Number Three

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name Number Three
artist They Might Be Giants
releases They Might Be Giants, 4 From They Might Be Giants, The Frank O' Toole Show, Then: The Earlier Years, Dial-A-Song: 20 Years Of They Might Be Giants
year 1986
first played November 12, 1986 (158 known performances)
run time 1:27
sung by John Flansburgh, John Linnell sings backing vocals for the majority of the song


Trivia/Info

  • The baritone saxophone sample in this song comes from the song "Skinny Lena" by Lou Monte. Linnell found the record while helping his roommate (and the building's super) Chris Lawrence, of Annabouboula and formerly with The Turtlenecks, clean a deceased couple's apartment. Says Linnell: "Skinny Lena was an Italian song in 6/8 with a humorous verse in English and a staccato Bari Sax riff. At some point I figured out a way to make the record skip in 4/4 during the riff while the 45 was played at 33, which became the repeating figure on TMBG's recording of Flansburgh's 'Number Three.'" You can hear the sample slowed down to normal speed here.
  • The 1985 Demo Tape version contains a slightly different mix. It begins with a fade-in of the saxophone loop, and contains a quieter guitar and an accordion part.
  • The verses contain every possible three line rhyme scheme (ABB, AAB, ABA).
  • This song is actually track 3 on They Might Be Giants' debut album and They have claimed that it was the third song they ever learned to play.

Song Themes

Animals, Creative Drought, I Am, Money, Music, Numbers, Occupations, Oxymorons, Paradoxes, And Contradictory Statements, Precious Metal, Presidents, Questions, Self-Reference, Songs With Samples, Titles And Honorifics

Videos

Current Rating

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Number Three is currently ranked #468 out of 844. (88 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.05)