I Palindrome, I

Album: Apollo 18 (1992)
  • Someday mother will die and I'll get the money
    Mom leans down and says, "My sentiments exactly,
    You son of a bitch"
    I palindrome I (I palindrome I)
    I palindrome I (I palindrome I)
    And I am a snake head eating (snake head)
    The head on the opposite side (snake head)
    I palindrome I (manonam)
    I palindrome I (manonam)

    See that bulletproof dress hanging from the clothesline
    See the medical chart with the random zig-zag
    Now I'll help it decide
    I palindrome I (I palindrome I)
    I palindrome I (I palindrome I)
    And I am a snake head eating (snake head)
    The head on the opposite side (snake head)
    I palindrome I (manonam)
    I palindrome I (manonam)
    I palindrome I (manonam)
    I palindrome I (manonam)

    "Son I am able," she said "though you scare me."
    "Watch," said I
    "Beloved," I said "watch me scare you though." said she,
    "Able am I, Son."

    See the spring of the grandfather clock unwinding
    (Egad, a base tone denotes a bad age)
    See the hands of my offspring making windmills
    (Egad, a base tone denotes a bad age)
    Dad palindrome Dad
    I palindrome I (I palindrome I)
    I palindrome I (I palindrome I)
    And I am a snake head eating (snake head)
    The head on the opposite side (snake head)
    I palindrome I (manonam)
    I palindrome I (manonam)
    I palindrome I (manonam)
    I palindrome I (manonam)

Comments: 5

  • Fred from Laurel, MdIn the wonky world of composing palindromes, this title can be taken as a formula for turning a palindrome into a (very slightly) longer one -- "I [insert palindrome here] I." Re: the 2nd Songfact above, I had heard of that as simply, "Madam, I'm Adam," but yours is an improvement (it's longer). And the reply from his new companion was, of course, even more simply, "Eve." Other palindromic chestnuts: Napoleon's lament in exile, "Able was I 'ere I saw Elba," which is letter-reversible word-by-word, and Teddy Roosevelt's vision, "A man, a plan, a canal -- Panama!" Of course, neither of these men ever actually said these things. And a note about the album title--The Apollo program was initially planned to have 10 landing missions, Apollo 11 through 20, but budget cuts took out the last 3, so 17 was the last landing mission. But then came the idea of détante with the Soviets, and the Apollo 18 tag was used, informally, for the Apollo-Soyuz mission, in which an Apollo command module would be docked to a Soviet Soyuz module. For this, there had to be a lot of engineering work to figure out how to dock the two modules, which had very different hardware. In the end the 'adaptor' was built and supplied by the U.S. I wonder whether this awkward docking is represented by the giant squid attacking a whale on the album cover, with a tiny depiction of an Apollo landing module?
  • Jas from Clifton, TxThis song is so brilliant. It just amazes me that in the era of prefab-pop (see the disaster that is Britney Spears, Lady GaGa whatever he/she is, American Idol), some songwriters are still able to work out pieces like this one. When you break it down and read the lyrics, this is a pretty messed up song where a guy kills his mom, then his kids kill him and it is expected to continue. It's a really deep song but it's wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a viking helmet, that is to say it's cloaked in complete weirdness, so most people don't actually catch on to what they are talking about. I didn't catch it until I decided to figure it out one day and when I did, I didn't know if I should be completely taken aback or just go back to enjoying catchy and seemingly nonsensical lyrics. I chose the latter.
  • Jake from Rolling Hills Estates, CaThe background singers chat palindromes ("Manonam", and "Egad, a base tone denotes a bad age") and one of the verses is a palindrome, though with the words if not the letters.

    "Son I am able," she said "though you scare me."
    "Watch," said I
    "Beloved," I said "watch me scare you though." said she,
    "Able am I, Son."
  • Eric from Central Coast, AustraliaGood interpretation. I always have trouble with TMBG songs.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaI wouldn't have expected that!
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