We Want A Rock
|song name||We Want a Rock|
|artist||They Might Be Giants|
|releases||Flood, Flood + Apollo 18|
|first played||December 5, 1989 (157 known performances)|
|sung by||John Linnell|
Uh, there's a little bit of stream of consciousness to writing that one. This sounds really abstract, but in order to begin wrapping a piece of string around itself, you need something to start with. Like a rock. I guess you can make a ball of string starting from nothing if you just make a tiny loop at the end of the string. But it seems theoretically impossible. It's a metaphor for getting started. [...] It was just a general set of loose metaphors. You know, where do you begin? It's a funny conceit, saying everyone has this problem when it's really about the problem of the person singing about wanting a prosthetic forehead. It's hard to make the argument that everybody wants one. You're enlisting everyone else.
- Linnell in 2009 Rolling Stone interview: "I guess the song is a metaphor. We who have nothing to 'wind string around' are lost in the wilderness. But those who deny this need are 'burning our playhouse down.' If you put quotes around certain words it sounds more like a metaphor."
- The lyrics to "We Want a Rock" reference the titles of a few songs by other artists:
- "If I Were a Carpenter", a 1967 song by Tim Hardin, famously covered by many artists including Johnny Cash
- "I'm Gonna Burn Your Playhouse Down", a 1959 song originally performed by George Jones and written by Lester Blackwell, later covered by The Proclaimers
- The title echoes the 1984 Twisted Sister song I Wanna Rock
- Played over the closing credits of Jake Johannsen: This'll Take About an Hour. It was also used during the closing credits of Wild Chicago, a show on Chicago's PBS station WTTW.
Animals, Artificial Body Parts, Body Parts, Doors, Fire, Forgetting And Remembering, Heads, Money, Music, Oblique Cliches Or Idiom, Puns, Questions, References To Other Songs Or Musicians, Science, Size, This Town, Title Not In Lyrics, TV And Movie Themes, Violence
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We Want A Rock is currently ranked #85 out of 910. (166 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.92)