Have to Explode






the Mountain Goats



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Have to Explode is the 11th song on the album Tallahassee. It was performed by Perry Owen Wright in Tallahassee Turns Ten.

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

Tile floor of the bathroom
Scrubbed clean and bright
Checkerboard white and grey
Towels from the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Kingston Jamaica
I can still see the rust colored stains today
The stage is set
Someone's going to do something someone else will regret
I speak in smoke signals and you answer in code
The fuse will have to run out sometime
Something here will eventually have to explode
Have to explode

You and me lying on the tile floor
Trying to keep cool 
Restless all night
Sweating out the poison
As the temperature climbs
Staring up up at the hundred-watt light that burns above
Name one thing about us two anyone could love
We roll out the red carpet
When rotten luck comes down the road
Five four three two one
Watch for the flash
Something here will eventually have to explode
Have to explode

Comments by John Darnielle About this Song[edit | edit source]

  • "This is a song, I'm sure many of you have found yourselves in a marriage where you think I wish I hadn't gone to the marriage ceremony. It would solve a lot of my problems if I just had not gone that day. So you thought to yourself how could you have avoided that cause you were already cohabiting so its not like you could have...well you could have leapt from the car on the way, nice and dramatic you know or you could show up and excuse yourself to go to the bathroom and just keep walking, just keep right on walking, walk a long time, but you didn't do that because you are a moral coward, and your curiosity of how things were actually going to go got the better of you, and I think that 'got the better of you' is a cool phrase when we are talking about what went down with you and your beloved. I was as sorry as anybody to hear about it, but at the same time I wasn't because I have clinical kind of sadistic interest in what happens to you: the things you do when you get with these people and you can't stop drinking, and it's interesting, it's like watching fractals. You don't know what colors they are going to turn, but you know they are going to be spectacular." -- 2008-12-05 - Manning Bar - Sydney, Australia
  • "This song is about a couple of people who, uh, are in bad shape, and they are going to stay that way. It's a song about commitment to excellence." --2014-04-16 - Somerville Theatre - Somerville, MA
  • The barely-audible sound at around 1:46 on the album recording, after "lying on the tile floor," is the sound of Peter Hughes opening the studio door while John was recording, then quickly retreating. -- 2019-05-13 - Buskirk-Chumley Theater - Bloomington, IN
  • "I know everybody's favorite song on Tallahassee is probably No Children, but this one is mine." -- 2019-09-04 - The Showbox - Seattle, WA

Things Referenced in this Song[edit | edit source]

Live Shows this Song Was Played at[edit | edit source]

Videos of this Song[edit | edit source]

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