If Day For Winnipeg

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name If Day for Winnipeg
artist They Might Be Giants
releases BOOK
year 2021
run time 2:13
sung by John Flansburgh


  • If Day was a military exercise on February 19, 1942 in Winnipeg that simulated a Nazi Germany invasion, intended to help fundraise for World War II by inciting fear.
  • Godwin's law (of Nazi analogies) is an internet adage first used in 1990 on newsgroups, which posits that the longer any online conversation goes on, the more likely it will eventually lead to someone making a comparison to Nazis or Adolf Hitler.
  • John Linnell detailed the creation of the song in an interview:[1]
That was a collaboration. John wrote the song, but [it] basically began where I gave him a bunch of tracks. A lot of it was drum sounds that I put through something called a ring modulator, which is a plugin, but it's an audio effect - a kind of extreme distortion. It has this rhythmic element. [...] We'd send stuff back and forth, and I'd send him a bunch of audio things. And that was one that he, I think, felt like suggested some things to him, and he came up with the lyrics and the melody. And then that crazy low brass sound is something he added. He added that himself. I don't know what that is, but it's a terrifying sound.
  • Flansburgh confirmed some of the above details:[2]
It is all electronic actually. A few sounds are sample based but pretty highly filtered, but most of it is synthesis including the tuba sound. And I suspect the "advanced studio technique" that really makes the track kinda of stand apart is the use of ring modulation which is a kind of half trick pony of an effect that creates an inverted set of harmonics to whatever you put in it. I would say it is not that practical--it is often too much right away and just sounds like a fun house mirror on top of a sound, but it works pretty well in If Day.
  • Linnell: "The melody suggests the lyric, rather than the other way around." Flansburgh: "For me it's interesting to participate in the process. If I'm not the acrobat, I get to be the trampoline builder."[3]
  • Flansburgh: "[This song] sounds like an electronic music box powered entirely by nightmare fuel. That is previously uncharted territory for us."[4]
  • The lyrics of the song were released in March 2021 in a video posted to Facebook showing a preview of BOOK's book.

Song Themes

Cities, Clothes, History, Holidays, Microtones, Places (Real), Politics, Title Not In Lyrics, Traded Tracks


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