Phantom Limb

Album: Wincing the Night Away (2006)
Charted: 16 42
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This was the first single from The Shins' third album Wincing the Night Away. The song was released as a digital download in November 2006 with physical copies available for fans to order the following week. In an interview with Billboard, The Shins' lead singer James Mercer described this song as "a hypothetical, fictional account of a young lesbian couple in high school dealing with the s--tty small town they live in."
  • The title does not appear in the lyrics to this song. A "phantom limb" is a sensation that your arm or leg is still there even when it has been amputated. It makes a great metaphor for odd disconnect.
  • The video for this song features The Shins and children acting out dramatizations of the stories of Joan of Arc, the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, and the Donner Party.
  • The Shins' Wincing the Night Away album was recorded in singer James Mercer's basement with additional production done by Phil Ek in Seattle and Joe Chiccarelli in Oregon City.
  • The Japanese version of Wincing the Night Away featured two additional songs: "Nothing At All" and "Split Needles." Both tunes also appeared on the "Phantom Limb" single.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Peter Lord

Peter LordSongwriter Interviews

You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound.

The Fratellis

The FratellisSongwriter Interviews

Jon Fratelli talks about the band's third album, and the five-year break leading up to it.

Edie Brickell

Edie BrickellSongwriter Interviews

Edie Brickell on her collaborations with Paul Simon, Steve Martin and Willie Nelson, and her 2021 album with the New Bohemians.

What Musicians Are Related to Other Musicians?

What Musicians Are Related to Other Musicians?Song Writing

A big list of musical marriages and family relations ranging from the simple to the truly dysfunctional.

Don Dokken

Don DokkenSongwriter Interviews

Dokken frontman Don Dokken explains what broke up the band at the height of their success in the late '80s, and talks about the botched surgery that paralyzed his right arm.

Brandi Carlile

Brandi CarlileSongwriter Interviews

As a 5-year-old, Brandi was writing lyrics to instrumental versions lullabies. She still puts her heart into her songs, including the one Elton John sings on.