“Canajoharie” was one of the first songs from “Join Us” to be performed live by the band. The first time being in September 2010, months before the album was actually released.
This performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington was the first time I’d ever heard the song. Not because I was there, but because it was the first option that came up when I searched “They Might Be Giants – Canajoharie” on YouTube. Thinking about it now, I remember not being to overwhelmed by it. The verses were carried along by a steady boom-boom-clap back-beat and Linnell started blaring out the song title in the chorus. But back then, the lyrics had still not been deciphered yet. So I didn’t know what else to make of the song.
That all changed when the album actually came out in 2011. I was on holiday in the US after finishing my GCSEs, and listened to the album in full. There was just something about the studio version of “Canajoharie” that made me like it a lot more. Now I could understand what Linnell was singing about, and everything just sounded a lot tighter. “Canajoharie” is a real place too, which surprised me a bit. The band have a tendency to sing about weird things so I just thought it would be a made up word. It’s not.