Fish Heads (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Fish Heads"
Single by Barnes & Barnes
from the album Voobaha
B-side "High School Gym"
Released 1978
Label Lumania Records
Writer(s) Barnes & Barnes

"Fish Heads" is a novelty song by comedy rock duo Barnes & Barnes, featured on their 1980 album Voobaha.[1] It has often been played on the Dr. Demento show, and is the most honored song in Demento show history.[2]

The song is about fish heads and all the things they can (or, more often, cannot) do, such as playing baseball, wearing sweaters, dancing, playing drums, or being seen drinking cappuccino in Italian restaurants with Oriental women. It is accompanied by a high-pitched chorus, achieved by speeding up the tape, which repeats the original's chorus.

Actor Bill Paxton directed and appeared in the music video for the song, which aired on NBC television on Saturday Night Live, on December 6, 1980. Dr. Demento had a cameo as the bum.


  • Wild Man Fischer released a cover of "Fish Heads" on his album Pronounced Normal.
  • Eagle-Eye Cherry released a cover of "Fish Heads" as a Desireless B-side.
  • Buck 65 recorded a cover of "Fish Heads" put to the music of Wire's "Three Girl Rhumba". The cover appears on a 2007, tour-only CD-R titled, Heck.


The song was among the most requested and aired on Kids America, a children's radio program aired over American Public Radio in the 1980s. The song's extreme popularity on the program nearly caused it to become a signature song of the series as it regularly came in as the #1 song requested out of several each day.

The video was played regularly on the Nickelodeon television series Turkey Television in 1985.

In the "Treehouse of Horror VII" (1996) episode of the animated television series, The Simpsons, Homer sings and hums the song as he carries a bucket of fish heads to the attic to feed Bart's mutant twin brother, Hugo.

Every Friday, local Jersey radio station Channel 103 hosts a "Fish Head Friday", where every hour on The Breakfast Show, a verse and chorus from "Fish Heads" is played.

On the February 9, 2010, episode of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, the Roots played the song as Bill Paxton entered the stage as a guest. Paxton explained that it was the thirtieth anniversary of the short.

On the October 20, 2013 episode of The Amazing Race, the song was played over the closing credits.

Bob Keller used to play it on Sacramento's rock station KZAP every Friday.

In the web comic VGCats, Krug is seen singing this song in one comic as he is cooking.