Album: The Unauthorized Biography Of Reinhold Messner (1999)
Charted: 28

Songfacts®:

  • In this song, Ben Folds is going through a life crisis and is thinking about joining the Army, since nothing else is working out. It is mostly autobiographical: Folds was in a band called Majosha that broke up, with some of the other members forming another band without Ben. He had also been divorced twice by this point ("my ex-wives all despise me").

    He took some liberties in the part about dropping out of college after three semesters, blowing $15000 of his dad's money: He left the University of Miami after just one semester, but he was on scholarship. He also never had a mullet, although he later grew a mini mullet because the hair on the top of his head grows slower than the back. He didn't work at Chick-fil-A, but did have a jog at a Hardee's in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
  • Folds plays this regularly at concerts. He often gets up from his piano and conducts the crowd for the horn part, having them sing the horn lines for him. Depending on the crowd, it sometimes sounds surprisingly good. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ben - Winston-Salem, NC, for above 2
  • The best we can tell, this is the first major-label release to mention Chick-fil-A in the lyrics. The restaurant chain, famously closed on Sundays, later earned mentions in many hip-hop songs and a few country tracks. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood banter about Chick-fil-A in the song "High Life," and Kayne West repeats, "Closed on Sunday, you're my Chick-fil-A" in his track "Closed on Sunday."

Comments: 5

  • Memerose from MacaoThis isn't from any source, but I believe that:
    "I dropped out and joined a band instead" is when he joined the band Majosha. "And in June reformed without me, ans they got a different name" is when the band broke up, and the majority of the band reformed into Bus Stop.
  • Claude from Kingston, MaBen opened up for Tori Amos in Sept of 2003 in Camden, NJ. I didn't know a thing about him at the time, I was there to see Tori. He totally blew Tori away. I've never seen one guy with nothing but a piano captivate an audience the way he did that night. He had 10,000 people in the palm of his hand. Usually when an opening act is playing, people are walking around getting beers and such and half the seats are empty. Not with this guy. He owned that audience. When he played "Army" and split the audience into the horn sections, it was the single most enjoyable moment I've ever had at a concert. I left that show a bigger Ben Folds fan than a Tori fan. He is the greatest showman I've ever seen.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesNo problems I'm the same - was just a typo!
  • Edward Pearce from Ashford, Kent, EnglandSorry to be pernickety, but according to the Guinness Book of Hit Singles it reached #28 not #29 in the UK.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesReached #29 in the UK in April 1999 - his 5th and final UK Top 40 hit between 1995 and 1999 following the success of "Underground" (#37), "Battle Of Who Could Care Less" (#15), "Kate" (#39) and "Brick" (#25)
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