They Might Be Giants


In this 1988 release, John and John provide an odd, but lively twist to their music. This album, another one of my personal favorites, contains great songs like Cowtown, Purple Toupee, and They'll Need A Crane. Jump on over to the TMBG Sampler to hear a verse or two of these great hits!

All songs written by They Might Be Giants (John Linnell and John Flansburgh). Drums on "Lie Still, Little Bottle" performed by: Dr. Kenneth Nolan. "Kiss Me, Son Of God" featuring members of: The Ordinaires. All lyrics are copyright 1988 by They Might Be Giants Music. Permission to reprint lyrics pending.

They Might Be Giants' Dial-A-Song awaits you! Call (718)387-6962.

They Might Be Giants
PO Box 110553
Williamsburg Station
Brooklyn, New York 11211-0003


* Ana Ng
* Cowtown
* Lie Still, Little Bottle
* Purple Toupee
* Cage & Aquarium
* Where Your Eyes Don't Go
* Piece Of Dirt
* Mr. Me
* Pencil Rain
* They'll Need A Crane
* Shoehorn With Teeth
* Stand On Your Own Head
* Snowball In Hell
* Kiss Me, Son Of God
* The World's Address
* I've Got A Match
* Santa's Beard
* You'll Miss Me

Ana Ng...

Make a hole with a gun perpendicular to the name of this town in a desk-top globe
Exit wound in a foreign nation showing the home of the one this was written for
My apartment looks upside down from there
Water spirals the wrong way out the sink
And her voice is a backwards record
It's like a whirlpool, it never ends

Ana Ng and I are getting old
And we still haven't walked in the glow of each other's majestic presence
Listen Ana hear my words
They're the ones you would think I would say if there was a me for you

All alone at the '64 World's Fair
Eighty dolls yelling "Small girl after all"
Who was at the Dupont Pavilion?
Why was the bench still warm? Who had been there?
Or the time when the storm tangled up the wires
To the horn on the pole at the bus depot
And in the back of the edge of hearing
these are the words the voice was repeating:


when I was driving once I saw this painted on a bridge:
"I don't want the world, I just want your half"

They don't need me here, and I know you're there
Where the world goes by like the humid air
And it sticks like a broken record
Everything sticks until it goes away
And the truth is, we don't know anything



I'm going down to Cowtown
Cow's a friend to me
Lives beneath the ocean and that's where I'll be
Beneath the waves, the waves
And that's where I'll be
I'm going to see the cow beneath the sea

The yellow Roosevelt Avenue leaf overturned
The ardor of arboreality is an adventure we have spurned, we've spurned
A new leaf overturned
It's a new leaf overturned


We yearn to swim for home, but our only home is bone
How sleepless in the egg knowing that which throws the stone
Foresees the bone, the bone
Our only home is bone
Our only home is bone


Lie Still, Little Bottle...

Lie still, little bottle, and shake my shaky hand
Black coffee's not enough for me, I need a better friend
One pill at the bottom is singing my favorite song
I know I must investigate
I hope that I can sing along

There is no time for metaphors cried the little pill to me
He said, "Life is a placebo masquerading as a simile"
I knew that pill was lying
Too gregarious, too nice
But as he walked I had to sing this twice

Lie still, little bottle
Don't twist, it ain't twistin' time
With every move you make you just disintegrate my ever-troubled mind

Purple Toupee...

I remember the year I went to camp
I heard about some Lady named Selma and some Blacks
Somebody put the fingers in the President's ears
It wasn't too much later they came out with Johnson's wax
I remember the book depository where they crowned the king of Cuba
That's all I can think of, but I'm sure there's something else
Way down inside me I can hear it coming back

Purple toupee will show the way when summer brings you down
Purple toupee and gold lame will turn your brain around

Chinese people were fighting in the park
We tried to help them fight, no one appreciated that
Martin X was mad when they outlawed bell bottoms
Ten years later they were sharing the same cell
I shouted out, "Free the Expo '67"
Till they stepped on my hair, and told me I was fat
Now I'm very big, I'm a big important man
The only thing that's different is underneath my hat


Purple toupee is here to stay after the hair has gone away
The purple brigade is marching from the grave

Cage and Aquarium...

Somebody's reading your mind
Damned if you know who it is
they're digging through all of your files
Stealing back your best ideas
You cover your windows with lead
Even keeping the pets outside
Then you hear a moment too late this sound coming over the phone

"This is the spawning of the cage and aquarium
Don't wait a moment too soon
Used to be different, now you're the same
Yawn as your plane goes down in flames
this is the spawning of the cage and aquarium
Don't wait a moment too soon
Used to be different, now you're the same
Yawn as your plane goes down in flames"

Where Your Eyes Don't Go...

Where your eyes don't go a filthy scarecrow waves its broomstick arms
And does a parody of each unconscious thing you do
When you turn around to look it's gone behind you
On its face it's wearing your confused expression

Where your eyes don't go a part of you is hovering
It's a nightmare that you'll never be discovering
You're free to come and go or talk like Kurtis Blow
But there's a pair of eyes in back of your head

Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders
What the part that isn't thinking isn't thinking of
should you worry when the skullhead is in front of you
Or is it worse because it's always waiting where your eyes don't go?

Piece of Dirt...

Piece of dirt, that is all I'm standing on today
Piece of dirt, my whole world has slipped away

I would climb the highest mountain just to jump into a fountain
Or to fly, I'd fly away
A woman's voice on the radio can convince you you're in love
A woman's voice on the telephone can convince you you're alone
But I set my sails so long ago they've revoked my sailor's badge
Said I should be content and happy on this ink spot where I stand

Piece of dirt
I made it prettier today
Piece of dirt, it was that or just complain
I find myself haunted by a spooky man named me
I wish that I could jump pout of my skin

Mr. Me...

Once a boy named Mister Me bemoaned a great regret:
"I've floundered in the misty sea, but can't abide it's mystery,
I wound up sad, you bet"
So onward go and Edward Ho into the bounding main
Enjoy the show look out below but mind the misty sea
Or end up like Mister Me

He ended up sad
He ended up sad
He ended up really, really, really sad

So take the hand of Mister Me and mister,
Make him glad to swim the Mister Misty Sea and case
The Mister Mystery that mister, made him sad

Pencil Rain...

The possible dream
Finale of seem
The moment that some call eternal that some call insane
now helmets on each head awaiting the first lead
The pageant is named the pencil rain

The infantry stands
And holds out its hands
The marshal's binoculars focus and skyward they train
They're searching the yonder blue
They look out for number two
The heraldry of the pencil rain

And now hear the roar that none can ignore
The thunderous clatter of splintering wood and lives that are claimed
And one who have witnessed all
Can think of a nobler cause than perishing in the pencil rain

The World's Address...

I know you deceived me, couldn't sleep last night
Now my tear stains on the wall reflect an ugly sight
I can see your secrets
No need to confess
Everyone looks naked when you know the world's address

The world's address
It's a place that's warm
A sad pun that reflects a sadder mess
I'll repeat it for those who may not have already guessed
the world's address

Life's parade of fashion just leaves me depressed
Under very garment I can see the world's address
Call the men of science and let them hear this song
tell them Albert Einstein and Copernicus were wrong


I've Got a Match...

Get out of the car
Put down the phone
Take off that stupid looking hat you wear
I'm going to die if you touch me one more time
Well I guess that I'm going to die no matter what

Love people are there
The smell of love everywhere
You think it's always sensitive and good
You think that I want to be understood

I've got a match
Your embrace and my collapse
Beat up the cat if you need someone else on the mat

I put a rock in the coffee in your coffee mug
Which one of us is the one that we can't trust?
You say I think it's you but I don't agree with that
Love people are there
The smell of love everywhere
why can't you be sensitive and good
Why don't you want to be understood


Santa's Beard...

Once a year my friend puts on a red suit
And hangs around with me and my wife
But lately I've been feeling jealous each time she climbs on his knee
And she stands beneath the mistletoe screaming
For him to stand beneath the mistletoe screaming
Now I can't help but feeling jealous each time she climbs on his knee
Why must she climb on his knee?

I saw my baby wearing Santa's beard
She kissed him once and whispered in his ear
I saw my baby wearing Santa's beard
I whish he would go
He's breaking up my home

She always had this twisted side to her
But she'd never drag my name around town
But lately she's been humming cheating songs
And I don't like that fat guy around
No, I don't like that fat guy around
Thrilling Christmas, trembling fear


You'll Miss Me...

You'll always miss my big old body
In its prime and never shoddy,
While bloodhounds wait down in the lobby you'll eulogize my big old body

You'll miss me in effigies
lighting up your house like Xmas trees
As tears roll down below your knees
You'll miss me with effigies

Go find a man to fit my shoes
Left one's on and the right one's new
And I bought the right one just for you
Go find a man to fit my shoes

Your money talks but my genius walks
Morticians wait with a shovel and a fork
As detectives trace my hands with chalk
Your money talks but my genius walks

You'll miss me, but I'm already dead
It must be raining because a man ain't supposed to cry
But I look up and I don't see a cloud

They'll Need a Crane...

Love sees love's happiness
But happiness can't see that love is sad
Sadness is hanging there
To show love somewhere something needs a change

They'll need a crane, they'll need a crane
to take the house he built for her apart
To make it break it's going to take a metal ball hung from a chain
They'll need a crane, they'll need a crane
To pick the broken ruins up again
to mend her heart, to help him start to see a world apart from pain

Lad's gal is all he has
Gal's gladness hang's upon the love of lad
Some thins gal says to lad aren't meant as bad
But Cause a little pain
Don't call me at work again no no the boss still hates me
I'm just tired and I don't love you anymore
And there's a restaurant we should check out where
The other nightmare people like to go --
I mean nice people, baby wait,
I didn't mean to say nightmare


Lad looks at other gals
Gal thinks Jim beam is handsomer than lad
He isn't bad
Call off the wedding band
nobody wants to hear that song again
Play that again


Shoehorn with Teeth...

He wants a shoehorn, the kind with teeth
People should get beat up for stating their beliefs
He wants a shoehorn, the kind with teeth
Because he knows there's no such thing

He asks a girl if they can both sit in a chair but he doesn't get nervous
She's not really there
Tour the world in a heavy metal band
But they run out of gas
the plane can never land
What's the sense in ever thinking about the tomb
When you're much too busy returning too the womb?

Stand on Your Own Head...

I like people, they're the ones who can't stand
I see smoke signals coming from them
They say "we are out of furniture"
Stand on your own head for a change
Give me some skin to call my own
You made my day, now you have to sleep on it
I love the world and if I have to sue for custody,
I will sue for custody

Snowball in Hell...

Avalanche or roadblock, I was a snowball in hell
Avalanche or roadblock, a jailer trapped in his cell

Money's all broke, and food's going hungry
If it wasn't for disappointment
I wouldn't have any appointments
have a nice day, you want it when?
Have a nice day, have a nice day
Money I owe, money-iy-ay, money I owe, money-iy-ay


Kiss Me, Son of God...

I built a little empire out of some crazy garbage
Called the blood of the exploited working class
But they've overcome their shyness
Now they're calling me your highness
And the world screams, "Kiss me, Son of God"

I destroyed a bond of friendship and respect
between the only people left who'd even look me in the eye
now I laugh and make a fortune
Off the same ones that I tortured
and a world screams, "Kiss me, Son of God"

I look like Jesus, so they say
But Mr. Jesus is very far away
now you're the only one here who can tell me if it's true
That you love me and I love me

I built a little empire out of some crazy garbage
Called the blood of the exploited working class
But they've overcome their shyness
Now they're calling me Your Highness
And the world screams, "Kiss me, Son of God"


[ crhp ]

©1999 Craig R. Hansen, All Rights Reserved.
All materials ©1994 Elektra Entertainment, a division of Warner Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved.