Screenshot from the video (which features the single mix
- The single mix is the more frequently heard version of this song, and was used for the music video. The main difference between the original album mix and the single mix is in the "I don't want to live in this world anymore" section. The LP version lacks the later bass synth overdub that plays underneath Linnell's vocal. Overall, the instrumentation in the album mix is less spaced out, and contains much less reverb. Also, curiously, the original LP mix was not included on Then: The Earlier Years; the single mix was used instead.
- The song's video was directed by Adam Bernstein. From the tmbg.com archive
We shot the outdoor scenes at Flushing Meadows park in Queens, NY, site of the 1964 World's Fair, which both Flansburgh and I attended as children and remember fondly. Several of the pavilions are still there, including the New York State pavilion which has an enormous map of the state (badly chipped up) covering its floor.
- The large question mark sign seen in the video is actually bright red, and was constructed by John Flansburgh.
- In a 2003 interview on NPR's Fresh Air With Terry Gross, Linnell said the music was written first, and a large portion of the lyrics were decided on simply because the words fit the correct number of syllables for the melody. He also said that they almost put this song as the leadoff song on their debut album, but they changed their minds at the last minute because he felt the lyrics were too meandering.
- This song has been covered by Common Rotation.
- A snippet of lyrics from "Don't Let's Start" is used in Jimmy Eat World's "A Praise Chorus," in the line, "Don't don't don't let's start, why did we ever part?"
- The title of this song is referenced in the name of an upcoming film which is set to feature Corn Mo and a character named Ana Ng.
- The lyric "No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful" is referenced in the book Ready Player One. The line is the main character's access phrase to log into his account on an online simulation called the OASIS. You can read an excerpt from the book here, in which the character "burned through the entire They Might Be Giants discography in under two weeks."
1964 World's Fair, Animals, Bad English, Body Parts, Cartoons, Death, Funny But Sad, I Am, I've Got A, Letters Of The Alphabet, Loneliness, Love Gone Sour, Money, Music, Nonsense Words, Oblique Cliches Or Idiom, Questions, Self-Reference, Telecommunication, Tongue-Twisters, TV And Movie Themes
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