Your Racist Friend

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name Your Racist Friend
artist They Might Be Giants
releases Flood, Your Racist Friend (Promo), Dial-A-Song: 20 Years Of They Might Be Giants, A User's Guide To They Might Be Giants: Melody, Fidelity, Quantity, Rhino Hi-Five: They Might Be Giants, Flood + Apollo 18, 50,000,000 They Might Be Giants Songs Can't Be Wrong
year 1990
first played June 17, 1988 (469 known performances)
run time 2:54
sung by John Flansburgh, John Linnell


  • "The song is a composite of experiences, and really about the relativistic backpedaling people go through trying to get through this creepy world. This song is really wrapped up in the problem of tacit agreement, and the line 'Can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding' just sums it up." - Flansburgh in a 2009 interview with Rolling Stone.
  • The song title unwittingly borrows from The Specials song "Racist Friend" - in 2015, John Linnell told Tom Robinson, "We didn't know that we were writing an identically named song when we came out with it. We found out later that there was already a song by that name."
  • "My head can't tolerate" is often replaced with "My head is tired of" in live performances.
  • Australian singer Mick Thomas occasionally covers this in concert; one such performance is featured on the 2007 live album Paddock Bomb. It has also been covered by Australian punk band Bodyjar.

Song Themes

Bad English, Body Parts, Drinking, Egoism And Pretentiousness, Friendship, Heads, Oblique Cliches Or Idiom, Politics, Religion, Swing Feel


  • Live at The Town & Country Club, London England. Watch it on Youtube.png – Recorded live on June 17, 1990

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Your Racist Friend is currently ranked #356 out of 1005. (160 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.48)