Road Movie To Berlin
|song name||Road Movie to Berlin|
|artist||They Might Be Giants|
|releases||Flood, Flood + Apollo 18|
|first played||June 23, 1988 (72 known performances)|
|sung by||John Flansburgh|
- John Flansburgh on the song (during the February 2, 1997 Idiot's Delight radio show):
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.
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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)