We Want A Rock

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name We Want a Rock
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Flood, Flood + Apollo 18
year 1990
first played December 5, 1989 (158 known performances)
run time 2:47
sung by John Linnell


Uh, there's a little bit of stream of consciousness to writing that one. This sounds really abstract, but in order to begin wrapping a piece of string around itself, you need something to start with. Like a rock. I guess you can make a ball of string starting from nothing if you just make a tiny loop at the end of the string. But it seems theoretically impossible. It's a metaphor for getting started. [...] It was just a general set of loose metaphors. You know, where do you begin? It's a funny conceit, saying everyone has this problem when it's really about the problem of the person singing about wanting a prosthetic forehead. It's hard to make the argument that everybody wants one. You're enlisting everyone else.
  • Linnell in 2009 Rolling Stone interview: "I guess the song is a metaphor. We who have nothing to 'wind string around' are lost in the wilderness. But those who deny this need are 'burning our playhouse down.' If you put quotes around certain words it sounds more like a metaphor."
  • The lyrics to "We Want a Rock" reference the titles of a few songs by other artists:
  • Played over the closing credits of Jake Johannsen: This'll Take About an Hour. It was also used during the closing credits of Wild Chicago, a show on Chicago's PBS station WTTW.

Song Themes

Animals, Artificial Body Parts, Body Parts, Doors, Fire, Forgetting And Remembering, Heads, Money, Music, Oblique Cliches Or Idiom, Puns, Questions, References To Other Songs Or Musicians, Science, Size, This Town, Title Not In Lyrics, TV And Movie Themes, Violence


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.

We Want A Rock is currently ranked #76 out of 1005. (204 wikians have given it an average rating of 9.02)