Absolutely Bills Mood
This post has nothing to do with Christmas. You are welcome.
The Chaotic Beginnings: Understanding Bill's Insanity
Out of the disordered chaos of a guitar being strummed in such a way that can only be described as almost-pulling-out-all-of-the-strings-but-in-a-musical-way, comes Absolutely Bill’s Mood. From that anxiety filled intro we hear the thumping drum finding the path to the triumphant first verse; Bill is insane. His mood is intense and he is giving us his lore.
This song from They Might Be Giants doesn’t strike me as an angry song but for some reason, I find myself listening to it specifically to sing along to when I am feeling angry. Something about this track is so therapeutic in the way it helps me release my emotions. I’m note sure if I remember where it began but I can say that as a teenager, I often felt crazy. The bi-product of being raised by a mom with an untreated mental illness that directly related to gas lighting and manipulations to the point where I often questioned (and still do) what is real.
Absolutely Bill’s Mood is a song being performed to us by an unreliable narrator. Maybe he thinks he WAS born in a lighthouse and his mother was the sea. As Bill goes on, we learn that he is in a comfortable small room with walls that are lined with rubber. Bill hears someone calling his name outload constantly. When he’s alone, when he’s not home, when he’s stuck out in the rain. You see, Bill is insane. Or he isn’t, and he’s lying about it. Either way, unreliable.
Echoes of My Childhood
The feeling of not trusting what you are hearing, existing primarily in a small room, and wondering if you are insane was weirdly relatable to me back then. My bedroom didn’t have rubber lined walls In fact, the laundry room next to mine had flooded once and my carpet was soaked down to the padding. It had to be torn up and removed and for my remaining years in that house, I just had a concrete floor.
There were numerous moments in my life where I questioned if the things I was being told my by mom were true. Sometimes I’d find myself in arguments where I couldn’t track the narrative of how it even became an argument or the facts being discussed just didn’t track to me. I was a kid so what did I know? Sometimes I would check in with my Grandma about it and get brushed off. Other times, I would bring up my questions or concerns to my dad and he would defend my mom’s point which made me feel a lot more nuts.
The Turning Point: From Insanity to Clarity
Eventually, given enough time, I’d come to learn the truth on my own. My mom suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder. To this day, I am still processing and learning new ways that this played out in my childhood and early adult life. It has been a wild ride.
There is a point in this song where we hear a pounding drum solo accompanied by cheers from a large crowd to the beat of the drums. Bill is saying, “Thank you,” to the crowd. Accepting their thunderous applause. For a brief moment, we are hearing what Bill perceives to be real.
Maybe the release I feel now when singing this song isn’t so much a release of my anger, but a reminder for me that I used to be in a place that kept me in a constant state of questioning the realness of my own perception. A state of mind that sure feels like you’re crazy. But I’m not in that place anymore. My rubber-lined walls have been knocked down and I find myself in a much better mood.
Absolutely Bill’s Mood is a sometimes skip track for me. It depends, well, on my mood but when I need it, this track pulls through for me every time. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one, especially if you are hearing it for the first time.
Navigating life’s complex rythtms
Have you ever found solace in a song that mirrors your chaos, like 'Absolutely Bill’s Mood' does for me?
What are your feelings about this song?
Join the journey! Subscribe & share:
Not a subscriber yet? Dive deeper into the world of Kiss Me, Son of Blog by subscribing for free today. You can also pledge a future paid subscription.
Let’s build a little empire out of some crazy garbage.
Love what you read? Share it with friends and earn exclusive rewards! Learn more about our referral program here:
Explore more: Succulents and Cactuses
Enjoyed this post? Check out my other newsletter Succulents and Cactuses about the art of anxiety and overthinking.