O Tannenbaum (They Might Be Giants song)

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"O Tannenbaum"
Single by They Might Be Giants
B-side Christmas Cards
Released 1993
Recorded 1992, Fairfax High School
1993, Excello Studio, NYC
Genre Alternative
Length 4:37
Label Elektra
Producer(s) They Might Be Giants
They Might Be Giants single chronology
"I Palindrome I"
"O Tannenbaum"
"Snail Shell"

"O Tannenbaum" is non-LP single by They Might Be Giants released on a transparent green 7" record to celebrate Christmas of 1993. The title track later appeared on their 2001 compilation EP, Holidayland.

Recording history[edit]

"O Tannenbaum" is the first recording by They Might Be Giants to utilise their live touring outfit. The duo had recently expanded to include a live bass player, drummer, and horn section for their Don't Tread on the Cut-Up Snake World Tour 1992 to promote Apollo 18.[1] The song was recorded during a soundcheck at Fairfax High School on 20 November, 1992.[2] "Christmas Cards", which also utilises a live drummer and bassist, was recorded on 5 July, 1993 at Excello Studio in Brooklyn.[3]

"O Tannenbaum" is sung entirely in German by John Linnell. The recording only includes the first verse. According to John Flansburgh, the band was provided with a phonetic transliteration from a German-speaking friend.[4]


The cover artwork for the EP was illustrated by Amy Sillman.[3] The songs are pressed on either side of a transparent green 7" record. The labels use an Elektra Records logo recreated by John Flansburgh and Barbara Lipp for the Apollo 18 album.[5]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "O Tannenbaum"   Traditional 2:05
2. "Christmas Cards"   They Might Be Giants 2:32


They Might Be Giants[3]
Additional musicians[3]
  • Paul Angelli - recording and mixing, track 1
  • Pat Dillett - recording and mixing, track 2


  1. ^ Feinberg, Jonathan. "JDF Discography". Retrieved 2013-05-22. 
  2. ^ They Might Be Giants in Holidayland (Album notes). Restless Records. 2001.
  3. ^ a b c d e "O Tannenbaum" (Release notes). Elektra Records. 1992.
  4. ^ Seattle Weekly interview with John Flansburgh, December 2001. Accessed 2012-08-05.
  5. ^ Apollo 18 (Album notes). Elektra Records. 1992.

External links[edit]