I Left My Body

From This Might Be A Wiki
The winning fan-made video, directed by David Kreutzer

song name I Left My Body
artist They Might Be Giants
releases I Like Fun, Dial-A-Song (2018)
year 2017
first played December 30, 2017 (80 known performances)
run time 2:36
sung by John Linnell


  • John Linnell stated "consciously, with that song, I was sort of, in my mind, ripping off those Iggy Pop albums that David Bowie produced."[1]
  • Linnell also said this about the partial inspiration for the song:[2]
There’s this movie with David Niven where he dies in a plane crash and goes to this enormous, bureaucratic, Kafka-esque heaven where people are going up and down escalators. I love this trope that you have to go to talk to somebody behind a desk and go through all this red tape for a second chance.
  • John Flansburgh on the writing and recording of the song[3]:
John Linnell wrote that one. Obviously, it’s about being disoriented, which seems like a pretty relatable notion right now. Something about the lyric reminds me of Russian novels where the character can’t tell what’s real. It’s kind of from a dream, but it is very familiar and kind of prosaic, but that’s just my interpretation.

The recording was pretty straightforward, although the guitar tracking for no good reason was kind of rough. I am well aware of the expression "It's a poor workman who blames his tools," but we didn’t have a ton of equipment in the studio at various times. When the call was made to record the guitars, I only had my pretty thrashed back-up telecaster that lived at the studio available. I figured out as we went along that guitar was essentially un-tunable so there was a lot of odd compensating in the way I played it just to not have it sound like a solid wall of sour notes. I'm not even sure if the finished result isn't still a fair bit funky, but it does sound big.
  • This song was released on October 22, 2017, along with the track listing for I Like Fun.
  • On November 21, 2017, the band announced[4] a fan-made video contest, similar to those for "Can't Keep Johnny Down" in 2011, "Am I Awake?" in 2014, and "Erase" in 2015. This time, rapper and known TMBG fan Open Mike Eagle served as judge. The winning video was posted to YouTube on March 13, 2018. Open Mike said:
After much consideration the grand prize goes to David Kreutzer. Despite the desperation in the password they chose (you know what you passworded), the heart displayed in this clip was impossible to overlook. The narrative arc is compelling as all heck and the direction and performances are infectious. This is the video that I believe the band would have made for this song.
  • Tungsten rings are noted for their extreme hardness and high resistance to scratching.
  • Linnell sometimes sings "Dr. Bronner's soap" instead of "bat repellent soap" when performing live.

Song Themes

Age, Animals, Artificial Body Parts, Bad English, Body Parts, Forgetting And Remembering, Intelligence, Espionage, Lists, Oblique Cliches Or Idiom, Occupations, Religion, Supernatural, Screaming, Weapons, Writing


  • Watch it on Youtube.png - grand prize (director: David Kreutzer)
  • Watch it on Youtube.png - winner #2 (director: Victor Fitzsimons)
  • Watch it on Youtube.png - winner #3 (director: Sascha Loffl)

Current Rating

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I Left My Body is currently ranked #146 out of 1009. (109 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.87)