My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)

Album: Animal Boy (1985)
Charted: 81

Songfacts®:

  • This song was written in protest of Ronald Reagan's visit to a Nazi cemetery in Bitburg, Germany on May 5, 1985. It's a rare political song for the Ramones, and light years away from their early efforts in the mid-late '70s.

    Written by Dee Dee Ramone, Joey Ramone and their producer Jean Beauvoir, the song was released in the UK in 1985 on the independent label Beggars Banquet with the title "Bonzo Goes To Bitburg," an unflattering reference to Reagan, who starred alongside a chimp in the 1951 movie Bedtime For Bonzo.
  • Joey Ramone got the idea for this song after watching the news and seeing a story about Reagan's trip to Bitburg. "It was an outrage, him going to that SS cemetery," he told Shindig. "He sort of s--t on everybody."
  • In America, this wasn't released as a single. In December 1985, the band recorded a new version that was included on their 1986 album Animal Boy, with the title changed to "My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)."

    The Ramones were divided politically, with Joey Ramone (real name: Jeff Hyman - he was Jewish, and many in the Jewish community strongly opposed Reagan's trip to Bitburg) a liberal, and guitarist Johnny Ramone a staunch Republican and Reagan supporter (when the Ramones were inducted into the Rock Hall, he said, "God bless President Bush" in his speech). It was Johnny who insisted that the title be changed when they re-recorded the song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Katie - NSW, Australia
  • Running 3:54, this is far longer than most Ramones songs, which are typically around 2:30.
  • This was used in the movie School of Rock in a scene where the kids learn how to use their instruments. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adam - South Pasadena, CA

Comments: 15

  • Patrick Herbert from Mobile, AlWow.....I am really love the Ramones. Thanks for this. I saw them in Munich Germany when I was in the Army. Much better still the (old) Cleveland Agora. I met my wife while Joey was totally blasting the place to smithereens. Long Live The Ramones! Felt I had to say something. Gaaaba Gaaaba Hey Hey
  • Greg from Slidell, Lai love the ramones.their songs are so random
  • Joe from Washington Dc, Mdcool
  • Lelldorin from Belle Vernon, PaActually, this song is about a girlfriend joey ramone had who dumped him for a politician he saw on tv often. lines like "wish her the very best. 50,000 dollar dress." refers to the girl. "pick up the pieces" and "pull yourself back together" refers to the break up.
  • Hermione from Los Angeles, CaMy friends think it is weird that I am a Republican with a love for punk rock. This song serves them right! The Ramones forever!
  • Alonso from Lima, PeruI also thought it refered to Bonzo of Led Zeppelin, so I checked here
  • Douglas from Eldridge, MnTwo things. Joe, the name of the song is My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg), check any Ramones CD with it. Second, I liked School of Rock, but now when I have people listen to the song, they think of the movie, instead of the real political message behind it, which is pretty much Reagan selling out just to make headlines.
  • Erik from Bloomfield Hills, MiI bet most people didn't know the Ramones wrote about SMART stufff, too!
  • Joe from Chicago, Arwhat??? no no no i am sure of it that this song is still called bonzo goes to bitburg. Sorry songfacts but i think you might be wrong about this one.......anyway excellent song and one of the ramone's only real political songs.
  • Robbie Social from Philly, PaThis song makes me feel proud. Proud to be a punk. Not because of its meaning but because of the style it was written and played. I suffer froma depression thats band and this song by its self can bring my spirits up really quick. I recommend this song to every one. it could even be the anwser to world peace(Ok, I'm over exagerating)
  • Wes from Slotown, CaThis song was in School of Rock, and is my favorite Ramones song
    I listen to it when i'm feeling down (which is quite often, sadly) and it seems to cheer me up really well. Although i love all of the other Ramones songs (Pet Semetary, etc.) this one is almost hypnotic and i swear it was one of the greatest days of my life when i learned to play it on guitar...and thats not saying i have a pathetic life i just love the song
  • David from Whitby, Canadakate's correct...sorry rose... the bonzo reference is to mr reagan.
  • Rose from London, EnglandCould Bonzo in the song also be Led Zeppelin's drummer? For those who dont know, His name was(he is dead now)John"Bonzo"HenreyBonham.This is what i think
  • Brian from Hyde Park, NyThis is one of my favorite songs and my favorite song by The Ramones, although all their others are great, there's something about this one i absolutley adore.
  • Jen from Ontario, Canadathis song was in "school of rock"
see more comments

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