Tymps (the Sick in the Head Song)

Album: Extraordinary Machine (2005)


  • "Tymps" in this case is short for "timpani," which are kettle drums. Fiona wrote the song on a portable Yamaha electric keyboard she had at home, which is something she rarely does, since most of her writing is on a piano. The song had a timpani sound, which is how it got the title.

    Brian Kehew, who co-produced the Extraordinary Machine album, told Songfacts: "It was a temporary title for it called 'Tymps,' because that's how we referenced the song. Then it eventually got subtitled 'Sick in the Head,' because that was one of the funny lyrics in it. But she wrote it that way and it inspired her to create something different than she might have done on the piano."
  • In this song, Fiona looks back on some poor decisions she made regarding a love interest, and wonders if it was love or insanity that was responsible for her actions. Like she did on another track from the album - "Red Red Red" - she sings in colors on this one: "The red isn't the red we painted, it's just rust."
  • The Extraordinary Machine album was leaked on the internet months before its official release. "Tymps" did not appear on the leaked version.


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