"The Happening" as written by and Charles Thompson....
They got a ranch they call
Number fifty-one
They got a ranch they call
Number fifty-one
Can't see it all
'Less your flying by
Just sitting there square
Baking in the sun
Beneath the sky
They're gonna put it down
Right on the strip
They're gonna put it down
On the Vegas strip
They're gonna put it down
And step outside
Into the lights
Right outta that ship
Saying Hi!
I was driving doing nothing on the shores of Great Salt Lake
When they put it on the air I put it in the hammer lane
I soon forgot myself and I forgot about the brake
I forgot all laws and I forgot about the rain
They were talking on the 9 and all across the amy band
Across the road they were turning around and headed south with me
It got so crowded on the road I started driving in the sand
My head was feeling scared but my heart was feeling free
The desert turned to mud it seems that everybody heard
Everybody was remembering to forget they had the chills
Then I heard the voices on a broadcast from up on the bird
They were getting interviewed by some Goodman whose name was Bill
I'm almost there to Vegas where they're puttin' on a show
They've come so far I've lived this long at least I must just go and say

Lyrics submitted by riffic

"The Happening" as written by Charles Thompson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Happening song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentFirst verse is around Area 51.
    Second verse is about aliens landing in Vegas.
    Then the story begins:

    The narrator is driving in Utah, when he hears on the radio that aliens are going to land in Nevada.
    He floors it heading for Vegas.
    The CB is lighting up with the news (9 is the emergency CB channel).
    People going the other direction are U-turning into his lanes trying to get to Vegas as well.
    It's raining in the desert as they all move down I-15.
    They're listening to the radio as the aliens are being interviewed by Bill Goodman.
    They're almost there...
    fenrison June 08, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentReminds me a lot of Radiohead's Subterranean Homesick Alien. The aliens are coming, and it's gonna be scary, but most of all it's gonna be beautiful.
    cassiusitsoveron October 28, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe end part of this song is timeless the way it shifts into a totally different style
    craiguson March 29, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy God what a beautiful chorus.
    scoffedon February 12, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think this song is about forgetting who you are
    the whole thing is just so dreamy it seems like maybe a false reality francis is creating and the aliens are just some other-worldly thing that really fascinate him and he's driving through the desert looking for what hes been dreaming about
    i love the "i forgot" sequence and then the very last line
    gringo225.tuniton December 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBill Goodman's theme song for his radio show was called "It's-a-Happening", hence the name of this song.

    Yep, fenris summed it up, yadda yadda.
    lactosefreemanon December 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhen i figured out what this song was about, i listened to it over and over again.

    fenris is dead on.

    amy band refers to AM band.

    I read some interview with Charles in which he said a spacecraft landed near his neighborhood when he was a child. Everyone gathered and went to greet them. This song is his personal reference to that experience.

    Anyone else heard that?
    czechm8on January 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe last half of this song is from another pixies song called The Thing off The Complete B-Sides. an early recording. The Thing... get it. love it, fuck it.
    Courtney.25on May 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Pixies at their most beautiful and crazed-out. I looooooove how Frank screams "number 51" and those magnificent "aaaahhhh"s all around the chorus, joined by that guitar work so typical of Santiago... it's just plain addictive, necessary.
    Santiagofon July 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is their best song hands down. Every second of it is musical perfection. Bossanova was BY FAR their best sounding album in my opinion. Go get it if you haven't already.
    magoosh008on September 08, 2007   Link

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