How Can I Sing Like A Girl?

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name How Can I Sing Like a Girl?
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Factory Showroom, Dial-A-Song: 20 Years Of They Might Be Giants, John Henry + Factory Showroom
year 1996
first played April 25, 1996 (256 known performances)
run time 4:32
sung by John Flansburgh; John Linnell sings some harmony


This song is as much about freedom of expression as it is about how to sing high. Its title was inspired by part of TMBG's live show where Flansburgh had to sing in a falsetto to reproduce the sound of a sped-up vocal from a recording called "She Was a Hotel Detective". And so the idea of having "the right to sing like a girl on demand" was born.
  • Flansburgh further bolstered this idea in 2017, saying, "It's for all humans about the state of being human!"[1]
  • The line "I want to raise my freak flag" may refer to the Jimi Hendrix song "If 6 Was 9" ("I'm gonna wave my freak flag high, high!") or the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song "Almost Cut My Hair" ("I feel like letting my freak flag fly").
  • The song was subjected to extensive pre-production, with Pat Dillett mixing the track using a Neve console at Donald Fagen's studio.[2]
  • In live performances since 2011, the song has often been played with accordion accompaniment only, showcasing a more unplugged arrangement rather than a rock tune. In 2018, it was frequently performed during the "Quiet Storm" section in many performances, with acoustic guitar, accordion, and electronic drums, showcasing a mellow arrangement, as opposed to the former.

Song Themes

Animals, Falsetto, Forgetting, Remembering, Freaks, Gender Issues, Loneliness, Music, Pointing, Questions, Windows


Current Rating

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How Can I Sing Like A Girl? is currently ranked #393 out of 910. (93 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.32)