As one of the more ‘carpe diem’ songs the Dave Matthews Band has, “Tripping Billies” is one of those songs were you can just have a good time while you listen to it. This song fits in well on summer tours when you can be outside listening to DMB, and this song comes on and makes you feel glad it’s the summer time.
And one thing to remember, while this is a ‘studio’ album, this song (along with “Ants Marching” and “Recently”) are live songs. Just an FYI.
(Due to this song appearing on another album, and being live, I will not include lyrics/meaning/versions, etc.)
Total Play Count: 893
Album Ranking: 2
I know I promised that I would be discussing lyrics as well, and possibly posting them all, but I’ve decided to do this when we first get to the recorded version of the song, just so you can experience it in its truest form. Well, now that I’ve got that out of the way…
“Eat Drink and Be Merry.” That is the main message from this song, and one that most DMB fans, and especially the ones that are only vaguely familiar, remember. And, it’s not a bad motto to live by.
With this version from Remember Two Things, you once again see the band in their early stages, and really receive a true essence of the song. As with “Ants Marching,” “Tripping Billies” has the subtle undertones of violin throughout the whole song, and then when Dave yells, “Check ’em out Boyd, yeah,” Boyd Tinsley displays his solo-abilities on violin. This will become one of his more famous solo’s, between this song and “Ants Marching,” and it is where he takes over the stage.
The technical aspects of the song are all great. The drums hit it home, once again, and really give you the mood of the song. Something I noticed about the drums in this song, at least in the intro, is that Carter seems to use a lot more of the drums and less of the cymbals than he does nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, as long as Carter Beauford is playing, you will never hear me complain, and this is no exception, but it’s just interesting to note that he is more drum-oriented in the early days.
One thing to really notice about this version of “Tripping Billies,” though, is how strongly Dave’s main guitar riff comes through. In countless other songs and versions of songs, especially as the band becomes more well-known, and their equipment gets better and their sound gets louder, is that often times the guitar riff is more hidden by the other parts. In this version, however, it comes out nicely underneath the drums in the verse lines.
Once again, LeRoi Moore adds some awesome flair to this song, providing little excerpts at the end of the chorus that ties it into the bridge and back to the verse or chorus again. As the songs go on and the years as well, LeRoi Moore gets better and better, but it’s always nice to check back in to where he came from, and it doesn’t disappoint.
All in all, this song has nothing wrong with it. I almost hate trying to rank it, because I have so many newer versions of Tripping Billies in my mind right now that I am trying to fight back. There are things about the older version that I love, but more things about the newer versions that I love, which I will inevitably get to. That being said, it is not my favorite version of this song by any means, but I don’t hate it by any means either.
Next Song: “Recently”