My Name Is Mud

Album: Pork Soda (1993)

Songfacts®:

  • A classic of the psycho hillbilly alternative prog funk genre, "My Name Is Mud" finds Primus frontman Les Claypool in character as Mud, a deranged fellow who kills a guy by beating him with a baseball bat. Claypool says the guys in the song are tweekers (addicted to meth), and when they get in a fight over something stupid, one of them kills the other. The 1986 movie River's Edge was an influence.
  • The line, "Where you goin' city boy?," which shows up at the 3:35 mark, comes from the 1972 movie Deliverance, which is filled with terrifying hillbillies. In the scene, two guys from Atlanta are out in the sticks looking for a river so they can canoe. They get lost and encounter a local who delivers that line.
  • This was the first single from the third Primus album, Pork Soda. The band didn't fit any specific genre, but that was an asset in 1993, when hip-hop, grunge and metal were colliding. The album sold over a million copies and rose to #7 in the US; Primus got the gig headlining Lollapalooza, a celebration of the strange. "My Name Is Mud" became one of their most popular songs, and a sturdy staple of their setlists.
  • The video, directed by Mark Kohr, finds Les Claypool playing "Mud" rather convincingly, looking suitably unhinged as he stands over a grave.
  • This isn't the first Primus song about meth-heads; their 1991 track "Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers" is about construction workers that show up for work after doing some crank.
  • Woodstock 1994 was a muddy festival, so you can probably guess what happened when Primus performed this song. Predictably, a cascade of mud came from the crowd as soon as Les Claypool sang the opening line. He stopped the song to admonish the crowd.

    "Boy, I opened a big-ass can of worms with that one," he said. "The song is called 'My Name Is Mud,' but keep the mud to yourselves you son of a bitch. You know, when you throw things up on stage, it's a sign of small and insignificant genitalia."

    The band resumed and got through the song without incident.
  • There's an old story that the expression "my name is mud" derives from Dr. Samuel Mudd, who unwisely took pity on Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Mudd treated the broken ankle Booth suffered in his leap to the stage of Ford's Theater; for his trouble, he was sentenced to life in a federal prison. But Mudd isn't being commemorated in "his name is mud." The phrase first appeared in print in 1820, 45 years before Lincoln's assassination. It probably originates in another obscure bit of English slang -- "mud" was an eighteenth century equivalent of our "dope" or "dolt" and was used through the nineteenth century by union workers as a rough equivalent of "scab." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Storyville, United States

Comments: 34

  • Jeffytheboy from Sudbury Canada He for sure killed his friend clearly it’s an homage to deliverance and the Texas chainsaw. Yeas mental health has an undertone and yes southern living is prominent
  • Ciderfylla from SchwedenAnd the buckethead relation?
  • Shannon from TennesseeIn the video it shows his friend being treated better than him. His mom or whoever the woman is is shown treating the big fella to a bubble bath with special drinks and such. in the end I think it may have been jealousy because he has what appears to be delusions or thoughts of getting a mud bath while being treated to pork flavored soda, sno-balls and a Twinkie. maybe he wishes for the affection of his mom because he is a weird inbred hick. Also she is pictured having a relationship with another person. he killed the fat guy over the full name he was supposedly given because he’s been called mud his whole life. he dirtied up his shoes burying the dead man.
    TLDR: dad or friend was treated better than him, mom was cheating, mud wanted her affection, he killed his dad or friend over the comment about his name.
  • Tim from BaltimoreMany people believe Mud killed his friend over shoes, but the song seems to indicate Mud killed his friend because he made fun of his name.
  • Andy from TorontoI'll be meeting Les this week. I'll let you know what he says about the song. It's been a long time since I've had an opportunity like this.
  • Jacob from Williamsport, PaI believe that this song is about a man who kills his friend because he stepped his shoes.
  • Austin from Smallsville,new England, --Ley Claypool plays the bass line on a six string frettless bass.
  • Matt from Winder, Georgiai can play my name is mud on as five string bass
  • Matt from Winder, Georgiaif you ask me i think that les claypool in my name is mud is referring to a mental person who gets mad way too easy i believe that les is coming up with mud as if he were describing karl childers on sling blade.
  • Jameson from Vestavia Hills, AlJust thought I'd mention since someone said that the song was about someone killing one of his co-workers. "Falling Down" is about a man who loses it and basically goes on killing spree to get back to his ex-wife and daughter.
  • Jameson from Vestavia Hills, AlI dunno this could be a coincidence, but at the end of the movie "Falling Down". Detective Martin Prendergast(Rober Duvall) asks what William 'D-Fens' Foster's (Michael Douglass) daughter's name is. She tells him "Adele". When she asks him what his name is, he replies "Mine? My name is mud". Just thought about it, because "Pork Soda" and "Falling Down" were both released in 1993.
    -Jameson, Vestavia Hills, AL
  • Sebastien from Sherbrooke, Canada...sounds like a reference to a dirty cop.
    "Cause I'm the most boring sons-a-bitch you've ever seen. I dress in blue-yes navy blue. From head to toe I'm rather drab except my patent shoes." Only military and law enforcement wear "patent shoes."

    Maybe the comment made about "pork soda" might be a good point! ha-ha.
  • Rusty from Argyle, Nythink whatever you want....
  • Jesse from San Jose, Cayea right! no you cant. Most of his songs are impossible to play.
  • Rusty from Argyle, Nyi have been playing bass 4 like 2 yrs and i can play most of primus's songs. the real work comes when you are composing the song.
  • Ass from Peoria, Ilits about a fight between two friends and one kills the other one ,alouishouis deverdamber abercrombie is an actual person who killed his parents a few years back, "my name is mud" is a figure of speech used when someone does something wrong and then realizes the consequences they will face.
  • Eric from Milltown, Inthe meaning of the song is pretty simple i think. there's a man named mud who is boring and wears navy blue and shiny patent shoes. one day a fat friend of his with bad breathe steps on them and gets them dirty. they have an argument and mud kills him with a bat and is trying to bury him. as for Les Claypool, he is second on my list of heros, only behind Cliff Burton.
  • Tyler from Victoria, CanadaI'm pretty sure Mud killing the guy and the fat people are unrelated. The song itself seems to be about a guy, apparently named Mud, who's friend pissed him off one day and Mud decided to kill him. The fat people and wine thing in the video is about "Pork Soda". The skinny looking guy (Bob Cock) comes in and eventually is given wine. The camera zooms in on the wine and you see the Pork Soda animation. What I think this means is people drink alcohol and become fat, and therefore alcohol is called pork soda.
  • Mark from Ann Arbor, Moclaypool needs to use that sweet ass bass driver you hear in the intro more. Funky song man, I love it
  • Keenan from Snoho, Wamitch, is it really true you can play all of primus' songs. how long have you guys been playing for. because that would take massive amounts of skill. but if you can, i give props to your bassist
  • Congo from Pittsburgh, PaPrimus Rocks, Les Claypool is one of the most underrated bassists ever. He has created a whole new sound by playing a "lead" bass. A true musical genius.
  • Asd from Asd, MoMy Name is Mud is about a kid in the chicago area that went crazy and killed his family.
  • Matt from Marietta, NyThe song is played on one of Les's custom Carl Thompson basses. In order to play this correctly, a long-scale fretless bass is required because the entire main riff is performed with a nondescript hammer-on technique.

    The "skinny dude in the blue shirt" is Les Claypool himself. The guy in the hot tub is Bob Cock. Fat people are simply a reflection of the them of the album, Pork Soda.
  • Dave from Philadelphia, PaLes Claypool can play bass like no other. He's the best I've ever heard.
  • Aaron from International Falls, MnIt's about getting fat and dying of obesity. As you can see in the video she keeps feeding them food and all they do is lay around. Now at the end of the video there is a pig in a glass of pop/soda otherwise known as "Pork Soda" or in my view grease.
  • Chris from Peabody, Maprimus uses their videos to tell the meaning of their songs. obviously. so pay close attention to symbolism. noticed how the skinny dude in the blue suit is skinny and everyone else is fat. ill let you draw your own conclusions, songs are awesome because theyre always open for interpretation.
  • Brian from Mayfield Heights, OhA. Maz. Ing. les claypool= peerless mastery of an instrument which is very hard to make stand out in a guitar-fueled rock enviorment. Godly
  • Paul from Norfolk, VaIn the Micheal Douglas movie Falling Down, Sergeant Pendergast responds to the little girls question of what his name is by saying "Me? My name is Mud" Does it have any correlation?
  • Mitch from Battle Creek, Miles claypool is my idol. i am in a band and we know how to play all of primus's songs
  • Terry from Novi, MiThe main character in the song seems to be a boring guy, he got offended by someone talking about his name, killed him, is burying the body.
  • Sarah from Missoula, Mtles claypool is god!
  • Eddie from Lachine, MiLes Claypool plays a fretless 6-string bass guitar on this song, and many afterward.
  • Daniel from Highland Heights, KyThis song is great...watch the video - it makes the song come out more (if that makes sense??)
  • Nick from Paramus, NjA radio DJ once commented that this song sounded like someone having a bad night after Taco Bell.
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