We're The Replacements

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name We're the Replacements
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Dial-A-Song, Don't Let's Start (EP), Don't Let's Start (Album), Miscellaneous T, Then: The Earlier Years, Giants Jubilee, Selections From Then, Best Of The Early Years, Dial-A-Song: 20 Years Of They Might Be Giants, A User's Guide to They Might Be Giants: Melody, Fidelity, Quantity, 50,000,000 They Might Be Giants Songs Can't Be Wrong
year 1987
first played March 1, 1990 (117 known performances)
run time 1:50
sung by John Linnell; John Flansburgh sings backup


I wrote "Ana Ng" and "We're The Replacements" while crashing at a friend's apartment, Jonathan Gregg, in Manhattan. [...] It was supposed to be this sort of light-hearted, "Hey, Hey, We're The Monkees" type of thing. I was listening to his records and looking at his stuff -- and he had a copy of Let It Be by The Replacements, which is what kind of got me going on that song.
  • "We're the Replacements, a carefree tribute to the now legendary rockers, immediately grabbed the rock media's attention, all the way to MTV, where a VJ made an aside that introduced TMBG as former roadies for The Replacements, creating a groundless urban legend that continues to this day." — Then: The Earlier Years liner notes
  • The band made light of the rumor in a 1988 Spin article, "Nineteen Questions They Might Be Giants are Waiting to Hear." One of the questions is, "If you're not roadies for the Replacements, which band is?"
  • Aside from that, TMBG have actually made many statements indicating that this song has little to do with The Replacements (the band), but rather just life on the road. John Flansburgh from a Barrymore Theatre interview:
[The song] basically plays on the name, The Replacements. And it's about being in a band, and it uses The Replacements as an example, but it's also about the replaceable nature of being on the road. Like, everywhere where we're playing this week, another band is gonna play next week, so there are all these bands that are kind of marching around in a parallel universe and they never really meet each other. But... I mean, for months we were on the road behind 10,000 Maniacs. We were playing the same cities, and in a lot of cases, the same venues -- but just, like, a day before, or a day after. And so... you just come to realize that you have more in common with the death metal band than you ever thought, in terms of where you go. Every hotel you've stayed at, they were there the day before. Every highway you drive down, every truckstop you go in, every... venue you play, every PA guy you meet -- they've JUST MET these other people, who you thought you had nothing in common with, and then you realize you're living the same LIFE as [that other band]. So... the denotation of The Replacements is kind of a pun.

Song Themes

Music, Puns, Questions, References To Other Songs Or Musicians, Screaming, Transportation


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We're The Replacements is currently ranked #342 out of 1009. (89 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.52)