I’m Back

By JoCo June 7, 2007

Those of you who have been watching the live stream of me recording this song over the last week or so have already heard it plenty I’m sure, but for the rest of you, here’s a new song. It’s the first public thing I’ve written since the end of Thing a Week in September of last year, and it feels good.

My daughter went through a phase where she asked constantly for this YouTube video (which, incidentally, is a blatant violation of copyright) of a National Geographic show about octopuses. In the opening sequence, the unassuming and literally spineless octopus takes out a shark like it’s no big thing – the shark is just minding his own business when all of a sudden, bam! Eight arms, baby. If you are a sea creature that an octopus wants to eat, God help you, because it’s definitely going to eat you, and it’s going to hurt a lot. So for a while I went around singing “Octopus, some kind of octopus,” in my head and thinking about an octopus just tearing things to pieces, mostly crabs. Naturally, this became a nice metaphor for a breakup song (as long as I avoided using the word “sucker”).

Here it is for your listening pleasure. Feel free to actually buy it if you like it, but at the very least I hope you will pass it around:



Andrea says

WOO! Sounding good!

Andrea says

I found the octopus video and turned the sound down on it and pretended that was the music video for it. Good times!


Len says

I drew a visual response to Joco recording the song. You can see it here.

I also recorded myself creating, a la Monster By Mail.

I will edit the video and link it when I am done.

Glenn Peters says

Technically what an octopus will to a crab is liquefy it and suck it out of the shell, but that's pretty gruesome too.

Sujin says

Sounding good! You're right--it would make a pretty good breakup song.

ruthling says

That's awesome, especially "you make my insides, outsides" !

JY says

You put Octopus together so fast it didn't have a chance to tear stuff apart!

Len says

As promised, here is the video. This may be the fastest video ever done for a JoCo song:


witten says

This is me jumping up and down like a fanboy. Awesome song.

Kerrin says

Len, you beat my record on the video of 1 day!

I like this song already...probably because I've heard it lots already before it was released.

Gle3nn says

Wow. What a great song and a fun ride along with it. Thanks for letting us in on the process.

Martin F says

Mr. Coulton,

Since I enjoyed the making of the song so much, I attempted to buy 3 copies of it, so as to pay what I feel is a fair price for the more than a song experience I got, however, the sopping card system automatically reduced my "quantity" to "1" - so I ran through two more transactions. But your songs are worth more than a buck to me. In fact, if you had let me :name my price" I would have probably paid $5.00 for "Octopus"

Martin F says

Whoops. Missed the "Update Cart" feature - carry on.

Martin F says

Oy, one last comment and I'll shut up. I've been singing just the chorus of "Octopus" since yesterday - as my wife left for work this morning, she was humming..."Octopus, some kind off Octopus" having not even herd more than my creaky warbles of the tune. That's what I call an "infectious" riff.

CarrieP says

Mmm...extended metaphor....very cool song.

Paul says

Octopuses have three hearts but it sounds like this particular one lacks any at all...

Bassguy says

I really dig this song. I've been jonesing for some new music.

Kerrin says

I didn't know octopi had more than one heart.

Rich says

Ahhh.... a new Coulton track. Perfect addition to a Friday.

Scott says

So is that an album title, then, on the Music page? "The Aftermath" seems like a great title for a Coulton compilation, evoking both broken relationships and geeky Mandelbrotian academia.

Janet says

Oh, this is a happy happy week! Birthweek for a new album, birthweek for new online recording experiences, new online illustration/recording/publication formats -- I am off to buy a couple of bananas.

Luke M says

Yes. Awesome.

Mike says

Excellent. and, ahem, shouldn't You Oughta Know also be in the Aftermath?

Mattie says

Awesome! It's been forever. In return for once again giving me something melodious and geeky to hum you can count on a cut of my paycheck in the form of a banana or two. :)

Is this a sign of things to come? I sure hope so.

Mattie says

Also: I think it's fantastic that your daughter is already watching YouTube and is so interested in natural history and in underwater battles between titans of the deep. Clearly, you are raising her well. ^^

Colleenky says

Cool! Great to finally hear it since I wasn't able to tune in on UStream. Now it's time for me to announce this to everyone in my address book. Let the viral marketing begin!

Martin F: If you're just dying to throw your hard-earned cash at JoCo, which I strongly encourage, you can always buy bananas, monkeys and robots on the home page. :-)

Charles says

Woot! New JoCo song! Sounds great!

The inspiring video makes me wonder: first, I see a shark taken out by an orca (not surprising), then an octopus. Could sharks really be this overated?

Jeff says

Awesome song JoCo. Glad you're back! Im gonna have this friggin song stuck in my head for days...i can feel it.

Dustin says

Long time listener first time writer and all that jazz...is it just me, or did the website go down again yesterday afternoon? It wouldn't load for a while on my computer.

Anyways, three or more huzzahs for octopi and metaphors!

Now if I could just quit slacking off on my creative output...

CinemaslaveJoe says

I paid my dollar. Woohoo!

One of your best, JoCo... thanks so much for continuing to share the music via Creative Commons. I am continuously amazed at what your fans do with your songs.


Scott Haley says

I guess that an octopus' garden wouldn't be quite as much fun as we have been led to believe.

Dyre42 says

If your daughter ever fixates on anything from the Discovery Channel drop me a line.

Bob says

Hmmm..... there's 'Furry Old Lobster', 'Seahorse', 'I Crush Everything', and now 'Octopus'.

A few more songs like that and you'll have enough for a "Jonathan Coulton: Under The Sea" compilation album. Ka-ching! :)

Or, if you don't want to wait, you can throw in 'Code Monkey', 'My Monkey', 'De-Evolving', 'Under The Pines' and 'Cobras' and release a "Jonathan Coulton: A Day at the Zoo" compilation album right now instead. :)

Last Auk Standing says

reminded me of an earlier cephalopod intensive internet classic . . . behold the fishy triumphant!

Amanda says

JoCo! This is amazing!! Like seriously just sososo good... I'm so happy you got a new song up.. it's gorgeous!

Luna says

I drew a picture about this song.


Andrew T. "The Clinger" Coleman says

"My daughter went through a phase where she asked constantly for this YouTube video (which, incidentally, is a blatant violation of copyright) of a National Geographic show about octopuses."

It isn't against copyrite. It was on the actual National Geographic channel, so it was released by the producing company.