Thing a Week 2 – My Monkey

By JoCo September 23, 2005

My strange obsession with monkeys continues with Thing Two of Thing a Week. I don’t know where to begin explaining this one. Here is what I know: The guy in the song has recently had an argument with someone he loves and is trying to apologize. He happens to have a pet monkey, more of a monkey butler actually, whose name is Brian Dennehy. He’s unable to talk directly about his own feelings (the singer I mean, not Brian Dennehy), so he’s projecting his emotional life onto the monkey, explaining how the monkey feels when this or that happens. It sounds like he does this a lot, and it’s probably indicative of a larger problem. It’s kind of a sparse arrangement, drum loop, guitar, bass, and then somewhere in the mix are a few wine glasses. I thought long and hard about the monkey chorus that comes between verses, but finally left it in. This song makes me feel sad and sentimental, despite the fact that it mentions Brian Dennehy (shout out to Dr. Smith, who really wishes he had a so-named monkey butler).

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Still trying to figure out if I should make this a separate podcast or just make this blog the podcast. I like the title “Thing a Week” and it’s certainly more catchy than “Jonathan Coulton” but I’m not sure it’s worth all the hassle of breaking it out, posting twice, etc. Right now WordPress is already creating enclosures for linked mp3s, so it should work as a podcast the way it is (and I’m experimenting with the WP-iCatter plug in to get the iTunes tags in there too). I suppose I could set up a separate feed for this post category using feedburner. Or I could just rename this blog to Thing a Week. Why is the internets so complicated!? If you all have any thoughts, let me know.


rohit507 says

A repeat of my previous post : MONKEY!!!!!!!!!

Erik says

Bravo. This song makes me feel sad and sentimental, too.

superjerk says

Someone reviewing your work once said that you consistently hit the "I wish I'd said that button," or something to that effect. I think this song is a perfect example of that, as well as a solid hit. I don't see it as sad at all because I'm convinced that the girl being sung to is just as sorry for the fight and can't wait to make up. And the monkey chorus is my absolute favorite part. It needs to be longer, I think. And can you post the lyrics to it? Or at least just the chorus which is a little hard to make out, but still my favorite part. I think the singer says "My monkey loves you very much" in there towards the end, which (if true) is my favorite part of my favorite part...except for maybe "My monkey's not the only one who's acting like a jerk."

As far the podcast, etc goes, I like it being in the regular blog every week, but maybe a separate TaW link up at the top of the page could link to all these kind of posts. That way if you miss a couple they're easy to find.

rohit507 says

:) i didn't post fully eairlier. It is a great song, i absolutely love it. one of your best hits, right up there with, skullcrusher, ikea, and i feel fantastic. I have also noticed most MALE programmers have an obsession with something, like me it's antiutopias and the way our lives might not even exist, My best friend is addicted to norsemen, another of my friends has cows. None ofo the many female genius programmers (and programmer in general to less effect) have no obsessions, but nearly every male does. i just noticed that. also what sort of work did you do programming? and do you know a thing or 2 about swarm robotics (if you do could you tip me off to a few usefull materials or something) {thanks}?

JoCo says

Yes! Monkey! Thanks fellows, glad you like it. The monkey chorus thing is 4 voices and they say these things:

1. My monkey says, my monkey says
2. My monkey loves you very much
3. My monkey butler Brian Dennehy screwed up again and he's sorry
4. My monkey says he's sorry he's monkey but he's got to be a monkey and there's nothing he can do

Why? Nobody knows.

Rohit: I used to do VB, VB.NET and MSSQL. Not sure I could write an efficient bubble sort, but I can make data sing, and I can present it to you in a reasonably clear visual way. Swarm robotics - not my expertise, I'm really kind of a sometime hacking hobbyist. But they did some cools stuff over at MIT (Rodney Brooks and his gang of robot ruffians). And then there's this.

bryand says

A monkey named brian suffering from work related stress? Something about this song really spoke to me. Much more empathetic than that giant squid.

JoCo says

Everyone be nice to BryanD because he also has an ulcer and a stressful time at work. Even though he hates giant squids because he thinks they are terrible monsters who have no feelings.

Shorty says

Love this monkey song. And really love this Thing-A-Week thing you're doing. I recall hearing somewhere that TMBG's used to do the same thing with answering machine songs. Great songwriting challenge you've set for yourself. I must copy you.

What is it with the BrianD in here?

JoCo says

Thanks Shorty. I will say that it's not for the faint of heart (or for that matter, the gainfully employed). I'm totally running out of ideas. BryanD is a pal of mine who still works at the place I left, I think my monkey song caught him on a bad day...

MC says

Speaking as a code monkey soon to be sacrificed to the god of cost reduction, let me just say, “Eep! Eep!”