Nanobots (Song)

From This Might Be A Wiki
Official music video

song name Nanobots
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Nanobots
year 2013
first played December 29, 2012 (95 known performances)
run time 2:46
sung by John Linnell; John Flansburgh backs


  • A sleeper cell is a group of sleeper agents placed in a location so that their services can be called upon later if necessary, rather than for immediate action.
  • The lyric "All I see is pictures of matchstick men" is a reference to the 1967 hit song "Pictures of Matchstick Men" originally by the English rock band Status Quo and made famous by Camper Van Beethoven who covered the song on their 1989 album Key Lime Pie. TMBG also covered the song in 1992 after being requested.
  • Like the song "Women & Men", this song describes exponential reproduction that eventually leads to (and the song ends with) a next generation of offspring that begins the cycle anew, including a closing metaphor in which they are compared to an ocean or wave. John Linnell said of the song in an interview with Buzzine:
I'll tell you what it's really about: it's about reproducing, which is always on my mind because I have a fourteen-year-old. On the one hand it seems like this perfectly natural thing to have children, and on the other hand there's something so odd about that as a kind of behavior. You could almost say that's all that humans and other animals have been doing all this time, is just making more of ourselves. And it's not at all clear what the point of any of that is. But it's a process that brings up this notion of how much control you have, because – I think this is the cliché with nanotechnology – is that once you get it going, it just takes over and has a mind of its own, and you don't have any control anymore. Which is very similar to the experience of having kids.

Song Themes

Altered Voice, Body Parts, Colors, Food, Forgetting And Remembering, Onomatopoeia, Plans, Questions, Reading, Recursion, References To Other Songs Or Musicians, Robots, Science, Time, Transportation, Water


Current Rating

You must be logged in to rate this. You can either login (if you have a userid) or create an account with us today.

Nanobots (Song) is currently ranked #74 out of 1009. (132 wikians have given it an average rating of 9.03)