Rabid Child

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name Rabid Child
artist They Might Be Giants
releases 1985 Promotional Demo Tape #2, 1985 Promotional Demo Tape #7, 1985 Demo Tape, They Might Be Giants, Then: The Earlier Years
year 1985
first played March 1, 1985 (21 known performances)
run time 1:31
sung by John Flansburgh


  • Flansburgh, commenting on the synthesizer used in the song: "It was from one of two very shiny and brand new synths that belonged to Studio PASS (Public Access Synthesizer Studio) where we made the first half of the first album. It was either the Fairlight (probably most clearly demoed in the opening of Do They Know It's Christmas) OR it was this rack mounted Yamaha [TX816]".[1]
  • TMBG made a music video for "Rabid Child", featuring the Johns and Bill Krauss in masks of Arthur Koestler and Liaquat Ali Khan, and Linnell playing an accordion with a large bicorne-like hat on his head. Much of the video is said to consist of Flansburgh singing into the camera while hugging the wall. The video was recorded in Flansburgh's old apartment with a regular video camera positioned in one room, shooting into his kitchen. The full video has never been released, though a short clip was included in Gigantic as a compromise after AJ Schnack fought for its inclusion in the film's DVD bonus features. "I promised fans that I would ask John and John about including the full piece and I was quickly (but politely) laughed out of the room (or would have been if we had been in the same room)."[2]
  • If you have your "rabbit ears" on you're listening and trying to reach someone on citizens band (CB) radio. The CB slang term "hammer down" means to speed up really fast, similar to "floor it."
  • This song is likely a thematic parody of "Teddy Bear" by Red Sovine, who is also behind the track that likely inspired "Trucker's Coffee". The horrifically cheesy 70s tune details the life of a dying crippled boy who, using the handle "Teddy Bear", befriends a number of truckers over his late father's CB radio.
  • The mix on the 1985 Demo Tape is not drastically different, but is noticeably fuller and warmer than the comparatively flat commercially-released mix. (In fact, compared to the wide-stereo demo tape version, the mix on They Might Be Giants seems almost monaural.)

Song Themes

Animals, Children, Games, Medical, Occupations, People (Imaginary), Recycled Material, Religion, Supernatural, Self-Reference, Size, Songs With Samples, Telecommunication, Transportation


Current Rating

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Rabid Child is currently ranked #528 out of 1009. (158 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.20)