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This was the result of lead singer David Byrne trying to write an Alice Cooper song, but it came out much more introspective. It ended up being about the thoughts of a murderer.
Part of the chorus and the bridge are in French. The verse translates to "What I did, that evening, what she said, that evening fulfilling my hope I throw myself towards glory." The chorus lyric "Qu'est-ce que c'est?" means "What is this?"
The lyrics were inspired by the character Norman Bates in the movie Psycho.
The "Fa Fa" part comes from an Otis Redding song called "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)
." Redding and other Soul singers were a big influence on Talking Heads.
Byrne wrote this 2 years before it was recorded. It was Talking Heads' first album.
Byrne never thought this would be a hit. He considered it a "silly song" at the time, and was surprised when it took off.
The Tom Tom Club, a group led by former Talking Heads Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, often plays this at their concerts with Tina singing the lead vocal.
This is the first song played in the Talking Heads movie Stop Making Sense.
An acoustic version was the flip side of the single.
This appears on the live albums Stop Making Sense and The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads.
Artist to cover this song include Barenaked Ladies, Phish, Brand New, Local H and Velvet Revolver.
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