Hate The Villanelle
From This Might Be A Wiki
|song name||Hate The Villanelle|
|artist||They Might Be Giants|
|releases||Dial-A-Song (2015), Glean|
|first played||June 6, 2014 (3 known performances)|
|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:
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.
- Interestingly, the words villain and villanelle both derive from the same Latin word, villanus, meaning a peasant or farmhand (a bumpkin, if you will).
- At the first performance of this song, Flansburgh said, "It's a true story about writing this song."
- Robin Goldwasser was the one who brought the "miracle of the poetic form that is the villanelle" to the band's attention.
- Listen to NPR's official audio recording of the song here.
- Watch it on
- Watch it on - recorded live on June 6, 2014
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Hate The Villanelle is currently ranked #705 out of 881. (61 wikians have given it an average rating of 7.38)