Hate The Villanelle

From This Might Be A Wiki
Music video for "Hate The Villanelle"

song name Hate The Villanelle
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Dial-A-Song (2015), Glean
year 2014
first played June 6, 2014 (3 known performances)
run time 1:52
sung by John Linnell


  • This song is a villanelle, a nineteen-line poetic form that has five tercets followed by a quatrain, with a rhyme scheme of ABA for each tercet and ABAA for the quatrain. In addition, there are two refrains which are both included in the first and last stanzas and placed in an alternating manner in the other.
  • John Flansburgh on the song, from a radio interview on February 11, 2015:[1]
It actually is a villanelle, which is like a poetic form—it's like a sonnet. And I put that lyric together, and then just sort of presented it to Linnell as like a finished thing, and said if you want to have at it with putting music to this, that would be a fun way to do it. In part because just putting the lyrics together in and of itself was like such a homework assignment. I feel it's actually a pretty good villanelle: it has the entire exact right number of syllables, all the rhymes are true rhymes—they're not close rhymes, which is a big problem for me.

Song Themes

Altered Voice, Criminal Activities, Escape, Hands, Jail And Imprisonment, Mathematics, Poetry, Questions, Recursion, Rhymes, School, Self-Reference, Traded Tracks


Current Rating

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Hate The Villanelle is currently ranked #696 out of 910. (70 wikians have given it an average rating of 7.49)