/from the party out of sympathy). Or something like that.
    deathbearon July 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti dont know relationship probably like alot of phish songs
    kowskion November 02, 2006   Link

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