Make a hole with a gun perpendicular
To the name of this town in a desk-top globe
Exit wound in a foreign nation
Showing the home of the one this was written for
My apartment looks upside down from there
Water spirals the wrong way out the sink
And her voice is a backwards record
It's like a whirlpool and it never ends

Ana Ng and I are getting old
And we still haven't walked in the glow of each others majestic presence
Listen Ana hear my words
They're the ones you would think I would say if there was a me for you

All alone at the sixty-four World's Fair
Eighty dolls singing small world after all
Who was at the Dupont Pavilion?
Why was the bench still warm? Who had been there?
Or the time when the storm tangled up the wire
To the horn on the pole at the bus depot
And in the back of the edge of hearing
These are the words the voice was repeating

Ana Ng and I are getting old
And we still haven't walked in the glow of each others majestic presence
Listen Ana hear my words
They're the ones you would think I would say if there was a me for you

When I was driving once I saw this painted on a bridge,
I don't want the world, I just want your half

They don't need me here, and I know you're there (don't need me)
Where the world goes by like the humid air (world goes by)
And it sticks like a broken record
Everything sticks like a broken record
Everything sticks until it goes away (it goes home)
And the truth is, we don't know anything (don't know)

Ana Ng and I are getting old
And we still haven't walked in the glow of each others majestic presence
Listen Ana hear my words
They're the ones you would think I would say if there was a me for you

Ana Ng and I are getting old
And we still haven't walked in the glow of each others majestic presence
Listen Ana hear my words
They're the ones you would think I would say if there was a me for you

Ana Ng and I are getting old
And we still haven't walked in the glow of each others majestic presence
Listen Ana hear my words
They're the ones you would think I would say if there was a me for you


Lyrics submitted by kevin, edited by JohnnyLurg, belinda103

Ana Ng Lyrics as written by John Linnell John Flansburgh

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Ana Ng song meanings
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33 Comments

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  • +6
    General Comment

    John Linnell said, "I mean it generated out of this simple idea of imagining someone on the exact opposite side of the globe. There's only one person for you and they're located at some point at random on the globe. In Ana Ng, the person is located at exactly the opposite pole. That's all there is to it. Then there was this Pogo cartoon that I read when I was a kid. The characters are going to dig to China and one of them is wondering what's on the other side of the world and he actually pulls out a revolver -- it was weird to see a gun in one of these comics -- and he shoots through the globe."

    zooeyon March 03, 2002   Link
  • +6
    General Comment

    The early TMBG songs always sound completely nonsensical, but that's because they were usually written in riddle. The meanings of most of them are fairly set though.

    In an interview for Throttle, back in 1990 Flansburgh, himself, stated that it's about a man in Peru who is in love with a woman he's never actually met, in Vietnam.

    Ng is a Vietnamese name... almost their version of our "Smith" because of how common it is. Peru is on the exact opposite side of the globe from Vietnam. This explains the meaning of the entire first verse. (Though Girog is correct in their reasoning for not liking the "water spirals the wrong way down the sink" part of the riddle.)

    The line "I don't want the world, I just want your half" indicates that Ana is saying she doesn't need riches, fame, or power... she just wants to be closer to her love.

    estanoon September 10, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    This song is partially about the love he thinks is on the other side of the world.

    The other compontnet of this song is John's(band member) infatuation h with the 1964 Worlds Fair. He went when he was a kid and became enthralled. He has spoken about this publilcly.
    Anyhow...he imagines that Ana was at the Worlds Fair and mabey he just missed her "why was the bench still warm who had been there?" ANother Worlds Fair reference "80 dolls yelling 'Small girl after all' "comes from Disney's "It's a Small World" ride which debuted at you guessed it... The 1964 Worlds Fair.

    mrrogerson July 11, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    I really dig the self-references in this song. The bridge is about a bridge, the stick is about sticking. Has anyone found more self-references?

    adequateon March 28, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    thing i like most about this are the vowel sounds in the refrain.

    AnA Eng And-I Are gEtting-Old

    Say it in rythm and stress the beats, it's wonderful

    thezpnon April 25, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    This song is about soul mates. Even if there were a single person perfect for another person, the chances of meeting them are nearly impossible considering the vast amount of people who live on this Earth. The narrator of this song is convinced that this love exists somewhere ont he other side of the globe. [and yes, I believe Ng is a vietnamese name] The line about them both getting old shows that the narrator is waiting for whomever this person may be. He assumes that she is waiting too. [after all she is perfect for him]

    relephant23elephanton September 25, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    I love this song, except my inner scientist dies every time I hear "The water spirals the wrong way out the sink".

    The Coriolis Effect doesn't work that way! The water drains the same way no matter where you are!

    Girogon September 21, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation

    It's about a guy in love with someone he hasn't met. The idea that there is always someone for everyone. I love the way this song is written. Its not saying: you will find your soul mate. or I'm looking for my soul mate. There is a connection here too with the warm bench who has been there? I love that - that possibly you almost ran into the person you were meant for. This is so cleverly written.

    Lulutrueon October 20, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i think this osng is about vietnam going to fight there and meeting a vietnamese girl "her voice is a backwards record" you know vietnamese language is pretty crazy "they dont need me here and i know youre there" Americans believed that they didnt belong in vietnam Back in the day dpont made naplam and that was used in the war theres alot in that song that have to do with vietnam

    SpeckLCPunkon June 02, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This is about a guy's idea that his true love lives on EXACTLY the opposite side of the earth. Vietnam is that place. "her voice is a backwards record" = the garbled craziness of the vietnamese language. "humid air" = vietnams incredible humidity. "water spirals the wrong way out the sink"= the water above the equator spirals clockwise; below: counterclockwise. "still haven't.. ...majestic presence"=they haven't met. Think about it.

    Mr. Baconon April 19, 2007   Link

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