Thank You Mario But Our Princess Is in Another Castle
Black Pear Tree


Black Pear Tree EP




the Mountain Goats & Kaki King



Previous Track

"Roger Patterson Van"

Thank You Mario But Our Princess Is in Another Castle is the sixth song on the collaboration EP Black Pear Tree.


I waited here all by myself
The room was dark and it smelled like sulfur
I heard the screams from way down in the darkness
Felt pretty sure my life was over

I kept my hat on just for luck
Sang simple tunes the whole night through
I wondered if I'd wake to find myself in flames
As I waited here for you

Yeah when you came in
I could breathe again 

I saw some guys dressed up like sorcerers
Blue robes that flowed above the ground
They came and went and I was frightened for my life
I tried not to make a sound 

Just when my solitude was closing in
I heard a howl like screeching tires
And I told you the one thing I know how to say
Through the bright ringing drone of 8-bit choirs 

Yeah when you came in
I could breathe again

Comments by John Darnielle About this SongEdit

“I was talking about how - this childhood tendency of mine - I’m the most gullible person alive. I believe everything I’m told. Not just while it’s being told to me; a poet named Bill Direen has a very strong credo that, you know, for the duration of the story that someone is telling you, believe it. But I can’t escape at the end and so that’s sort of a thing about me. And consequently, I’m the kind of person who- and I think more people have this than admit it. You know how you hear a really dumb song - like you know it’s dumb, it’s just not the sort of stuff you maybe normally would listen to - and then you start to cry. And you say, ‘Why am I crying at ‘Nearest Distant Shore’, a country song from the eighties?’ Well, it’s that you let yourself get sucked into it and suddenly everything- the protagonist person was real, so maybe it’s dumb because they’re feeling beleaguered and they’re not really powerful enough to articulate things in a way that’s really clever because they’re in a whole, huge amount of psychic pain. Maybe that’s the reality of the dumb song. So anyway, I play video games and sometimes- and I’m not talking about video games with complex plot lines that everyone cries at, right. Everyone cries at 'Ocarina’. It’s true, when they seal Zelda up in the amber and you can’t- everybody cries at that. But this is not that. There’s not a lot of people who, when you reach the end of the maze and it blinks and Pac-Man has eaten all the dots and eaten a few ghosts while he was at it, so he has earned some right to freedom and rest… and the maze blinks and this music plays and you think, 'Oh, what music are they playing for Pac-Man?’ Maybe, as they usher him into the house that he won because he completed the maze. 'It’s so nice that he’s finished. He worked so hard at it. He died twice on the way through the maze and now he’s done! So now, good for him. And I helped him get there. So, this is great!’ And then a new maze full of dots presents itself. And there’s new ghosts, none of them are actually dead. Every time you eat them, the ghosts come back to life. And if you’re me, you reach a point where this feels like a crushing psychic weight. Like, 'Oh my god, Pac-Man will never be done. He will never be done. He has to eat the dots forever. There is no escape from the maze. There’s an exit on this side of the screen, but it just comes right back out on the other side of the screen. It’s hell. Pac-Man was born in and lives in hell. That’s all you’re doing, is helping him walk around down there and be chased by demons who have names like Inky and Blinky. You have to pool in a harsh universe through which he lives.’ So this song is about a little fellow who goes to free the woman he loves from an evil dragon. And he’s really not… he’s just a plumber. He’s not a hero or nothing. He’s just a little plumber–and he’s exceedingly little. I know it’s uncool to call people little, or something; like, people are all sorts of sizes but this guy’s literally like half an inch tall. And like one day, he just wakes up inside a sewer and the sewer has creatures that fly and he fights and fights and fights. But when he gets past the evil dragon, the person he’s looking for isn’t there. But somebody else he knows is, that he didn’t even know was being held prisoner. His name is Mario. His friend’s name is Toad. I find their story profoundly moving so I wrote this song for them.”

— John Darnielle introducing Thank You Mario But Our Princess Is In Another Castle, Rio Theater on 2012-06-22

Things Referenced in this SongEdit

  • This song is sung from the point of view of the Super Mario video game character Toad, who exclaims the title of the song when he is rescued by Mario from imprisonment in a castle.
  • The "guys dressed up like sorcerers" are most likely Magikoopas.

Live Shows this Song Was Played atEdit

Videos of this SongEdit