What, Me Worry?

Album: yet to be titled (2022)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • The perpetually downbeat news coming out of America in the early 2020s created a feeling of gloom. The COVID-19 pandemic, unarmed people of color being brutalized by the police, and the US Capitol Riots were some of the disheartening stories coming out of the news feeds. Here, Portugal. The Man frontman John Gourley reacts by trying to shut his ears to all the depressing noise.

    I ain't even trippin', I ain't trippin'
    I'm just dancin' through the door
    What? Me, worry?


    Gourley is in denial, putting on a cheerful front. But like a clown weeping behind his makeup, inside he's fretting.

    Happy as a clown
    What? Me, worry?
    House is burning down
    Don't disturb me
  • As Gourley tries to fool his listeners into believing he's not troubled about the news, the rest of the band joins in the deception. By employing an uptempo instrumentation with trumpet flares, they stress the "What, Me Worry?" message. "It is all about satire and comedy," Gourley told Apple Music. "It is about disconnecting and living life away from the internet and away from the news feed."
  • Portugal. The Man wrote the song with Brent Kutzle, Homer Steinweiss, Tyler Spry and the track's producers, Jeff Bhasker and Ryan Tedder. They took the title from the intellectually incurious motto of Alfred E. Neuman, the fictitious cover boy of the American humor magazine Mad.
  • While recording their ninth album and hanging in LA, the Portugal. The Man members got into a conversation with Jeff Bhasker and Ryan Tedder about how much they missed laughter. As they flipped through Mad magazine, they discussed childhood memories of laughing at the world, while admitting it's been easy in these difficult times to forget the fun in being musicians. Having agreed they missed those happy childhood days, they spent that afternoon making a song about it.
  • "What, Me Worry?" climbed to #1 on Billboard's Adult Alternative Airplay in its fourth week on the chart.
  • Los Güeyes, a pair of artists comprising Josué Rivas and Aaron Brown, directed the music video. It shows Portugal. The Man partying it up in a burning room.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Gary Lewis

Gary LewisSongwriter Interviews

Gary Lewis and the Playboys had seven Top 10 hits despite competition from The Beatles. Gary talks about the hits, his famous father, and getting drafted.

Rickie Lee Jones

Rickie Lee JonesSongwriter Interviews

Rickie Lee Jones on songwriting, social media, and how she's handling Trump.

Devo

DevoSongwriter Interviews

Devo founders Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale take us into their world of subversive performance art. They may be right about the De-Evoloution thing.

Cheerleaders In Music Videos

Cheerleaders In Music VideosSong Writing

It started with a bouncy MTV classic. Nirvana and MCR made them scary, then Gwen, Avril and Madonna put on the pom poms.

Zac Hanson

Zac HansonSongwriter Interviews

Zac tells the story of Hanson's massive hit "MMMbop," and talks about how brotherly bonds effect their music.

Laura Nyro

Laura NyroSongwriting Legends

Laura Nyro talks about her complex, emotionally rich songwriting and how she supports women's culture through her art.