From This Might Be A Wiki
Screenshot of the animated video from Gigantic

song name  
artist They Might Be Giants
releases The Frank O' Toole Show, (She Was A) Hotel Detective (EP), Don't Let's Start (Album), Miscellaneous T, Then: The Earlier Years
year 1987
run time 2:33
sung by "Gloria" and a male friend


Back when very few people called Dial-A-Song the phone machine that played the songs took messages. I came home one day and found the message tape full, instead of the ten or twenty messages it usually had. I rewound the tape and found that most of it was taken up by a woman who had called on a conference call with her friend, listened to the song and then proceeded to have a private conversation unaware that the Dial-A-Song machine was recording them. The recording on track thirteen is just an excerpt of the first couple of minutes of their conversation. It actually got much stranger, but it was unrelated to the band, and too freaky to put on a record.
  • The track is just an excerpt of Gloria's phone call. Highlights of the conversation include Gloria asking a friend to explain his theory of "how he can make money off this stuff, cause it don't make no sense," and Gloria calling out to a Russian-sounding man who replies to her asking "Who's There May Be Giants?" by saying back, "What are you talking about?"
  • The band has never been able to locate or identify Gloria. Flansburgh has confirmed the call must have come from the 718 or 212 New York City area codes[1], as three-way calling was only available locally at the time.[2]
  • The ominous backing music at the end of the recording is a sample of "Funebre", an instrumental from Martial Mood / Humorous, Novelty, Titles, a 1971 LP recorded by the Westway Studio Orchestra and released by the Southern Library of Recorded Music. The instrumental was mentioned by Flansburgh in a 2014 Tumblr post:
It was what used to be called "needle drop" music (before that term became redefined to mean the OPPOSITE of it's original meaning) which is to say it was license-free background music made for television, film or commercials. The libraries, cut to vinyl, were often quite expensive—pro-rated for production houses. They covered a lot of ground, from symphonic to "beat combos" to electronic music (often relying on art composers in that field). John and I bought a bunch of these records at a junk store across the street from our apartment on DeKalb Avenue, and used them essentially for their intended purpose. I still have them, and peruse them on occasion for a possible sampling sessions every now and then.
  • This track has appeared on various EPs and compilations, but the track listing usually just leaves a blank space rather than calling it "Untitled".
  • TMBG Clock Radio had two additional excerpts from the Gloria phone recording: Gloria Says "This Guy's A Nut" and Gloria Says "Blast Her Out".
  • An excerpt of the recording was animated for Gigantic (A Tale Of Two Johns).
  • Clips from this conversation were used as the base for the Untitled Remix.
  • Briefly featured in this episode of This American Life.
  • When asked about releasing the conversation in its entirety on a Tumblr post, John Flansburgh said: "[…] It's really really long (25 minutes?) and kind of dithering although the conversation about having the upstair neighbour leaving their tub running over is kind of a NYC classic apartment living disaster scenario."
  • On an old Dial-A-Song recording, an excerpt from this song is used as an intro.[3]

Song Themes

Bad English, Children, Dial-A-Song Reference, Geography, Intros, Language, Non-John Vocals, Questions, Songs With Samples, Spoken Word, Telecommunication


Current Rating

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Untitled is currently ranked #755 out of 1009. (60 wikians have given it an average rating of 7.60)