Woman: I enjoy your show and I've been trying to get through for quite a
while.
Man: Well, We're glad you kept trying
Woman: Umm. I have this problem. Last July, I was assaulted...sexually,
and ever since then,
I've been having trouble sleeping.
Man: How old are you?
Woman: I'm 22 going on 23
Man: Medicine...Counseling...Anxiety...Sleep Programming
..Medicine...Sleep Programming
..Anxiety...Counseling...Medicine...Sleep
Programming...Depression...Anxiety...(etc.)
Woman: Well, they told me, when I have these bad dreams, to try and put
endings on the
dreams, like I come out a winner. But everytime i try to do that, I
just...don't get anywhere. It
seems, I keep having the same dream over and over every night, and
that's why I'm up so late.
Woman: And I watch one soap opera a day. And if he happens to walk in
the house, I'm
paranoid. I just jump up and turn off the TV. Except he says, "Is that
all you're gonna do all
day, just sit around and watch TV?" And I love to travel, so I've
mentioned traveling to him.
And finances are no problem. But he says that he did all the traveling
that he wanted to do while
he was in the service.


Lyrics submitted by planetearth

22 Going On 23 song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commentthat first riff is pure EVIL.
    Beavis46on July 01, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe dialogue actually is recorded off a call-in show. But I\'ve also read in articles that the woman talking was something of a pathological liar and was always calling in with completely different stories.
    destroyalltacoson May 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentXD Pathological liars piss me off
    m333333on July 24, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentim a pathological liar.
    youknowimrighton August 22, 2007   Link
  • +1
    Song FactHah, people are being very, very pretentious with their explanations, let's look at this objectively.

    This is a tape recording that Paul Leary made when they were crashed out in a hotel after a stressful gig. Everyone hammered, Paul Leary and Mark Farner (the dog) both recorded this woman who called up the Harry Reubens show, the call playing on the radio.

    The woman was later reported to be an attention seeker, as she kept calling the show with different, made-up problems.

    The sounds at the end are not mooing. Hay, another song from the same album as this one, is a re-done version of this song, played backwards and sped up. "Hay" sounds at lot like itself when played backwards, and the "mooing" at the end is just the words "hay" slowed down and played backwards.

    This doesn't make all allegations of the song being misogynistic irrelevant, but certainly dims down all of the extremely deep theories.

    I personally, myself, even as a Men's Rights Activist, feel that the second woman is perfectly justified in her complaining, especially because, unlike the first one, is telling the truth.

    I think the guitar lick in this song is pretty dread-inducing as is the thunder effects. I pretty much think the entire song is about the panic of being assaulted, and the lying some people do for attention.
    Zombater___on June 01, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst time I heard it, I thought that the song was really divided into two parts. The first part about the woman having been raped, and I felt the music was compassionate towards her suffering. I mean, it helped me to feel the fear and pain she may have felt. The lyricist then talks about how futile "western medicine" can be towards things of this nature, a viewpoint with which I agree.........

    Then the second part has a different woman crabbing on about not being able to watch her soap operas on TeeVee, and travel, because her husband is a jerk. She sounds like a cow mooing, compared to the first woman's obviously deep pain which you can hear in her voice.

    Hence the cow's mooing........

    I don't think Gibby is hateful enough to make fun of the first woman.
    AlyoshaKaramazovon November 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDoes anyone here think that the caller sounds a lot like, or is Daniel Johnston? Gibby & Daniel are good friends.
    sobe_fearon May 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always felt that the music starts out mocking the girl, then sort of turns into a lament. But maybe I'm just projecting my own shit on it, haw haw haw.
    hudsterboyon May 19, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen I hear this song it makes me grin like im on acid. :P
    Tricky1979on August 29, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPalzon is disgusting. That just needed to be said.
    Hearing this now I can have a clearer grasp on what it all means. When I first heard it I didn't understand and I was just a little skeeved.
    I've been a surfers fan since I was 10yrs old in the IWS era. I heard this album for the first time several years later but I was still a young man.
    Now I can see it rather clearly.
    Those on this thread assigning some rape-victim shaming or victim invalidation are reading their own misgivings into this piece.
    It doesn't matter if the first woman is lying. It does matter if you think the second woman's complaints are frivolous.
    If you look at the entirety of the surfers' work you can see where it comes from.
    If you think the context of "Butthole Surfer" is its glorifying the bashing then you have misunderstood.
    there was something significant about them taking on that mantle of the "butthole surfer" in the face of the greater punk music scene that was becoming more and more just like every other patriarchal institution.
    To think that this song would be so different from all of the other work and use suffering for "shock" value or make a direct social commentary is ignorance.
    To "shock" as an agenda you have to play consistently on societal norms and go out of your way to do the opposite.
    While the surfers do thoroughly manipulate musical conventions to great effect you can see that their overall absurdist style transcends "shock" and lands on being. Their existence is the subversion.
    I can see this song as another reflection of modern life. It's fuckin' atrocious and musical accompaniment is right there.

    JohnWilkesDoeon December 01, 2016   Link

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