Chess Piece Face

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name Chess Piece Face
artist They Might Be Giants
releases They Might Be Giants, Then: The Earlier Years
year 1986
first played October 19, 1985 (65 known performances)
run time 1:21
sung by John Flansburgh


This guy I worked with had Elephant Man's disease. It really affected me, because I could barely stand to look at him. I tried to wonder what his life would be like. Everything he does is defined by his appearance. The song came out of that wondering, though it's not exactly about him. It's the closest thing to a sincere, sad song on the album.
  • When asked on Twitter in 2017 if Flansburgh ever found out what happened to Chess Piece Face, he replied "no one knows" as Flansburgh left that job in 1984.[1]
  • In the comments of an October 2017 TMBG Facebook post, John Flansburgh commented that the song's title "was an abstract way to describe a disfiguring disease."[2]

Song Themes

Body Parts, Dreams, Games, Oblique Cliches, People (Imaginary), Questions, Recycled Material, Sailing


Current Rating

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Chess Piece Face is currently ranked #717 out of 910. (102 wikians have given it an average rating of 7.41)