Personal tools
The TMBG Knowledge Base

The Guitar

From This Might Be A Wiki
Music video for "The Guitar"
Drawing, from the Apollo 18 promo, representing the song.
Rehearsal for the video.

song name The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Apollo 18, The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight) (EP) (as the "UK Single Edit" on some European releases), Direct From Brooklyn Dial-A-Song: 20 Years Of They Might Be Giants, A User's Guide To They Might Be Giants: Melody, Fidelity, Quantity, Rhino Hi-Five: They Might Be Giants (EP), Flood + Apollo 18
year 1992
first played June 27, 1992 (748 known performances)
run time 3:49
sung by John Flansburgh; Laura Cantrell sings the "Lion Sleeps Tonight" chorus.


  • The theme from this song is borrowed from the Tokens hit, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". Even though these words never appear in the song, the record label insisted the subtitle appear in the song name (source: Direct From Brooklyn DVD commentary).
  • The music video for the song features (extremely) brief cameos of Jon Spencer, Joshua Fried, and Robin Goldwasser.
  • Despite what you see in the video, John Linnell does not play bass guitar on this song.
  • Filming locations: 18 Havemeyer St, Brooklyn (John Linnell's former apartment); McCarren Park, Brooklyn (and surrounding streets in Northside); Warsaw at The Polish National Home, Brooklyn.
  • During live performances, the bridge is replaced with a solo by either Marty Beller, Danny Weinkauf, or Dan Miller. Sometimes a future of sound prophecy is performed by John Linnell. John Flansburgh is also known to stick his guitar into the audience during parts of the song.
  • Featured as background music in a 2013 television ad for the Buick Encore, "Dinosauria".

Song Themes

Animals, Music, Non-John Vocals, Numbers, Precious Metal, Questions, Science, Songs With Handclaps, Space, Telecommunication, Title Not In Lyrics, TMBG Remakes


  • Watch it on Vimeo.png

Available for Purchase[edit]

Site Format Price Download!
MP3 99¢ Purchase
AAC 99¢ Purchase

Free Downloads

Site Format Price Download!

Current Rating

You must be logged in to rate this. You can either login (if you have a userid) or create an account with us today.

The Guitar is currently ranked #186 out of 768. (96 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.70)