"Brain Problem Situation" as written by John Robert King, Michael S. Simpson, John C. Flansburgh and John Linnell....
Wake up
Put on my makeup
And pick the rake up
And rake my hair

And I think, maybe
But I don't know
But I'm starting to feel like
I got a brain problem
Situation on my hands

I think, maybe
But I don't know
But I'm starting to feel like
I got a brain problem
Situation on my hands

I think, maybe
But I don't know
But I'm starting to feel like
I got a brain problem
Situation on my hands

On my hands
I'm looking down
And I can see what I got
On my hands
Is a brain problem situation

Twenty-nine inches
Of snow on the top
Of the situation on the brain
And the scraper I buried
Somewhere in the
Springtime will emerge

And I think, maybe
But I don't know
But I'm starting to feel like
I got a brain problem
Situation on my hands

I think, maybe
But I don't know
But I'm starting to feel like
I got a brain problem
Situation in the bag

In the bag, in the paper bag
Is the source of the call
It was traced
To the paper bag
Yes, the call has been traced
To the bag

Stand up
And put our hand up
And with our eyes closed
We touch our nose

And the cop tells us
But we don't know
But we're starting to feel like
We got a brain problem
Situation on our hands

We think, officer
But we don't know
But we're starting to feel like
We got a brain problem
Situation on our hands

On our hands
On our hands

In the drunk tank
We're in the drunk tank
We're in the drunk tank
All by ourselves

And I think, maybe
But I don't know
But I'm starting to feel like
I got a brain problem
Situation on my hands

I think, maybe
But I don't know
But I'm starting to feel like
I got a brain problem
Situation on my hands

On my hands


Lyrics submitted by chadd_vz

Brain Problem Situation song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentLove this song. Love this song. It's not exactly straightforward, it's a bit sideways, but I don't think there is an excessive amount of hidden meaning. It's about a guy who is very confused -- he puts on make-up and then goes outside, maybe to do some yardwork, but starts combing his hair with the rake.

    The narrator of the song is apparently with-it enough to realize that he might have a have a situation on his hands, but the best he can do in putting a name to it is "a brain problem situation." I imagine an old guy saying that fumbling, uncertain line from the chorus to his doctor, and it makes me laugh. I would love to know where Linnell came up with this. It sounds like something someone would really say.

    Later we find out that it might actually be winter outside (or maybe the snow is a reference to his old age? Why 29 inches of snow? His age?), and that his brain problem has caused him buried his snowscraper. The man is obviously struggling. The way I hear it is that he even thinks the scraper going to grow in the spring? Like a tree of snow scrapers? Sheesh!

    Later still we find out the guy is on the bottle (the paper bag) and at some point he gets busted for DUI and thrown in the drunk tank. Flansburgh joins in at this point and I take his part of the song (using "we" instead of "I") to be the brain itself joining in with the man -- maybe the man has passed out or something. Maybe this is the narrator from "Thunderbird"? I'm not sure if the booze is the cause of his brain problem, but it can't be helping. Again, a great song, might be my favorite from the whole The Else package.
    chadd_vzon July 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAh, well that's quite insightful actually--yes, it seems that this has to do with alchohol. But I think that's the main idea of this song; also I'm pretty sure the idea of burying the scraper is an ironic mistake. The scraper (which he could use to get to the source of the brain problem)was buried (so as he could not get to it,) leaving him helpless. However, the scraper will be revealed in the springtime, when he can finally get to the source of the problem. Huzzah!
    ZellaLon November 29, 2008   Link

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