Youth Culture Killed My Dog

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name Youth Culture Killed My Dog
artist They Might Be Giants
releases They Might Be Giants, Then: The Earlier Years, Best Of The Early Years
year 1986
first played July 7, 1983 (36 known performances)
run time 2:51
sung by John Flansburgh, John Linnell sings some back-up


  • Flansburgh has said he wrote this song while riding his bike through Brooklyn. This was also mentioned in a January 1985 article from The Bob:
"Youth Culture Killed My Dog", for example, was written by John, who, while riding through Brooklyn on his bike, sang the tune into his Sony cassette recorder. It was conceived to be their "monster hit" closer for the show, and still, John concedes, the title came out quirky.
  • The 1985 Demo Tape version of this song featured a searing electric guitar, which was replaced by an acoustic guitar for the album version due to track constraints. "To this day we can't remember why we did that, but it's too late to go back and change it." - John & John
  • In an interview appearing in the December 1985 issue of Spin, Flansburgh said:
Look at our song 'Youth Culture Killed My Dog.' It isn't about whether we feel we're on the inside track or the outside track. It's about the horrible feeling you get from other people telling you you're on the outside track. That's the whole point of scene—all these things are meant to make people feel bad. That's the problem.
The version of "Youth Culture" on the Pink Album was the fourth time that song was recorded! That's unusual; most of the ones on that record were the third time they were recorded. Actually, if you consider Dial-A-Song, it could be one more version. Usually there would be a Dial-A-Song version, and then some other ones.
  • Flansburgh claims that Elvis Costello cited this as one of his favorite They Might Be Giants songs. (Costello came close to producing Apollo 18.)
  • In a 1992 interview with French magazine Another View, when asked about the inspiration for the song, Flansburgh said (translated from published text):
It was actually a true story. For some years, I had a dog called Iggy. He got his name from the fact that any time he heard I Wanna Be Your Dog by The Stooges, he couldn’t help but bite… One day, while I was shopping at the local supermarket with Iggy, only the first measures of I Wanna Be Your Dog had come out of the store’s loudspeaker and Iggy had already jumped on a panicked housewife. After that, I had to put him down. That’s why I wrote that song, as an homage to my poor Iggy.

Song Themes

Animals, Colors, Death, Fade Out, Games, Mind Control, Hypnotism, Music, References To Other Songs Or Musicians, Violence, Writing


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Youth Culture Killed My Dog is currently ranked #410 out of 1005. (136 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.42)