Road Movie To Berlin

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name Road Movie to Berlin
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Flood, Flood + Apollo 18
year 1990
first played June 23, 1988 (72 known performances)
run time 2:22
sung by John Flansburgh


Trivia/Info

This song was actually written back when the Berlin Wall seemed like something that would actually never go down. It's weird. It's really a dated—I feel like it's actually sort of a topical—like, you know, pulling out my anti-Vietnam song. You know, it was written at a time when it was just obvious that the Berlin Wall was gonna be there forever. So, it's kind of strangely dated.
  • Flansburgh later stated in an interview with Rolling Stone:
    This song was designed to feel like a fragment of some bar room song just starting up again and again. Even though the verses resolve, there is a little bit of tension that is left hanging each go around, and that hopefully is a bit more unsettling with each verse. My voice is slowed down, which is kind of creepy.
  • The liner notes for Flood included an additional verse not featured on the album, but often performed live during the song. Flansburgh: "There were a bunch of alternate lyrics written, but it didn't seem like the song should be that long" (tmbg.com Q&A). Flansburgh later said in Rolling Stone that the verse was "inadvertently left out." The extra verse's lyrics:

You said you were the King of Liars
And I believed you and called you sire
But I realize now that I have been deceived

  • "If memory serves, a combination of a Sammy Davis Jr. blast and a stock Casio FZ1 brass sound." -Flansburgh on the source of the orchestra hit sound in the instrumental section (via Twitter)
  • The chord progression of the song uses every note of the chromatic scale.
  • Covered by Frank Black on the the TMBG tribute album Hello Radio: The Songs Of They Might Be Giants.

Song Themes

Cities, Death, Drinking, Drinking Glasses, German, Kingdom Of Loathing Reference, Movies, Problems with Liner Notes, Religion, Supernatural, Swing Feel, Time, Transportation

Videos

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Road Movie To Berlin is currently ranked #492 out of 910. (105 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.11)