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The most moving Super Mario-inspired song.
September 11, 2008 2:54 PM   Subscribe

Thank You Mario But Our Princess Is in Another Castle. John Darnielle (of the Mountain Goats) and Kaki King perform a song, sung from the point of view of Toad from the Super Mario Brothers video game franchise.
posted by PM (59 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
that is precisely the kind of thing pitchfork would love.
posted by shmegegge at 3:02 PM on September 11, 2008


I just saw this last night: Seth MacFarlane takes on Super Mario Brothers.
posted by callmejay at 3:03 PM on September 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


I played video games in a drunken haze
I was seventeen years young
Hurt my knuckles punching the machines
The taste of scotch rich on my tongue.

I am going to make it through this castle
if it kills me
I am going to make it though this castle
if it kills me



Thank you for this. Darnielle is brilliant.
posted by clearly at 3:04 PM on September 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


So not only Hollywood, but now songwriters are drawing "inspiration" from videogames?

I can't wait for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Knee Deep In The Dead, as well as Martin Creed's conceptual installation The Lights Going On And Off 2 which is, coincidentally, inspired by the very same game.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:17 PM on September 11, 2008


I love it - it's really touching, somehow. I love the line "when you came in, I could breathe again."

I also love that the song doesn't give away its conceit overtly within the text of the song itself - if you didn't know the song title you wouldn't know it's essentially an enormous Super Mario Bros. joke.

Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
posted by MythMaker at 3:18 PM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow. All I can say is, don't let this song keep you from checking out Kaki King. Her album Until We Felt Red is sublime and beautiful.
I don't know who this guy is but he doesn't deserve to be singing with her.
posted by mannequito at 3:18 PM on September 11, 2008


I don't know who this guy is but he doesn't deserve to be singing with her.

What
posted by turaho at 3:22 PM on September 11, 2008 [7 favorites]


I don't know who this guy is but he doesn't deserve to be singing with her.

I respectfully disagree and would not like to subscribe to your newsletter.
posted by clearly at 3:23 PM on September 11, 2008 [12 favorites]


Gagh. So cool. John Darnielle is top. Although as someone who has attempted to write a moving Super Mario inspired song, I do feel they're stepping on my toes a little bit.
posted by RokkitNite at 3:27 PM on September 11, 2008


There's a princess in the castle
How did the princess get there?
There's a princess in the castle
Where did the princess come from?
Where did the princess come from?
Where did the princess come from?
posted by escabeche at 3:27 PM on September 11, 2008


Some of the lyrics are funny, but the instrumental is exactly the sort of shitty generic indie-pop that deserves a punch in the dick.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:43 PM on September 11, 2008


Seth MacFarlane takes on Super Mario Brothers.

Is this a Family Guy reference?
posted by Greg Nog at 3:47 PM on September 11, 2008


Uncle Monsterface, the world's greatest sock puppet rock band did it first and better. And when they perform the song, they pull an audience member out of the audience to play Super Mario's on the big screen.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:04 PM on September 11, 2008


King Koopa fell on his back
When it all went down
And the plumber brothers grabbed on to his tail
swung him round
And Princess Peach, she held fast to Mario's glove
some things you do for power stars
and some you do for love love love
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:12 PM on September 11, 2008 [10 favorites]


I lurve John Darnielle. I sing Sax Rohmer #1 to my infant daughter as a lullaby. I change "with my own blood in my mouth" to "with my binkie in my mouth."
posted by diogenes at 4:22 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


...shitty generic indie-pop that deserves a punch in the dick

Your favorite shitty generic snarky comment sucks.
posted by dirtdirt at 4:25 PM on September 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


I couldn't bring myself to listen. Now the Wesley Willis is dead, the dream that the perfect Super Mario Bros. song might someday be written is over.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 4:26 PM on September 11, 2008


My favourite Darnielle collaboration is Lovecraft In Brooklyn, with Aesop Rock, which I think MeFi pointed me to. Man's an utter genius, and I too shall skip mannequito's newsletter.

I wanted to like this one, but it isn't so good. The girl, in particular..
posted by imperium at 4:29 PM on September 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am so sick of this video game bullshit. I hope they also release an acoustic version of an NWA song, and end things with the Full House theme song.
posted by luckypozzo at 4:37 PM on September 11, 2008


Wow, that was beautiful. Subtle and moving. Without the title, it's a love song, and a good one.

Thanks for posting this.
posted by misha at 4:38 PM on September 11, 2008




I like it until the girl sings. She just seems so out of place in it.
posted by youcancallmeal at 4:43 PM on September 11, 2008


So not only Hollywood, but now songwriters are drawing "inspiration" from videogames?

Ho, ho. They certainly do.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:47 PM on September 11, 2008


That music fucking sucks. Seriously.

There is one piano lick that keeps repeating. The whole song. It has three chords. The "solo" shows such a complete lack of music theory that I question whether the soloist was paying attention in his fifth grade music class. He's like David Gray, but he sings even worse, and the melody is even less catchy.

But hey, it's about Mario Bros. Yeah, sweet!
posted by zekinskia at 4:50 PM on September 11, 2008


I don't think I would have liked this anyway, but reading that it's "some of the warmest, most revealing production in his career" cements it for sure. What? I feel like this is the Emperor's New Clothes. There was barely even a song there.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 4:57 PM on September 11, 2008


well, that was a waste of my time.
posted by mr_book at 5:06 PM on September 11, 2008


Forget about the music, the lyrics are complete nonsense. There were no Magikoopas in any of the 8-bit games.
posted by Gary at 5:10 PM on September 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


I don't, generally, find the Mountain Goats to my taste (note I didn't say they sucked or anything similar, because I really think music is one of the most subjective things there is in life, and I like to avoid being a shithead with a stick up my ass), but I really enjoyed this, even with the magikoopa anachronism. Thank you.
posted by Caduceus at 5:19 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh Gary, you beat me to it. Yep - his reference to Magikoopas is totally non-canon. Except that the Yoshi's Island games have revealed that Magikoopa has essentially raised the young Prince Bowser and oversaw his rise to the thrown, plus Magikoopa has used time-travelling spells in more than one game, so it's totally possible that behind the scenes an incarcerated Mushroom Retainer caught a glimpse of Magikoopa. Who knows what twisted pattern Magikoopa weaves, or what his true motives really are? Not me. John Darnielle - perhaps.
posted by RokkitNite at 5:27 PM on September 11, 2008 [11 favorites]


I was expecting when I started reading the thread that there'd be some people telling us how much they love the song, and some people telling us how much they hate it, and some people making tangentially-related jokes, and some love for John Darnielle, and some wha?whodat?ing.

I am not disappointed.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:48 PM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Another vote for "hated it" here. I guess either I never played Mario Bros. or I don't like pretentious indy-pop - no wait, it's both.
posted by yhbc at 6:12 PM on September 11, 2008


Uh... for 'rise to the thrown' read 'rise to the throne'. I've had a spate of homonym dyslexia today. Quirky coincidence or the first grim harbingers of a degenerative brain disorder? Who nose.
posted by RokkitNite at 6:20 PM on September 11, 2008


I guess I should apologize for my last comment, because I just recalled that I totally ripped on that Metallica video the other day.
posted by Caduceus at 6:21 PM on September 11, 2008


No one tried to say a thing
When they took Bowser out in jest,
Except, of course, the little Mushroom boy
Who carried Mario to rest.
And he just walked along, alone,
With a noted lack of hassle,
And muttered underneath his breath,
"The princess is in another Castle."
posted by hellojed at 6:35 PM on September 11, 2008


Yeah, not my cup of tea.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 7:04 PM on September 11, 2008


Higgamus Hoggamus
Mario's escapade:
Dunking the dragon in
Lava red hot.

Only to find a small
Anthropomycomorph
Shouting, "you're here for the
Princess; she's not."
posted by The White Hat at 7:20 PM on September 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


Oh TWH! A double-dactyl! Super poetical kudos to you!
posted by RokkitNite at 7:24 PM on September 11, 2008


I love video games, video game music, and video game music songs. And I like the Mountain Goats. This didn't do much for me, though. But it was a charming idea and I'm glad you brought it to our attention.
posted by grobstein at 7:42 PM on September 11, 2008


i disliked that song, even though i was all prepared to like it.
posted by empath at 8:18 PM on September 11, 2008


Pity. I like Kaki King quite a bit, but she doesn't fit this song (Where TF is her damn guitar?!) and well, yeah, not what I'd call awesome.
posted by OrangeDrink at 8:19 PM on September 11, 2008


The best ever pipe cleaner sibs out of Texas
were a coupla guys
with big black mustaches.
One was named Luigi, the other was Mario,
and they jumped over goombas all day.

The best ever pipe cleaning bros out of Texas
never really saw a sink.
But they knew that the mushrooms
Grew deep in green pipes
So they wound their way through them all the same.

This is how Luigi got hit with a turnip
Thrown by a disgruntled Shyguy;
This is how Mario in the letters he'd write to the princess
Helped develop a plan to get even -
When you punish a plumber for plumbing his dreams
You can't expect him to thank or forgive you.

The best ever pipe cleaning bros out of Texas
Will in time both outpace and out live you.
Hail Bowser.
Hail Bowser, tonight.
Hail, hail.
posted by kaibutsu at 8:32 PM on September 11, 2008 [7 favorites]


(The song was ok. Not as good as the Mountain Goats I'm used to.)
posted by kaibutsu at 8:38 PM on September 11, 2008


kaibutsu, speaking as a resident of Denton. I approve of your comment.
posted by ktrey at 10:20 PM on September 11, 2008


I was expecting to love this, but it was just boring as hell.
posted by Nattie at 11:20 PM on September 11, 2008


That was absolutely incredibly, The White Hat. Just great.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:25 PM on September 11, 2008


If thou don't like the Mt.Goats, thou don't like the Mt.Goats, but I doth solemnly swear, with pinky, that it is not a case of the emperor's new clothes. If thou dost ever convert to Mr.Darnielle's brilliance, you will look back at your younger self with a wry smile. If thou dost not convert, well, that's no skin off my nose, but don't throw stones just 'cause all the converted folks are paying their obeisance at the latest radness.

This song is not pee-my-pants exciting like Aesop Rock + John Darnielle in Coffee, with the monsters and all. It is not tell-all-your-geeky-friends exciting like Jeffrey Lewis' illustrated press kit for the Mt.Goats' monster themed album. But it is a small shiny moment in my day, and I might get my boyfriend to listen to a Mt.Goats song for once.
posted by redsparkler at 12:19 AM on September 12, 2008


That music fucking sucks. Seriously.

You should hear Song for Tura Satana. It would drive you up the fucking wall.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:28 AM on September 12, 2008


I found this charming. If you take away the title and backstory, it's lyrically no different than any number of oblique/surreal Mountain Goats songs. And I really love the brief duet at the end, I think their voices go well together. I wasn't familiar with Kaki King until now, but after hearing this I got one of her albums off of eMusic. Good stuff, and it makes me look forward to the rest of their joint EP.
posted by brookedel at 2:34 AM on September 12, 2008


ktrey - as someone whose last name is Denton, I say, Thanks!
posted by kaibutsu at 3:02 AM on September 12, 2008


Also, I can't help but think of the old Mario Bros game - the head-to-head two-player one where you have to collect the coins and fuck over your friend on the other controller to do so - in conjunction with the line 'People say friends don't destroy one another - well what do they know about friends?'
posted by kaibutsu at 3:08 AM on September 12, 2008


Nice enough song, woulda been nice to hear a bit more from Kaki King though.
posted by robotot at 3:54 AM on September 12, 2008


My children , who alternate between playing Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii and Super Mario World on our old NES and are surprisingly invested in the characters/storyline, were sorely disappointed. But it did inspire them to want to write their own Mario song.
posted by mothershock at 5:28 AM on September 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Huh. I love the mountain goats and I seriously love John Darnielle, and this....meh. A fantastic concept blah-ly executed.
Not sure how I feel about this Kaki King character, and not sure how well this bodes for their upcoming co-tour. I hope it'll be two discrete acts and she'll be doing her thing and they'll be doing theirs. Because snoozing is not something I expect to be doing at a mountain goats show.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 6:33 AM on September 12, 2008


Man, the magikoopa discrepancy as previously pointed out distressed me more then I'm willing to admit. If you're going to write a love letter to a video game you'd think you'd at least know enough about it to avoid glaring errors.
posted by bookwo3107 at 9:00 AM on September 12, 2008


I submit for your approval: White Knuckle Scorin'.

The only Mario-related track is an excellent song by Jellyfish, with clever lyrics taking us inside the scheming, evil mind of Bowser Koopa

VERY moving.
posted by drinkcoffee at 10:44 AM on September 12, 2008


I leave the start as soon as it gets light outside
Like a prisoner breaking out of jail
And I steal down to where all the goombas roam
like I had that damn laiku on my tail

and somebody stops to pick me up
but he drops me off just down the block
and along the castle where the empty spirits breathe
fireflowers growing in the weeds
posted by Arturus at 10:54 AM on September 12, 2008


which is to say, I like the mountain goats, and this is good shit.
posted by Arturus at 10:55 AM on September 12, 2008


Since we're passing along Mario-inspired music: Warp to World 69, by B.E.N.E.F.I.T. Heavily profane and full of crude sex talk. But the fact that you can transmute Super Mario to this is, in its own way, a little interesting.
posted by WCityMike at 9:00 PM on September 18, 2008


zekinskia, as a David Gray fan who has studied music theory for most of my life, I hereby punch your taste in music in the dick.
posted by danb at 7:31 PM on September 26, 2008


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