Head Carrier

Album: Head Carrier (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about the third-century French martyr Saint Denis, who is said to have picked his head up after being decapitated and carried on walking.
  • A three-headed monster
    Cut Denny's head right off
    You can't be too chill
    You can't be too zen


    Black Francis explained why he tells the story in hipster vernacular to Mojo: "To me that song's got a kind of Neil young ass-aspect, especially in the chorus, (sings) 'going down the drain again.' It's not like I'm trying to imitate him, but he for some reason – I don't know if he does this or not, I haven't analysed it – it's an impression I have that with some Neil Young songs there's almost something anachronistic about the way he's like a modern dude, talking in his modern dude terminology. So my lyrics go, 'You can't be too chill, you can't be too Zen.' To me, that's modern speak. My kids are always saying, 'Chill the f—k out, dad! Take a chill pill!"
  • Saint Denis was Bishop of Paris in the middle of the third century. He and his companions, Rusticus and Eleutherius were arrested in connection with the Decian persecution of Christians. After a long imprisonment, the trio were executed by beheading. After his martyrdom Denis is said to have carried his head in his hands for two miles and laid it on the spot where the cathedral stands that now bears his name.

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