From This Might Be A Wiki

song name Ondine
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Dial-A-Song, Power Of Dial-A-Song II: More Power To You, Back To Skull, TMBG Clock Radio, Podcast 43, John Henry + Factory Showroom
year 1994
first played April 21, 1993 (13 known performances)
run time 2:31
sung by John Flansburgh; John Linnell sings harmony during the chorus


  • John Flansburgh on the song in a 1999 eMusic fan interview: "'Ondine' is a french name, and I went to college with a woman by that name, but the character in the song is fictitious."
  • This song was omitted from the European release of Back To Skull.
  • Dial-A-Song recordings of the song include spoken word parts that aren't present in the final version. During the intro Flansburgh says "I, Ronald Milhous President, do declare amnesty for all impersonators," and at the end, "This message is sponsored by public access."
  • Ondine was a water nymph in a European folk tale who was adultered. She cursed her unfaithful partner so that he could not breathe if he fell asleep. The disease Ondine's Curse is named after her.
  • John Flansburgh on Tumblr in 2022. "I wish we had worked a little longer on Ondine-I'm not in love with the recording or the arrangement and I think that could have been a much better song done differently."

Song Themes

Criminal Activities, Death, Dreams, Killing Someone Again, Love Gone Sour, Mythology, People (Imaginary), Recycled Material


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.

Ondine is currently ranked #158 out of 1010. (84 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.85)