I Palindrome I

From This Might Be A Wiki
Sculpture representing the song from the Apollo 18 promo

song name I Palindrome I
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Apollo 18, I Palindrome I (EP), Dial-A-Song: 20 Years Of They Might Be Giants, A User's Guide to They Might Be Giants: Melody, Fidelity, Quantity, Flood + Apollo 18, 50,000,000 They Might Be Giants Songs Can't Be Wrong
year 1992
first played February 1, 1992 (199 known performances)
run time 2:22
sung by John Linnell, John Flansburgh backs


  • John Flansburgh (2012) on the song and its Dial-A-Song demo: "I made a quick song for DAS with the title—which really was a sketch I can't even remember—and then handed off the title to Mr. [Linnell]."
  • Linnell reported on WNYC in May 2001 that he wrote this after attending a poetry reading by Hal Sirowitz. Sirowitz is known for his book of dark verse called, Mother Said. He also had an EP on the Hello Recording Club, and his poetry was featured in Podcast 47.
  • A number of palindromes (of various types) are featured in the song:
  • "Son I am able she said, though you scare me. Watch, said I, beloved, I said, watch me scare you though. Said she, able am I, Son," is a palindrome which uses words as units instead of letters. This is a form of antimetabole.
  • Flans sings "Man o nam" and the classic palindrome, "Egad, a base tone denotes a bad age".
  • The length of the track is 2:22, which is a numerical palindrome.
  • Michael McKean read this songs lyrics like a poem in the extras of Gigantic.
  • Flans has apologized to his mother before playing this song at live concerts.
  • The line "a snake head eating the head on the opposite side" refers to the ancient symbol ouroboros.

Song Themes

Age, Animals, Backwards, Clothes, Death, Funny But Sad, Heads, Kingdom Of Loathing Reference, Love, Medical, Mirrors And Reflections, Money, Nonsense Words, Recursion, Relatives, Shapes, Swear Words, Time


Current Rating

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I Palindrome I is currently ranked #27 out of 907. (224 wikians have given it an average rating of 9.08)