Pinch Me

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"Pinch Me"
PinchMe Single.jpg
Single by Barenaked Ladies
from the album Maroon
ReleasedAugust 29, 2000
FormatCD, 7", 12"
GenreAlternative rock
Length4:45 (Album Version)
4:37 (Radio Edit w/o Fade)
3:49 (Radio Edit w. Fade)
Songwriter(s)Steven Page
Ed Robertson
Producer(s)Don Was
Barenaked Ladies singles chronology
"Pinch Me"
"Too Little Too Late"
Music video
"Pinch Me" on YouTube

"Pinch Me" is a song by the Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies. It was released as the first single from their 2000 album, Maroon, two weeks before the album was released. As such, "Pinch Me" is often regarded as an attempted follow-up to the hit single "One Week". This song became the band's second Top 20 hit, peaking at number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 14, 2000. The song first reached the Top 40 on October 3, 2000. It also peaked at number 30 on Billboard 's Modern Rock Tracks chart and, to date, is the band's last single to appear on that chart.


The song was co-written by frontmen Steven Page and Ed Robertson, but the concept and base for the song came from Robertson. He wrote the song following the "roller-coaster" success of Stunt, and returning to Canada to find people less interested or aware of the success. "I was trying to get to the root of what I was feeling... 'this is all great, but not right here it's not – not where I live, and not in my heart'... It's this notion that you know things are good – they're just not quite good for you."[citation needed]

The fundamental guitar riff of the song (through the verses) was based on the song "Leaving Las Vegas" by Sheryl Crow. The recording (and most live performances) is based on a drum loop (along with which drummer Tyler Stewart plays). The loop was created by taking the best two bars of Stewart himself playing drums, and then looping them. The song was originally written with the chorus rap as the less prominent "underpinning" half of the vocal, with the melody being more prominent, but as the writing process went along, the rap became the foreground. Noting that the melody line was now the background, they took the lyric and also used it for the bridge of the song.

According to Ed Robertson, during the Austin, TX concert on July 21, 2012, "Pinch Me" has one of his favorite "fake lyrics". He explained, "Often when we're writing a song, we just put in fake lyrics for a while, just to fill the space, 'cause we know what we want the melody to be, but we haven't finished the lyrics." The original chorus of the song was this: "Doesn't anyone, make a Chelsea bun, like they used to back, in the day? Sticky-sweet, it's a special treat. If Chelsea Buns were men, I'd be gay."[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Chuck Taylor, of Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, saying that "the production is tight, and the melody alternates between minimalist verses and Ed Robertson's trademark hyperkinetic delivery." He goes on to say that the "quirky lyric doesn't go for the wit as past hits have, but it still captures the band's friendly side, which had earned it a strong cult following long before it tore up the charts."[2]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Pinch Me", directed by Phil Harder, features Robertson as a fast food worker while the other band members and several extras are customers. Page also acts as the restaurant's mascot in some shots. The treatment was written by Page. The logo for the restaurant is a thumbs-up logo, which is played in the video by showing the logo upside down in several shots as a thumbs-down. The video echoes the message of depression inherent in the song as Robertson's character seems depressed in his work. Actor Eric McCormack has a cameo in the video as a customer. He happened to be on the lot in which the video was being shot, and since he was a fan, they let him be in the video. Those of the customers in the video who are not members of the band are dressed like Steve Burns from Blue's Clues. During the first chorus, it reveals that Kevin Hearn, the band's keyboardist, is playing a Wurlitzer electric piano.



Chart (2000) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[3] 126
Canada Top Singles[citation needed] 4
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[4] 41
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 15
US Billboard Top 40 Mainstream[6] 17
US Billboard Top 40 Tracks[citation needed] 11
US Billboard Triple A Songs[7] 2
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[8] 30
US Billboard Adult Top 40[9] 2


  1. ^
  2. ^ Billboard, August 12, 2000 – Vol. 112, No. 33, Page 57.
  3. ^ "Imgur". Imgur. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  4. ^ " – Barenaked Ladies – Pinch Me". Top 40 Singles.
  5. ^ "Barenaked Ladies Pinch Me Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  6. ^ "Barenaked Ladies Pinch Me Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  7. ^ "Barenaked Ladies Pinch Me Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  8. ^ "Barenaked Ladies Pinch Me Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  9. ^ "Barenaked Ladies Pinch Me Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2019.

External links[edit]