The Impression That I Get

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"The Impression That I Get"
Single by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
from the album Let's Face It
Released January 27, 1997
Format CD maxi single
Genre Ska punk
Length 3:14
Label Mercury Records
Writer(s) Dicky Barrett, Joe Gittleman
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones singles chronology
"Hell of a Hat"
"The Impression That I Get"
"The Rascal King"

"The Impression That I Get" is a song by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and the lead single from their 1997 studio album Let's Face It. It is the band's most successful and popular song. The track reached #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart. In 1998, a live version of this song appeared on Live from the Middle East. That same year, the Bosstones performed this song during their debut performance on Saturday Night Live.

The song was certified Gold in digital sales 17 years after its release in 2014.[1]

Track listing[edit]

CD maxi single[edit]

  1. "The Impression That I Get" – 3:13
  2. "Desensitized" – 2:04
  3. "Is It" – 2:53
  4. "Storm Hit" – 3:14

Alternate pressing[edit]

  1. "The Impression That I Get" – 3:13
  2. "Is It" – 2:53
  3. "Storm Hit" – 3:14


"The Impression That I Get" is fairly characteristic of the Bosstones' ska punk style. Horns play a large role in this sound, as do the distinctive vocals of Dicky Barrett.


In the lyrics, the singer asks listeners if they have "been close to tragedy" necessitating "a strength most don't possess". The singer says while he has not faced such a daunting situation himself, he "know(s) someone who has" and makes the understatement that he is "sure it isn't good." The singer also expresses doubts about his own mettle and wonders how he would perform in such a situation himself. While stating "I like to think that if I was I would pass" he confesses "I'm afraid of what I might find out."

The motivation of the song was credited by Dicky Barrett as coming from a baby sitter of his. He called her his, "fiery red-headed crush." She would tell him, "You are stronger than you know, you can do more than you would ever believe and with passion the spark of your life can ignite a fire that changes the world."

The opening line of the chorus states "I never had to knock on wood." This may mean "I never had to...(knock on wood)" referring to something that the singer has never had to do (i.e. face a huge crisis) and utilizing the superstitious phrase "knock on wood" -- said in the hopes that a good thing will continue to occur after it has been acknowledged. Alternatively, it may simply be a statement he has not had to "knock on wood" for good luck, in the face of a challenge.

Following the former interpretation of the first line, the mid-chorus lyrics, "It makes me wonder if I never had to knock on wood" are more easily understood with the insertion of ellipsis and other punctuation, i.e. "it makes me wonder if I...? Never had to... (knock on wood)."

The lyrics have been interpreted by some[who?] to be in reference to AIDS, and the anticipation of blood results, but the group's official website denies this.

Original release[edit]

More than a year before the release of Let's Face It the song appeared on Safe and Sound: A Benefit in Response to the Brookline Clinic Violence [1], an album released in response to the slayings of two abortion clinic workers in two different clinics in Brookline, Massachusetts on December 30, 1994, and received heavy play on Boston radio throughout 1996.

Use in other media[edit]

"The Impression That I Get" was featured in several films including Step Brothers, Chasing Amy, Krippendorf's Tribe, Fathers' Day and Digimon: The Movie. It was also included in the Activision video game Band Hero, the Namco game Taiko: Drum Master, and the Nintendo game Donkey Konga. It also appeared in an episode of the television series Friends.

The current theme song of the reality show America's Funniest Home Videos is arranged and inspired by the song.

The song was featured in TV spots for the Adam Sandler film Jack and Jill.

The song is on occasions played on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno before commercials.

The song is a bumper for Howard Stern's impressions compilation shows.

It was used by the popular movie critics Mike and Jay of Red Letter Media as the outro music to their scathing review of the Adam Sandler film Jack and Jill.

Charts and certifications[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]