"D & W" as written by John Linnell and John Flansburgh....
D, look at D
Half a circle, half a moon, an apple slice
There goes D, Captain D
My boy D, Commander D, the well-known D
D's getting on in years so he moves a little bit slower now
D is shy and doesn't get out of the house much anymore

"W, you think you're so great"
"Well, I am pretty big"
"Yeah, you're okay. You're just not as great as you think you are."
"How come I never see you around anymore, D?"
"I got this big TV set at home now. And I like to watch the sports."

And then there's W, here comes W
It's double wide, it cannot hide its pride, it's W
They call it W, there's that W
It thinks it's king, its all-time favorite thing is W

Lyrics submitted by Sir Mildred Pierce

"D & W" as written by John Linnell John Flansburgh

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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D & W song meanings
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  • +1
    General Comment...or, if you ask my 7 year old, it's just about to letters of the alphabet!
    kickstart71on March 25, 2007   Link
  • -1
    General Comment"D & W" is one of the more blatantly political songs They Might Be Giants has written. It is an amusing little number made all the more amusing that it was written as a supposedly innocent children's' song. The song presents us with two characters, D and W. It is quite obvious that the W is none other than the President of the United States, George "Dubya" Bush. The D in this case represents the ineffectual Democratic minority as a whole. Before we get down to specifics we should note that the song is written in three parts, we'll examine the specifics of the lyrics of the song in those three parts. Let get down to specifics:


    In the first part we hear the story of D, the song at this point is sung in a solemn voice, backed by quiet and slow music. It is almost meek in it's presentation.

    "...look at D, half a circle, half a moon..." Literally the letter D is half a circle, but so is the Democratic party, is it not? The Democratic Party controls roughly half the Senate and half the House. The image of half a circle brings to mind the graphics one inevitably sees at election time showing the pie chart break down of who controls congress. "half a moon" reinforces the perception of the party as being somewhat out of touch with the current political realities on this planet, i.e. they must be off on the moon, and half a moon at

    "There goes D, Captain D, My boy D, Commander D, the well-known D..." Not "here comes", but "there goes", as in the Democratic Party is on the decline, out the door. The phrase "here comes" will be later reserved for use in the song in reference to "W". "My boy D" shows us the idea that D is subservient to W. "...the well-known D...", Indeed the Democratic Party is well known.

    "D's getting on in years so he moves a little bit slower now..." This line is a very obvious way of recounting the history of the Democratic Party. Indeed there was a time when the party had a very strong platform, and was the leader of change in the country. The Party has
    come a long ways since then and now has a very scattered platform. It is slower in bringing about any change. It is well beyond it's prime.

    "D is shy and doesn't get out of the house much anymore..." Shy indeed. The Democratic Party does not speak up about issues like it used to. This line could actually be taken another way. While D doesn't get out the house much anymore, D also does get much *out of* the House anymore either, i.e. having lost the majority in the House of Representatives and facing the veto power of W, it is unable to bring about any important legislation in the House and in Congress as whole.


    "And then there's W, here comes W...!" Here we are in to the second part of the song, in which we talk about W, which in this case of course is a very obvious George W. Bush. The tone of the song has suddenly changed to a more upbeat number, though it is still the same melody as before. The singing style is no longer meek, but rather it is forceful, strong, and proud. "...here comes W...", again the contrast against "there goes D". The democrats are on the way out, and Bush administration is on it's way in.

    "It's double wide..." The Bush administration certainly is double wide, being one of the few administrations that can claim two terms. Also, the phrase "double wide" also brings to mind a certain pseudo-white trash, hick image that George W. Bush seems to enjoy

    "...it cannot hide its pride..." Without a doubt the Bush
    administration is quite blatant in flaunting it's power, it really cannot hide its pride.

    "They call it W..." "Dubya" is one of the more unusual nicknames to be bestowed on a political leader in out lifetime. "They" being the media and populace, they really do call him "W".

    "It thinks it's king..." This is perhaps the most blatant line in the whole song, does it really need to be examined in depth? The Bush administration has been hungry for power, granting itself unbridled power via legislation such as the PATRIOT Act, and in light of recent allegations of illegal wire tapping, it's quite clear, when viewed against all previous administrations, if ever there was a president who thought he was king it's George W. Bush. In late 2000, then President-elect remarked in response to his first meeting with Democratic congressional leaders on the topic of bi-partisan co-operation (and perhaps his dislike of such cooperation), "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."

    "...its all-time favorite thing is W..." I don't think it can be denied that George W. Bush really, really likes George W. Bush.


    At this point we find ourselves at the end of the song and the third and last part of the track begins. What we hear is a short skit between D and W themselves.

    We start with D saying to W somewhat dismissively, "W, you think you're so great". It's a line said in a somewhat sad voice, as if D recognizes that indeed W really is that great, but the fact really dismays him for there really isn't anything he can do about it. W
    responds, "Well, I am pretty big". This line is said with aloofness, W did not hear the sarcasm in D's voice. Just as Bush does not hear the ideas or criticisms of the Democratic Party.

    "Yeah, you're okay. You're just not as great as you think you are.", says D, again with resignation, the W is in power and there's nothing D can do about it.

    W asks, still aloof to D's criticism, "How come I never see you around anymore, D?"

    D responds, "I got this big TV set at home now. And I like to watch the sports." This line, while being quite amusing in the context of the more innocent children's song, is actually quite literal in the context of the political commentary underlying the lyrics of "D & W". Quite literally, Democrats have been reduced to the role of a politcal armchair quarterback, their level of participation no more than just watching the "sports" of politics on their TV.

    While at first listen, with these interpretations in mind, it might come off as if the two Johns are actually endorsing the status quo as presented by the Bush Administration, but rather the lyrics are more of
    a realistic assessment of the current political climate. The song not only condemns the over-reaching power hungry Bush administration, but it also puts the Democratic Party in it's place for not being losing
    sight of important issues and for not standing up to the Bush Administration in a more meaningful and effective way.
    Sir Mildred Pierceon February 24, 2006   Link

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