Metal Detector

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name Metal Detector
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Factory Showroom, John Henry + Factory Showroom
year 1996
first played October 19, 1996 (38 known performances)
run time 3:50
sung by John Linnell


Partly inspired by a zealous guidebook to buried treasure in coastal Maine, the perspective of "Metal Detector" is that beach recreation is frivolous compared to the serious business of treasure hunting. We dug up the dusty but still squawking MicroMoog synthesizer for many of the sounds on this track.
  • John Linnell said on Studio 360 in 2003, "It's based on a book about finding buried treasure in Casco Bay, Maine, written by a complete crackpot, and he uses a metal detector."
  • Based on Linnell's description, the song appears to have been inspired by the 1962 book Buried Treasure of Casco Bay by B.F. Kennedy, Jr, which describes "treasure hunting locations for the modern hunter armed with his metal detector." The book can be read freely online at Project Gutenberg.
  • Linnell wrote the horn charts for this song.[1]
  • This song was played on MSNBC's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" on February 13, 2006 accompanying a story that involved a drug arrest at a metal detector.
  • The metal-detecting YouTuber Deep Digger Dan[2] formerly used this as his opening and closing tune.

Song Themes

Animals, Beach, Everything, Misanthropy, Precious Metal, Sea, Sports, Stories


Current Rating

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Metal Detector is currently ranked #57 out of 1012. (183 wikians have given it an average rating of 9.06)