Lucky Ball & Chain

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name Lucky Ball & Chain
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Flood, Lucky Ball & Chain (Promo), Flood + Apollo 18
year 1990
first played November 25, 1989 (190 known performances)
run time 2:46
sung by John Flansburgh; John Linnell sings some harmony


  • Flansburgh told Pitchfork magazine in 1996:
    The title of the song was kind of the spark behind the writing of the thing. It's just kind of an unhappy lyric. It's suggestive to give it kind of a country treatment and in a way, it's kind of genre piece. It's a very typical country-western song and then it has this adult sadness kind of disappointed in life kind of lyric to it. It's not like 'I'm gonna kill myself' kind of lyrics, but it's like, 'This really sucks.' [...] And I realize now that it probably falls under the category of happy music just because it is this kind of up-tempo country song, but when I was putting it together, I wasn't thinking, 'Oh, this'll be a great contrast.'
  • Flansburgh in a 2009 Rolling Stone interview: "We have a lot of unreliable narrators strolling around our songs. This one isn't so unreliable. It's a simple regret song — kind of a 'Here's to the one that got away' song — but the idea really turned on the title, which is very much in that country-western tradition."
  • The line "There goes the bride as she walked out the door" is a musical reference to the song "Today I Met The Boy I'm Gonna Marry"[1] by Darlene Love, which contains the line "Here comes the bride when he walked through the door".
  • In the 1992 Discworld novel Lords and Ladies, a conversation between two characters includes the exchange "I was young and foolish then." "Well? You're old and foolish now." The author, Terry Pratchett, was a known fan of TMBG.

Song Themes

Addiction, Compulsion, Body Parts, Conservatism, Age, Doors, Drinking, Funny But Sad, Hands, Jail And Imprisonment, Loneliness, Love Gone Sour, Numbers, Problems With Liner Notes, Questions, Real Estate, References To Other Songs Or Musicians, Size, Weapons


Current Rating

You must be logged in to rate this. You can either login (if you have a userid) or create an account with us today.

Lucky Ball & Chain is currently ranked #209 out of 1010. (142 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.75)