Under the Table and Dreaming, Part VII: Ants Marching

Ahhh… we meet “Ants Marching” again. This time, however, it’s the studio version of the song. I will try to avoid repeating myself as much as possible with the background of the song itself, and try and stick to the review of the song itself.

As I’ve said before, “Ants Marching” is probably the most known DMB song there is. If you ask anyone you know if they know a song by the Dave Matthews Band, chances are this is one of them. I actually have a theory that if someone only has 5 songs on their iPod by DMB, those songs are usually: “Ants Marching,” “Crash Into Me,” “The Space Between” (especially if it’s a girl), “Two Step,” and “Stay (Wasting Time).” Now… this is obviously subject to change, but more often than not, that’s the 5. It has proven true for me on several occasions. “Everyday” is often the alternate song if one of those isn’t there.

Ants Marching also has the most plays of any song by the band… especially in encores. It has been played 1,064 times (approximately)… which says a lot. Granted, being one of the first songs in the band’s arsenal means it will have play time throughout the entire run of the band, but that’s besides the point.

The studio version of this song is quite similar to the live versions, including the one I’ve already done a review on. This version does not have the extended snare-hit intro through, it just has three snare hits. It starts with just Boyd and LeRoi playing along side Carter, until the guitars kick in. Once Dave kicks it into the first verse, game over.

As the essential anthem of the Dave Matthews Band, the lyrics are obviously rather uplifting, fun, exciting, etc. It’s all about our daily routine and how everything we do… no matter what we do… in the end we’re all basically the same.

One of my favorite parts of this song is the solo. This is the song Boyd tears up the most. In the studio version (and earlier live versions), he gets a 7-count solo. By that I mean once he’s in the solo, Carter and the boys have a combined note, and then pause for 3 counts. So essentially (if you’re a musician) it is a 28-count solo, but who’s counting. But in live versions, there is a much longer solo. I can’t really explain it, so I’ll save it for the live clip I will inevitably post later in this review.

The last thing I’m going to mention before we get to the clips is this song at concerts. As I said, it’s definitely a crowd favorite, if not one of the biggest, most unanimous crowd pleasers. Almost every single person at the concert knows this song (I’d say this is the only song that garners the most recognition), so they all sing along. There’s one line that most of the time, Dave let’s the crowd sing on. It comes during the first time we hear the chorus:

Dave: “Driving in on this highway. All the cars end up on the sidewalk.”

Crowd: “PEOPLE IN EVERY DIRECTION!”

DMB: Continues music between pause…

Crowd: “NO WORDS EXCHANGED, NO TIME TO EXCHANGE!”

It’s just so much fun to do. Gotta love it. Alright… without further adieu. The first video is the music video for “Ants Marching.” Very interesting (as are all the DMB music videos). Enjoy.

Next we have the live version of “Ants Marching” from, where else, Central Park. I will say this every time I mention this concert, it is one of my absolute favorites. The music is just so good, the band sounds great, the crowd is awesome, and the video to go along with it is icing on the cake. Enjoy.

Even though I’m not usually as high on studio versions as I am their live counterparts, “Ants Marching” has a hard time disappointing in any format. It’s an enjoyable song, a DMB essential and just an all-around great song. The music is fantastic, the lyrics are great. What else could you want?

Song Rating: 5/5

Next Song: “Lover Lay Down”

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