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 ( x 8 )


Lyrics submitted by namdam42

Theme From The Bottom song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI LoooOoOoOoove this song. Such a catchy tune.
    Talia42on August 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI LoooOoOoOoove this song. Such a catchy tune.
    Talia42on August 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHello, I am mister fish swimming around in the ocean. About the plainest interpretation I can dream up.
    OpinionHeadon April 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song always reminds me of marijuana. Let me explain:

    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

    Those lines in particular^ The colors and perception changing, and time going on longer than it seems. Also, the "anything that you'd like to try" line always reminds me of somebody offering someone else drugs.

    One could certainly argue against my feeble attempts at interpretation, because none of the other lyrics make sense with my analysis. Regardless, this is an awesome song, possibly my favorite Phish song.
    yossarianismeon January 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAhhhhh. Such a simple melody and yet so friggin sweet.
    The Hollow Soulon March 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song and the band. I think it means that when you are down it is important to know who you are and who youre friends are."but keep whats important and know who your friends are" but i could be wrong. also like what yossarianisme said about weed etc...
    dogARTiton April 27, 2005   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI believe this song is about getting caught up in the hustle and bustle. Just "swimming" through life. They are reaching out and telling us there is that light you can swim or (more positively, now that it has been addressed) fly to.

    The first verse is describing that feeling of being caught up in it all.
    The second, shows the realization that occurs when you find "it" and represents that perspective shift.
    The third is the positive support, encouragement, and final words of wisdom before you begin your new journey.
    And I believe the chorus is calling out to you:
    So I ask you "Why", if I'm swimming by, "don't you see anything that you'd like to try?"
    "Why don't you see anything that you'd like to try?" Why are you allowing yourself to get caught up in all of that meaninglessness instead of reaching your true potential?

    Believe in You.
    JoeVaccaroon October 31, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI dont know what the real meaning of this song is, but to me it has always made me think about being a fuck-up (possibly a drug addict) living in the gutter (metaphorically) and occasionally popping up into the real world and seeing its possibilities.
    but I dont think that interpretation really works for the whole song.

    Ive lived at the bottom for sure. still on my way upwards.
    Icculus716on January 06, 2010   Link

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