|They Might Be Giants – Brain Problem Situation Lyrics||14 years ago|
Love 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.
|They Might Be Giants – I've Got A Fang Lyrics||14 years ago|
|I think this is actually about a guy who has a fang, a real fang, one that he can use to open metal cans and scare his ex-in-laws. Sure, in a tertiary way it is about society and being different, but TMBG (and Linnell especially) is fond of writing songs that are very very weird but that can be taken literally nonetheless (like The Statue Got Me High). And yeah, it's hard not to notice that the person who wrote the song is rather snaggle-toothed himself. The song is about what it claims to be about: I've got a fang. I've got a fang. I've got a fang.|
|They Might Be Giants – Mrs. Train Lyrics||14 years ago|
|Wow, no thoughts about this one? It's one of their best. One of my favorite Linnell songs. Very complex, very cool.|
|They Might Be Giants – Damn Good Times Lyrics||14 years ago|
|I think the song is about a woman having a loud conversation on a cell phone while in a store. She's talking about someone she knows who is a natural dancer, she laughs, she coughs, she makes a lot of calls, and she is so annoying that when she leaves the people in the store actually applaud. Damn good times.|
|They Might Be Giants – We Want A Rock Lyrics||14 years ago|
Piglet is a piggy bank. "If I were a carpenter" is a reference to an old song lyric (look it up), it's not a reference to Jesus (other than a second-hand reference). So, he smashes his piggy bank with a hammer to get the seven bucks he has saved to buy the fake forehead. Not complicated.
Burning down the playhouse is also a reference to other song lyrics that I think originated long ago in the blues community. I'm sure the phrase appears in many many songs. I believe it's a sort of threat to out-do or defeat someone, but I was also told once that it an allusion to infidelity -- to burn (or tear) someone's playhouse down is to sleep with his woman. Maybe sort of like mowing someone else's grass? It's not very obvious or literal, but I can see it.
TMBG used to twist up old rock and pop lyrics a lot. They don't do it much anymore, but their early work is full of mangled lyrics from well-known songs. A lot of younger fans miss the references and get really, really confused.
The baseball interp is very interesting but doesn't cover all the bases, so to speak. I've always taken this song to be about pet rocks, fads, and (obviously) a pun on "We wanna rock." I like to think the pun came first and the rest of the song was built around it.
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