It's Not My Birthday

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name It's Not My Birthday
artist They Might Be Giants
releases They'll Need A Crane (EP), Ana Ng (Single) [UK Release], Don't Let's Start (Album), Miscellaneous T, Then: The Earlier Years, Podcast 28A, 50,000,000 They Might Be Giants Songs Can't Be Wrong
year 1989
first played June 26, 1987 (81 known performances)
run time 1:52
sung by John Linnell


  • From the Then: The Earlier Years liner notes: "The lyrics for It's Not My Birthday have defied simple interpretation, probably out of irresponsibility or laziness on the part of its young author."
  • The lyrics contain a few pop culture references:
    • "When this gray world crumbles like a cake / I'll be hangin' from the hope / That I'll never see that recipe again"
      • References the 1968 Richard Harris single, "MacArthur Park" (also later referenced in "How Now Dark Cloud"):
        "Someone left the cake out in the rain / I don't think that I can take it 'cause it took so long to bake it / And I'll never have that recipe again"
    • "I'm not the only dust my mother raised" is a combination of:
      • The phrase "raise a dust", primarily spoken in the UK, meaning "to cause disruption, confusion, or turmoil"[1]
      • "I'm the Only Hell (Mama Ever Raised)", a 1977 single by country singer Johnny Paycheck
  • Percentage and proof are the common ways of measuring the alcohol content of a beverage.
  • This track's recording contains a quiet thump about 10 seconds into the track.
  • On the 2006 version of, this song including its lyrics and audio were featured on a "Happy Birthday from TMBG" page (which erroneously stated the song was from the Lincoln album rather than its B-sides).

Song Themes

Colors, Drinking, Food, Funny But Sad, Holidays, Jail And Imprisonment, Oblique Cliches Or Idiom, Oxymorons, Paradoxes, And Contradictory Statements, Puns, Questions, References To Other Songs Or Musicians, Relatives, The Senses, Transportation, Water, Weather


Current Rating

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It's Not My Birthday is currently ranked #50 out of 1009. (222 wikians have given it an average rating of 9.10)