McCafferty's Bib

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Music video for "McCafferty's Bib"


Screenshot

song name McCafferty's Bib
artist They Might Be Giants
releases I Like Fun, Dial-A-Song (2018)
year 2018
run time 2:35
sung by John Linnell


People march with portraits of Bob Hope and Chairman Mao

Trivia/Info

I think there's only one point of reference that is not perfectly obvious in that song, which is a reference to a work of art by Öyvind Fahlström. He did this wonderful thing in the mid-'60s where he filmed a bunch of people walking down the street with huge placards of Chairman Mao and Bob Hope (laughing) which I think Flansburgh and I both really latched onto. It had an enormous influence over our stage design, which was sort of like Citizen Kane with these huge black and white photos. So the song makes a reference to that 'marching down the street with Bob Hope.' But otherwise it remains a willfully cryptic song. There's no real explanation for what McCafferty's Bib really is. It sounds like a euphemism or a reference to some occult thing. [...] It's just sort of a spooky reference to something for which there is no reference on the internet... it's an un-knowable thing. And that's really what the song is about, I guess.
  • The performance art piece by Öyvind Fahlström mentioned above also influenced TMBG's iconographic use of William Allen White's head as a cutout, as explained by Linnell in a 2015 interview with Bearded Magazine. Footage of Fahlström's march can be found on YouTube.
  • In July 2018, John Flansburgh noted that he "programmed the rhythm track that became the foundation of McCafferty's Bib (drums, percussion and that ring modulated triangle synth sound) using some of the same sounds we worked with on Rowboat Mayor."[2].
  • In an October 2018 interview with Metro, Flansburgh stated that McCafferty's Bib has "microtonal chords in it. John has this microtonal fixation. I’m a little bit more skeptical of how awesome micronality is, although it’s an interesting fresh breeze... I don’t know of any popular music being made with microtonality right now." [3]

Song Themes

Cities, Colors, Drugs, Hands, Heads, In Back, Mathematics, Microtones, Music, Numbers, Oblique Cliches Or Idiom, People (Real), Traded Tracks

Videos

  • Watch it on Youtube.png

Current Rating

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McCafferty's Bib is currently ranked #595 out of 910. (62 wikians have given it an average rating of 7.82)