Madam, I Challenge You To A Duel

From This Might Be A Wiki
Music video for "Madam, I Challenge You To A Duel"

song name Madam, I Challenge You to a Duel
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Dial-A-Song (2015), Glean
year 2015
first played January 10, 2015 (27 known performances)
run time 1:58
sung by John Flansburgh


  • In an interview with Grantland, Flansburgh said that "The entire conceit of the song is that it’s about an extremely formal person, like the kind of person that would challenge someone to a duel — only that the twist is that they are challenging a lady to a duel, which breaks every code of behavior in the world of dueling. This is not based on a personal experience of mine."
  • A bumpkin is an uneducated individual, especially one from a rural background. In dueling, a second was an acquaintance of a dueling party whose role might include resolving a dispute without violence, ensuring fairness in a duel, or even engaging in a duel with a rival's second.
  • The music video for this song was directed by William Shum of I Think We're Still Thinking, which would later also direct "Unpronounceable" and "The Velvet Ape". The video uses an animation technique called rotoscoping.
  • This song debuted during a live in-studio performance on Michael Shelley's radio program on WFMU, and was released 3 days later on January 13, 2015 via Dial-A-Song (2015). The song was meant to premiere on Slate's The Gist on Monday, January 12, but "Music Jail, Pt. 1 & 2" was mistakenly featured instead. The podcast was reuploaded the following day with "Madam, I Challenge You To A Duel" in place of "Music Jail".
  • This song was tracked on October 21, 2014.[1]
  • Frequently during live performances of this song, Flansburgh asks the audience to hold up their cellphones to illuminate the band for the duration of the song. A similar request is often made during live performances of "Careful What You Pack".

Song Themes

Animals, Bodily Mutilation, Body Parts, Music, Religion, Supernatural, Titles And Honorifics, Violence


  • Watch it on Youtube.png

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.

Madam, I Challenge You To A Duel is currently ranked #488 out of 910. (63 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.13)