Thing a Week 52 – We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions

September 29th, 2006

Unbelievably, we are here. Thanks to all of you who sent in hand claps – every one of them is in there. It was very charming how almost all of you apologized for the quality of the recording, and suggested that I just throw it away and forget about it if it was unusable. I have taught you well – always, ALWAYS doubt yourself.

I’m sad and relieved that it’s the end. It’s been a really amazing trip from 1 to 52, and I can’t thank all of you enough for the many different kinds of support you’ve offered me over this last year. If you bought a CD, if you bought a song, if you sent a donation, if you drew a picture, if you made a video, if you stole a song and passed it along to a friend, if you babysat while I recorded vocals, even if you just wrote me to tell me you like the music, you are one of the reasons that this lasted a whole year. The difference between my life then and my life now is enormous, and it’s all because of you. And while the standard rich and famous contract continues to elude me, in the ways that really matter I am filthy, stinking rich.

Thank you.

We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions

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90 responses to “Thing a Week 52 – We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions”

  1. Spencer says:

    Carin– that was me. I’ll speak up and try to justify myself here.

    I absolutely love JoCo’s stuff. It is brilliant, and he produced some amazing work in the last year. I’m not calling that a failure. What I’m referring to is the experiment of making a living off of it, as I believe the original idea was. Please don’t get me wrong– I am ever so grateful that Jonathan did this, because it was an excellent idea with some great results. But in terms of subsistence, the experiment failed– or so I believe.

    At any rate, I appear to have struck an off-note, so I’ll just swallow my tongue here and retreat quietly. Sorry if I offended.

  2. Rob says:


    Every week I come to this website, greatly looking forward to your next “thing of the week” – I feel sad that this particular experiment is over but I just hope you recharge your batteries and continue to write and record such great music.


  3. Will T. says:

    It’s a shame I had to break the perfect symmetry of 52 comments, but I’ve got to thank you for all the music you’ve put out here over the last year. I remember when I first heard your songs- my first thought was “If I could make any music myself, I would want this to be it!” The most astounding thing about your music is the way you span every point between hilarity and poignancy- including some surprisingly educational subject matter.

    Anyway, so thank you. And What’s Next?

    Oh, and I hated We Will Rock You before I heard your cover. Too perfect.

  4. Stevie Skowron says:

    52 Awesome tracks. Simple as that. I’ll be buying the TAW box set of CD’s (you will be doing one..?) You deserve every penny.

    And now, enjoy a break where you do absoloutely noting creative for a little while. You deserve it. 😀

  5. winegeek says:

    Great experiment. You can be proud of all the lives you’ve touched with your TAW project. Fridays will never be the same around my household, that’s for sure.

    Please, please continue to make music. You are an incredible talent. I’m already feeling the efects of JoCo withdrawls. Yikes.

  6. JC says:

    Regarding the success or failure of this experiment – I don’t know! Depends on what the purpose was supposed to be, which changed depending on how I was feeling. I’m not sure I was hoping this would accomplish anything specific. I did want to push myself, learn to write more easily, not fear the blank page, etc. I also wanted it to get me some attention, which it certainly has. I never dreamed I’d actually make a living this way, though the last few months have been pretty good – certainly in some parts of the country it would count as such if those numbers were to continue on forever. But I suspect that now that TAW is not active, the numbers will drop, so it’s really not a long term solution. But I made enough to have some self respect as a full-time musician, which is saying something. I did not come out the other side rich and famous, but I’m really glad to have done it.

    There will be more music. Just not on a deadline for a while…

  7. Jim says:

    Mr. Coulton, you’ve done an unbelievable job. It’s been an exciting ride — some weeks may have been better than others, but all things considered it’s a testament to a creativity and dedication nearly unmatched in music.

    I’m really inspired — there’s just something to be said for sitting down and getting it done. I’m a game programmer myself — nothing special, just a spare time activity — but I’ve found myself afraid a number of times that I wasn’t going to create anything that was worth a damn. “Standard creative doubt,” I think, was the term. I’m gonna have to give this a shot — just sit down and try to get some work done each week or whatnot. Don’t worry, just work.

    Wonderful job, sir, and best wishes for continued success.

  8. Greg says:

    I would just like to thank you for all of the effort you’ve put into this. Both for yourself and for all of us fans you’ve created over the past year and more. I look forward to hearing more of your work in the future and can’t wait to get my hands on the CD set you plan to release. I’ve introduced tons of my friends to your amazing songs and plan to continue to do so.

  9. Jonnie says:

    Jon, I’ve been a fan of your music since approximately 1992, when I first heard “Austrian Secret”. I’ve been unbelieveably impressed with your creativity throughout the last year, and you have inspired me to try my hand at more music writing. I’ve even been able to compose a song or two that didn’t suck this year, and I feel like you’re partly to blame for it. So thanks for that. You have a dedicated following of at least 10 people here in Iowa City, and I’m hoping that number will only increase as you release more quirky, intelligent, melodic and memorable tunes.

    God bless Jonathan Coulton. And God bless monkeys.


  10. Melissa H. says:

    Seems like every time I find something wonderful online, it ends within a couple of months, and this is no exception. I first discovered your music when I was looking at World of Warcraft music videos and ran across the video for “Re: Your Brains.” The most recent song at the time was, I believe, “You Ruined Everything,” so I really started listening to this right at the end. I loaded my iPod up with my favorites, and now I listen to them while driving to and from college for the weekends. It makes the trip less boring, although singing along makes me a little hoarse after the 45 minute drive!

    I have a story of my own to share: I had just loaded up my iPod before leaving for Gen Con 2006, and I wanted my boyfriend to hear some of the older songs that he hadn’t heard yet. When we were eating lunch in the window of one of the skywalks at the convention center, I hooked up my travel speakers to listen while we ate. I was apparently too focused in on my food, because I heard my boyfriend say “I don’t know” to someone. He then asked me if the song we were listening to was called “Skull Crusher Mountain.” When I said it was, he said that someone had asked on their way past. Whoever had asked was long gone, but I was surprised that someone would recognize it. Silly me, I didn’t know that your music was so popular!

    I didn’t know that the TAW was only going to go on for a set amount of time, so it was a real shock to me when I read the explanation of “Summer’s Over.” Always sad to see something like this go, but as they say, even the best things must come to an end. Although my praise and admiration means little, you have it a million times over. Thanks for the laughs and the tears that your music will continue to bring every time I hear it.

  11. captnkurt says:


    Like everyone else here, I’m chiming in to say thanks so much for the 52 gems this past year. Something I have always wondered about is how your creative process works. Over this past year what was the typical week like? What was the hardest TAW to write and/or produce, and why? The easiest?

    Like a lot of the JoCo Faithful, I’ll be stocking up on your CDs for Christmas gifts. Anyone know what the ZIP code is for Chiron Beta Prime?

    Enjoy the time off! We’re all looking forward to whatever you decide to tackle in the future.

  12. Craig says:

    Dude, thanks for your awesome songs. The first one I heard was Code Monkey, and I’ve never looked back.

    Thanks for something to look forward to in the week.

  13. Lauren says:

    Words can’t convey my deep appreciation for your music, this song, everything. It’s been a blast. I eagerly anticipate anyandeverything you do next.

  14. Michael Letterle says:

    *sniff* I certainly hope that there’s more music to be had, even if it’s not on a regular basis :)

    Thanks for the memories!

  15. Dean says:

    I first found your site when you did ‘Baby got back’ and have come back every week since. I never got around to donating even though I always wanted to. Well, better late than never. It’s not much but hopfully, it’ll be a bit of a bribe for you to come and perform in the Land of Milk and Honey (I mean New Jersey, of course).

    Great work and I’m looking forward to more JC in the future!

  16. illbixby says:

    Ahhh no it can’t end!! Lets all sign a petition or something, yeah that’s it. Great ride jonathan, wish it could go on forever but hey, we don’t want to kill ya. Thanks for the great music and the great opportunities by using creative commons. Lets see what the future holds for us all next.

    ps how about a song a month?! yeah, I smell victory!!

  17. Raposa says:

    I first heard of you through the World of Warcraft videos (Re: Your Brains and Just as Long as Me), and have to tell you that I love your music. Keep writing songs! Keep making them available for us to listen to and buy!

  18. C4bl3Fl4m3 says:

    It’s gonna be weird w/o a new song every week. I’m gonna miss you. :*(

    I hope you still keep writing and putting new music up. Seeing you in person rocked my world and I can hardly wait until you come back to DC.

    I also support the above poster’s idea about a Song a Month. That would be cool.

  19. David says:

    Being lame, I only found you a month ago, but what a month it’s been. I have e-mailed your songs & links far and wide. You, sir, are the bomb.

  20. Adam R. says:

    JoCo, thanks a ton for all the great music.

  21. Dawn says:

    Congratulations on the completion of the Thing a Week. You did exactly what you said you would do and you did an awesome job. Can’t wait for the next CD. I’ll be waiting!

  22. Denise says:

    Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a whole year. Thanks for all the great music!

  23. Lizardback says:

    An extraordinary run! You have essentially written four albums in one year. Wow. I am thrilled to know of your talents and creativity. It has kept me going while at work and made me laugh and learn to appreciate subtle things, like squids’ feelings. Thank you for your tireless efforts, and may you receive a fat contract in the near future. You have earned your break. You should hit Disney World.

  24. […] With the release of the 52nd installment in the Thing A Week series, WFW friend Jonathan Coulton, the guest on Episode 2, brings an end to the podcast, as he begins the next phase of his career.  […]

  25. Slythfox says:

    It took a week to realise what this really meant… I was really looking forward to number 53, until I realised you were done.

  26. Kewagi says:

    Jon, you reawakened with Thing a Week a love for music and crazy things in me that I thought I had lost. Some of your songs touched me in ways I didn’t know before, and others are like trusted companions to me already. Thank you. Thank you.

  27. […] Make You Cry will spite you when you’re smitten, Pull the String and out come all the flaws, Summer’s Over leaves some subtext unwritten, The We Will Rock You cover garnered showers of applause, It’s bittersweet that now the year has ended, But we’ll all have songs and memories to keep, The time we’ve spent together has been splendid. Congressman Mark Foley is a creep. […]

  28. Jerry says:

    Damn. I’ve been a bit snowed at work for the past few weeks and just got around to listening (my poor Mac has been feeling very neglected…).

    Damn. You made me cry.

    Thank you, JC. Thank you, Len. Thank you, all you video hams. Thank you, Dave, for clueing me in. I need to think of TAW anytime I forget to be grateful for what I have….

    — Jerry

  29. klaas says:

    Thank you for these 52 songs. They go everywhere with me (yay for ipod). It’s a pitty this project ends here… I could really go for another year of songs…

  30. tom says:

    Thanks for 52 weeks… I’ll settle for 12 months… anything. Love the music!

  31. I’ve played lots of your music on my show and I’m really sad to see you stop Thing a week. Please post some more stuff on The Podsafe Music Network or on your site I don’t want the wonderful music to stop!

    All of these songs are amazing and We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions must have so hard to put togther, all those handclaps!

    Love the music always!


  32. amy says:

    put in tracks we can download so we can put it on slideshows andf other media

  33. SHINN says:

    its wonderful
    i am aribien boy i love to have good friend

  34. Jeffpk says:


    I just signed up for thing a week. Does this mean I *can’t* send you a dollar a week? It seemed a small price to pay to support an artist I really like.

    Well, if that’s true, let me know, and Ill go buy a bunch of the album downloads instead 8)

  35. Finally, and I must say, sadly, I feel I’ve come in too late.
    I feel very much like Oliver Twist.
    More please??

    I love your original works, and you doing L. Cohen is just awesome!

  36. Roger says:

    I really love what I’ve heard so far and I guess I’m too late for TaW. Any chance you could stop by Ohio?

    I first heard your song on a video game music video for Re: Your Brains and i bought that and fantastic. Then when I heard the song you did on Portal I knew I needed more.
    You are one of the most creative people i have ever seen Sir Coulton and i tip my hat to you. You’re better and more creative than 95% of the artists out there and I’d like to think that even in a small way you have improved my quality of life.

  37. ResidentWesker says:

    Coulton I am so incredibly sorry that I was only able to locate you a couple of weeks ago. Now that this whole thing is over I feel I was never really a part of your fan base, but regardless I would like you to know that your music is amazing. When I’m down in the dumps all I need to do is listen to one of your songs, you have a very beautiful voice which should be more appreciated. Well all that’s left for me to do is say a happy new years to you Mr. Coulton, in 9 minutes it will be 2008 where I’m at, I resolve to help you in your cause of becoming famous, YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

  38. Nate says:

    Hey compared to me, all those guys aren’t late all. Unfortunately I just found out about your music almost a year after it all happens and i just got to say that i’m sad that you have stopped making music. Your an amazing musician that really should make some more songs if not because you want to, then just for the good old times. Thanks, Nate.

  39. paul davin says:

    As the the comment above said we’re the one’s who are late, I’ve the first comment of 2010.Im only remembering your name from the portal song since a differnt comment said it, i just spent about 2 hours reading comments(trying to make up for being a few years late^^) and its now 3:00am here in ireland and all the letters on my screen are going blurry but i just had to that i love you and all your songs i just lisented to over the past completly sincerly, for the bottem of my heart, with all my love and hope that you continue makeing music, Thank YOU

    -Paul Davin(hope your still check these comments every once in a while)

  40. Chris Vollink says:

    I write to you from a Nintendo DSi.

    I HAD a long, heartfelt message about how your music kept me from killing myself recently. [Long story.] However, I accidentally hit ”Cancel” instead of ”OK”. Therefore, I will personally write to you via either [”Skullcrusher Mountain” just started on my iPod :D] email or snail mail as soon as possible. This personal address will probably be quite long, so prepare for an endless onslaught of praise!!!