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Lyrics and original music by Neil Gaiman (for Peri Lyons), performed with extra chordification by Amanda Palmer. No, not the one who works for Al Jazeera, the other one.

Damn. I remember when Googling your date was something only MIT students did. Tempus frangit. (I leave to you, Gentle Reader, the obvious punch line about the likelihood of MIT students finding dates in the first place.) Incidentally, does anyone else feel rewarded when they recognize that two successive Neil Gaiman blog-post titles are, ultimately, riffs on Milton’s Samson Agonistes (1671)?

UPDATE: The lyricist provides the words in the comments below.

28 Comments

  1. ONe of my best friends co-wrote that song with Gaiman.
    http://www.myspace.com/perilyons

    Peri should get some credit too, is all I’m sayin’ :)

  2. Oops. Mea maxima culpa.

    But Peri Lyons’s own MySpace page sez, “The new song, “I Google You”, was written by NY Times bestselling author (“American Gods””Good Omens””Stardust”et al) and devil-may-care man-about-town (and hyphen-collector, apparently) Neil Gaiman, who is a genius, or at least looks very genius-y and all in that leather jacket of his.”

    And Neil Gaiman wrote,

    Meanwhile, the remarkable Peri Lyons (for whom I actually wrote the song) (not because I was Googling her late at night, but because she asked me last December to write a song for her one-woman show) will be doing the aforementioned show in New York (The Metropolitan Room: 34 West 22nd St Betw. 5th & 6th Ave. – New York, NY 10010) later this month — details at The Metropolitan Room Website, here.

    There was no good place to truncate that sentence.

    Help!

  3. No, Peri didn’t co-write it. Like she says on her myspace page, I did.

  4. Excuse me, I think my head just asploded.

    (You probably don’t remember signing my copy of Nabokov’s Invitation to a Beheading at MIT in October 2001. It was the only book I had on me that evening, and Peter David autographed it with the notation, “I only signed this because Neil did.”)

  5. Bizarrely, I do remember that. I’ve only signed a few other-people’s books over the years. And that MIT signing with Harlan is imprinted on the back of my head. It was weird.

  6. Hooray — I’m memorable! Life is good, forever!

    (I also asked about the bees at the Julie Schwartz memorial lecture; I was a few people in queue ahead of the astrologer/numerologist.)

    And as people keep finding this page while Googling for “I Google You” lyrics, I should probably do something about that. (If you don’t mind, that is.)

  7. I Google you
    late at night when I don’t know what to do
    I find photos
    you’ve forgotten
    you were in
    put up by your friends

    I Google you
    when the day is done and everything is through
    I read your journal
    that you kept
    that month in France
    I’ve watched you dance

    And I’m pleased your name is practically unique
    it’s only you and
    a would-be PhD in Chesapeake
    who writes papers on
    the structure of the sun
    I’ve read each one

    I know that I
    should let you fade
    but there’s that box
    and there’s your name
    somehow it never makes the pain
    grow less or fade or disappear
    I think that I should save my soul and
    I should crawl back in my hole
    But it’s too easy just to fold
    and type your name again
    I fear
    I google you
    Whenever I’m alone and feeling blue
    And each scrap of information
    That I gather
    says you’ve got somebody new
    And it really shouldn’t matter
    ought to blow up my computer
    but instead….
    I google you

  8. Wonderful!!

    I had it all typed up, actually, from a scholarly comparison of videos, although for some reason I heard “scrap of information” as “dram of information.” All that time spent learning to write Elizabethan tragedy has ruined me.

    A friend of mine — and not one of the friends who delights in torment by misinformation — insists that I met Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione at a party, but it must have been a fantastic party, because I can’t remember a damn thing.

  9. I think Amanda sings “shred of information” on the first video. And it’s music and lyrics by me (although both Peri and Amanda took me singing and went off and did their own chords to it…)

  10. Original post duly updated.

  11. OKay, okay, My bad. :)

  12. Not to worry, Jennifer. If you hadn’t posted that, I would never have put up the lyrics…

  13. Everyone wins! :-) Thank you, Jennifer, for starting the whole thing off.

    (A friend from the old times is visiting from Colorado and showing off pictures of his new digs. Original shag carpet from the 1970s. And his research project: “And this is my reactor — focus down ten gigawatts of solar power and you can convert biomass into any carbon compound you want.” He flips to the next picture on his strange, combination phone-camera device, and the next picture happens to be a sleeping kitten. “And this,” I intone, “is the secret ingredient for biomass conversion. . .”)

  14. I nominate this as the greatest thread in the history of interwebbery.

    Anyway, thanks for the link, Blake! I met Amanda briefly when she was at ART for The Onion Cellar, which was several different kinds of stupendous. I wish they’d do that piece again, but I’m guessing it won’t happen.

    • peri lyons
    • Posted Saturday, 9 August 2008 at 01:21 am
    • Permalink

    Okay, children: the beyond-words-to-express-how-cool-he-is-Neil Gaiman (frankly? his photos do NOT do him justice) wrote this song and I glommed onto it and constructed a show around it. My rendition (not as great as Amanda’s, but not bad for a white girl)is at http://www.myspace.com/perilyons Go to metropolitanroom.com, search “peri Lyons” for info, and for heaven’s sake tell everyone you’ve ever met, up to and including your third grade homeroom teacher, to come.
    Neil! Do please come. I will send a palanquin.
    ALSO?Everyone needs to buy Jennifer’s books, “Black Bodies And Quantum Cats” and “Physics of the Buffyverse” RIght NOW!!!
    They’re unbelievably great.
    love
    Peri

  15. Unbelievably great is the least we expect from Jennifer. ;-)

    Meanwhile, it seems they have stumbled upon Leavenworth Below.

    • The algorithm
    • Posted Sunday, 10 August 2008 at 19:50 pm
    • Permalink

    Those lyrics and Amanda Palmer are each, independently, mind-blowingly cool. With both involved, and a science fiction legend showing up to comment, my hot-swap failover mind was also blown and now I have to recover from binlogs. Sweet.

  16. Uh, hi. MIT alum here…and offended! Come on, I get lots of dates! Gotta love Amanda Palmer, though. Didn’t know she had a solo career. Now I do…

  17. I didn’t say that it was true, just that it was the obvious joke. I mean, if people who graduated from there can’t joke about it, who can? (-;

  18. Hah. but actually … at MIT we finger our dates … yeah

  19. That was beyond awesome. In fact, another word should be created for the sole purpose of commemorate this event…

    And I shall now be singing this song well into the next month. Brilliant!

  20. You too, eh?

  21. Kidding? I’m humming it as I type…

    But I’m okay with it. It’s much better than the usual “God! Why is this stupid song in my head” humming I’m usually stuck with for days unending…

  22. I had this one looping in my head like a broken MP3 playlist all the way to work this morning. (My commute is a 40-minute walk.)

  23. Hey – thanks for the recommend for Jennifer’s books – they look fab and are winging their way to me from the interweb!

  24. I was so close!

    Thanks for finally confirming the two or three words I couldn’t quite make out. ;-)

    • Anna Savvides
    • Posted Thursday, 21 August 2008 at 18:10 pm
    • Permalink

    A recommended riff on Milton is Eyeless in Gaza by Aldous Huxley. It’s often overlooked. http://www.allreaders.com/Topics/info_20610.asp
    Well worth a read.

    • Conrad Virina
    • Posted Friday, 22 August 2008 at 06:13 am
    • Permalink

    ahm, is there a video of Neil Gaiman himself singing I Google You?

    Btw, Neil, when are you going back to Manila? So far, i only have 5 books signed by you.


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