Science Is Real
From This Might Be A Wiki
|song name||Science Is Real|
|artist||They Might Be Giants|
|releases||Here Comes Science, Podcast 55|
|first played||October 1, 2009 (30 known performances)|
|sung by||John Flansburgh|
- Video directed by David Cowles and Andy Kennedy.
- One of the only somewhat controversial songs in the They Might Be Giants catalog, because of the lyric "I like the stories about angels, unicorns and elves". A 2009 Examiner article showed how online discussions on Amazon regarding the song were stirring up controversy even prior to the album's release, because of the affirmation to children that angels are fictional and are to be seen in the same light as unicorns and elves.
- Also in 2009, John Linnell spoke with Nature Journal. Answering the question "Your lyrics talk about evolution being real and how stories about angels and unicorns are just that, stories. Did you worry that this might alienate some listeners?":
John Flansburgh took the bull by the horns by writing that song and addressing that situation, which is that religion cannot take the place of science. It's not something you can tiptoe around. It's important that everybody gets what the discussion is about. If we're talking about the history of Earth, we can't rely on religious tradition to tell us all the information. He says it in the song: as beautiful as the stories are, they don't tell us everything we need to know. It's an old complaint on the part of scientists, but it bears repeating.
- A t-shirt was released in September 2009 on the theymightbegiants.com store for this song, featuring fake cover artwork for a non-existent single (see right). The cover artwork is a direct parody of The Louvin Brothers' 1960 Satan is Real album cover (see lower-right), and mimics almost every feature of the original cover, including the addition of a fictional Chemistry Records logo.
- From a 2016 interview with The Irish Times:
Flansburgh laments that science has come to be seen with an aura of suspicion in the US. Or as he puts it, "People still want to get on planes but they don't want to admit science is real."
- In a 2018 interview with Angelus, the publication from the Archidiocese of Los Angeles, Flansburgh stated:
The lyric line in the title track is, "I like those stories about angels, unicorns and elves / I like those stories as much as anybody else." And the truth is, our creative lives are really wrapped up in imaginary things, but also literary things and symbolic things. I'm not a spiritual person by formal definition, but both John and I think about literary ideas and philosophical ideas, and abstract ideas that are mysterious and elusive, and we're preoccupied with creative stuff. Some of it is fantastical; a lot of it is just fictitious. A lot of our songs are written from the point of view of an unreliable narrator. The lyric might seem cavalier, but I would really beg for people to take it exactly at face value.
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Science Is Real is currently ranked #430 out of 910. (48 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.25)