Whistling In The Dark

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name Whistling in the Dark
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Flood, Flood + Apollo 18
year 1990
first played November 25, 1989 (235 known performances)
run time 3:25
sung by John Linnell


Trivia/Info

  • On most live versions of the song, John Flansburgh discards his guitar (usually during the accordion solo of the previous song, "Hearing Aid") and picks up a large chest-mounted bass drum, which he strikes zealously through the song.
    • "The bass drum sound was something we actually worked on for quite a while in the studio and we weren't so happy with it even in the end — but I think in our imaginations even an atomic blast would have been too small. We actually recorded it and possibly sampled it so we could retrigger the biggest sound." - John Flansburgh in a 2009 Rolling Stone interview
  • Linnell commented in a 2009 Rolling Stone interview, "I thought it would be funny if there were two guys who have a seemingly brief, hostile interaction and the camera pulls back and they're in jail together. Bear in mind, if you insist on interpreting the words to this peculiar song, that the narrator is comfortable and capable in the role of being what he's like. However, as the wise men say, an 'is' is not an 'ought.'"

Song Themes

Criminal Activities, Fade Out, Heads, Jail And Imprisonment, Mind Control, Hypnotism, Oblique Cliches Or Idiom, Problems With Liner Notes, Tongue-Twisters, Violence

Videos

Current Rating

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Whistling In The Dark is currently ranked #148 out of 845. (92 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.76)