My iPod #546: They Might Be Giants – Hovering Sombrero

“Hovering Sombrero” is a song about the saddening reminder that time flies; before you know it, the things you had grown accustomed to when growing up will all be replaced and you will only have the memories to remember them by. John Linnell sings of a sombrero that continues to ‘hover on’ as the seconds, years, and minutes roll by. Obviously it’s not a literal wide-brimmed hat of Mexico; that would have to float back down to the ground some time. I do have the idea that the ‘hovering sombrero’ is actually the Solar System. It looks a bit like a sombrero if you really think about it, and in line of the song I think it makes a bit of sense.

The seventh offering on the band’s eighth album contains standard rock instrumentation consisting of acoustic and electric guitars, the rhythm section, and a keyboard that makes an appearance here and there. Linnell’s single-tracked vocal guides you through the track; he also provides an overlapping ‘no/don’t’ backing vocal that stretches throughout various lines. It is quite beautiful in its simplicity, but you think things are just about to get started it is already the end of the song. Another great gem within their discography.


Author: Jamie Kyei Manteaw

An English student at Coventry University who spends most days listening to music (old and new) and reading and writing about it, however informal it may be. And studying too, obviously.

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