Nightgown Of The Sullen Moon

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name Nightgown of the Sullen Moon
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, Selections From Then, Dial-A-Song: 20 Years Of They Might Be Giants, 50,000,000 They Might Be Giants Songs Can't Be Wrong
year 1989
run time 1:59
sung by John Linnell


  • Nightgown of the Sullen Moon is a children's book, but Linnell didn't know it when he wrote the song. Linnell, in a 2002 interview on WBUR:
Nightgown of the Sullen Moon is a song that... there was a misunderstanding about the origin of that. Somebody showed me a drawing that their kid had done. I think I had this sort of fantasy of doing a "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" kind of thing. I was like "oh, it's cute, what an amazing expression for a kid, and of course no adult could ever think of something as interesting as that." So I cook up this whole song, and then it turned out it was the name of a children's book.
  • Though no specific performances have been found or noted by fans in archival setlists, John Flansburgh stated on Tumblr in 2022 that the song was performed live, likely in the '80s:
We have played "Nightgown of the Sullen Moon" at least a couple of times, but didn’t carry on performing it. That song's reputation has grown so much since it was recorded!
  • In issue #36 of Coraline-creator Neil Gaiman's Sandman ("Over the Sea to Sky"), DJ Barbara Wong of WRAT New York is heard announcing this song on her pre-dawn radio show.
  • The line "There's a feeling of boredom, of the big whoredom" alludes to the early TMBG song "The Big Big Whoredom," collected on Then: The Earlier Years.

Song Themes

Body Parts, Clothes, Doors, Drugs, Falling, Fire, Forgetting And Remembering, Hands, Heads, Recycled Material, Science, Size, Space, Super-Human Qualities, Time, Windows


Current Rating

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Nightgown Of The Sullen Moon is currently ranked #45 out of 1009. (191 wikians have given it an average rating of 9.11)