From This Might Be A Wiki

It's not likely that TMBG are backmasking satanic instructions (They Might Be Giants are not Satanists!*), however, there is some playing with backwards recording and backwards themes.

Backwards singing[edit]

Entire song[edit]


  • 25 O'Clock - A portion is played backwards and also slowed down and sped up. It apparently name-checks some of XTC's contemporaries, such as Adam Ant.
  • Hearing Aid - The intro appears to be the words "Your Mercy" played backwards, then forwards.
  • I'll Sink Manhattan - Message from a NYPD officer played backwards: "'Thanks a lot guys. From the NYPD. We love you.'"
  • Subliminal - Part of the chorus turned backwards at the end of the song.
  • Which Describes How You're Feeling (Demo) - Halfway through there's a backwards section. Played in reverse, it says, "They Might Be Giants wanted to include a verse about the suffering people of the world, but we couldn't figure out where to put it into the song."

Singing backwards[edit]

  • Dinner Bell - The listing of body parts ("Shoulder, bicep, elbow, arm. Forearm, thumb, wrist, knuckle, palm. Middle, pinky, index, ring.") was recorded. That tape was played backwards and the Johns learned to imitate that backwards speech phonetically. They then sang that into a tape and reversed that tape. So it ends up forwards.

Pretending to sing backwards[edit]

Backwards music[edit]

Backwards as a central theme[edit]

  • Destination Moon - The chorus describes how to get to the moon, backwards.
  • ECNALUBMA - Backwards title, and the music video consists of reversed footage of a parade
  • I Palindrome I - a few words that are spelled the same forward and backwards, and a few phrases with the same sequence of words forward and backwards.
  • The Neck Rolls Aren't Working - In the final verse involves the narrator noticing time moving backward.
  • Z Y X - the alphabet backwards.

Briefly mentioned[edit]