Hide Away Folk Family

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name Hide Away Folk Family
artist They Might Be Giants
releases They Might Be Giants, Then: The Earlier Years, Best Of The Early Years
year 1986
first played February 7, 1987 (64 known performances)
run time 3:21
sung by John Flansburgh; John Linnell sings back up


  • "To achieve the odd vocal rhythm of the astrology report... Flansburgh's voice was blasting in his headphones on a 2 second delay, a technique inspired by a visit to Boston's Museum of Science, while the 'backwards' singing at the end was carefully worked out and rehearsed." - John & John
  • Linnell on the 'backwards' singing: "It's just me and John [Flansburgh] singing forward. We're just going "nyahp, nyah, nyip, nyahp," that's all it is. One of the instruments or something is actually backwards on that song, though." (Pitchfork Magazine, 1996)
  • From The Early Years Handbook: "The 'Sadly, The Cross-Eyed Bear' of 'Hide Away, Folk Family' fame is, in fact, a Catholic-school pun. In an old hymn, the line 'Gladly the Cross I'd bear' is sung—mutated by Sunday school smartasses into 'Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear'. In keeping with the song's disconsolate tone, the bear's name was changed to 'Sadly'." This is a popular example of a mondegreen.
  • When performed live, the audience is ordered to "scream as if you're in Hell!" during the bridge. This is one of the few audience participation bits that has persisted over the band's career.
  • Lesley Down is a British actor and singer who starred in a number of films and TV programs from the 1970s and 80s.

Song Themes

Animals, Backwards, Clothes, Death, Doors, Guy Songs, Long, Long, Oblique Cliches Or Idiom, Paranoia, People (Real), Plans, Puns, Reading, Relatives, Religion, Supernatural, Sleep, Talking, Not Singing, Tongue-Twisters, Transportation


Current Rating

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Hide Away Folk Family is currently ranked #355 out of 910. (117 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.41)