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Robyn Hitchcock — Balloon Man
Album: Globe of Frogs
Avg rating:
6.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 642









Released: 1990
Length: 3:22
Plays (last 30 days): 1
I was walking up Sixth Avenue when balloon man came right up to me
He was round and fat and spherical with the biggest grin I'd ever seen
He bounced on up toward me but before we could be introduced
He blew up very suddenly, I guess his name was probably Bruce

And I laughed like I always do
And I cried like I cried for you
And balloon man blew up in my hand

He spattered me with tomatoes, hummus, chick peas
And some strips of skin
So I made a right on 44th and I washed my hands when I got in

And it rained like a slow divorce
And I wish I could ride a horse
And balloon man blew up in my hand

I was walking up Sixth Avenue when balloon man blew up in my face
There were loads of them on Bryant Park so I didn't feel out of place
There must have been a plague of them on the TV when I came home late
They were guzzling marshmallows and they're jumping off the Empire State

And I laughed like I always do
And I cried like I cried for you
And balloon man blew up in my hand
Balloon man blew up in my hand
Comments (112)add comment
More Please!
i used to listen to this album a lot. i had no idea what the lyrics were... unique story about my old stomping grounds.
Hmmmmm...
 leafmold wrote:
First—what's with the low rating of this song?

Second—While I appreciate that Robyn Hitchcock is being played here—there are SO many great songs of his—why not play a few more?

 
There is a passel of RH tunes in the RP library, and while not on frequent rotation they do get played.  
a tune with clear NYC references. Just walked by 6th & 44th last week. Of course, this song is 28 years old. NYC is vastly changed since 1990. 
his name was probably Bruce?!
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f_p0CgPeyA
First—what's with the low rating of this song?

Second—While I appreciate that Robyn Hitchcock is being played here—there are SO many great songs of his—why not play a few more?
Oh, hello, college radio! 

I played this on my show back in the day.  Good times. 
 ziggytrix wrote:
One of the best comp CDs I ever bought had this song on it.

Best of MTV's 120 minutes, Vol. 1

Not a bad song on that CD, IMO.

 

I still have that one around and it is very good.
 mandolin wrote:
...i have absolutely no clue what this song's about, other than taking it at nonsensical face value...
 
Tripping, man.  I mean, like, maybe.  Including the laughing and crying parts.  Perhaps.  Oh hell, I have no idea what it's about.
Now that's a take on An Englishman in New York that I can go for.  Sorry Sting. 8
Love it.

Probably the most unlikely song to hear on any other station - way to go RP! 
Happy happy happy - takes me back to memory land...

This song is good for the ears...



 
Fantastic Byrdsy-Beatles jangly sound!!! {#Cheers}
yeah!! Robyn always a joy to hear.
I'm surprised that RP doesn't play anything from his recent albums with The Venus 3. They feature some of his best songs ever: NY Doll, Star of Venus, Ordinary Millionaire (with Johnny Marr) and many others.
Robyn has stated that he wrote this song for The Bangles. I can hear it!
THIS NEEDS TO BE PLAYED DAILY !!!
BILL, MAKE IT HAPPEN!
It's a silly, happy, upbeat tune and I like it too.
....well I love it, Bill. 

 
 anotherlistener wrote:
The long slow demise of HFS (arguably the greatest radio station ever) was agony for a faithful listener. At its best (late 70's through late 80's) you could listen every day for a week and not hear the same song twice. However Balloonman was not a favorite and would best remain forgotten.
 
HFS was so good, still miss it today.
I've had a terrible day.
I've even had a terrible week.
My year has not been the best
But this tune always makes me feel better.

Come on folks, don't be too critical, smile!! {#Dancingbanana}

Wow that playlist just came off the rails with this song.

Volume had been cranked, now its at a whisper to save everyone the embarrassment of listening to this song. 
Miserable
i repeat myself: one of RHs really mediocre songs, and from his only album which is NOT worth buying!
i really cannot understand why this one is played here!
there are more than enough really good hitchcock songs, and more than a handful absolutely adorable masterpieces. in any case more than enough to choose a better example of robyn.
I wouldn't want to listen to this every day but it's a great little tune.

(and I did buy this when it first came out) 
in my opinion, this is one of robyns really mediocre efforts. giving the fact that there are easily more than 100 really great songs from him i wonder how difficult it might have been to choose this one for RP.
I like the bits where he doesn't sing. 
Inside my light bulb grew a small child that had thoughts of mustard upon squid architects of genius magnitudes.
One of the best comp CDs I ever bought had this song on it.

Best of MTV's 120 minutes, Vol. 1

Not a bad song on that CD, IMO.
great I saw Robyn a few years ago, great gig, nice fellas, hung around afterwards to chat and the like, Peter Buck was playing guitar there too, good lads.
 More_Cowbell wrote:
I just had it out last week.
 
That just sounds wrong.

I cant believe the Amazon price is $73!?  Is this disk hard to find?  I just had it out last week.

9  Great!  Robyn is awsome.  He has a new disk out that's not bad.


MrDill wrote:
on the subject of Balloon man One day an inflatable boy is in his inflatable school, when his inflatable teacher blames him for another inflatable students rude noises. He is sent to the inflatable headmaster, after a long telling off from the inflatable headmaster the inflatable boy has had enough. He pulls out a pin and sticks it in the inflatable headmaster. He then runs out, just as he is leaving he thinks 'I hate school' and sticks the pin in his inflatable school. When he gets back to his inflatable house he runs up the inflatable stairs and straight into his inflatable bedroom. Thinking of what he has done the boy has had enough, he can't bear to face the consequences and proceeds to stick the pin in himself. The next day the inflatable boy awakes in the inflatable hospital, lying in the next inflatable bed is the inflatable headmaster. And with a disappointed look on his face the headmaster turns and says 'Son, not only have you let me down, you've let the school down and you've let yourself down'



Tell me another balloon story Daddy... but don;t play that F***ing SONG again!!

 dionysius wrote:
Barmy, brilliant.
 

Indeed!  {#Dance}
{#Puke}{#Puke}{#Arghhh}{#Grumpy}{#Crashcomp}{#Puke}{#Beat}{#Moon}{#Grumpy}{#Arghhh}{#Puke}{#Headache}{#Razz}{#Ass}  Is there a rating below 1.  Please make it stop. Hitchcock made plenty of good music, why this? Excelsior wrote:
{#Puke}
 


{#Puke}
on the subject of Balloon man One day an inflatable boy is in his inflatable school, when his inflatable teacher blames him for another inflatable students rude noises. He is sent to the inflatable headmaster, after a long telling off from the inflatable headmaster the inflatable boy has had enough. He pulls out a pin and sticks it in the inflatable headmaster. He then runs out, just as he is leaving he thinks 'I hate school' and sticks the pin in his inflatable school. When he gets back to his inflatable house he runs up the inflatable stairs and straight into his inflatable bedroom. Thinking of what he has done the boy has had enough, he can't bear to face the consequences and proceeds to stick the pin in himself. The next day the inflatable boy awakes in the inflatable hospital, lying in the next inflatable bed is the inflatable headmaster. And with a disappointed look on his face the headmaster turns and says 'Son, not only have you let me down, you've let the school down and you've let yourself down' :rolleyes:
Why not But not again for awhile, k?
Shimmer wrote:
I have a completely rational and logical hatred of this song.
Your a balloon man?
I was visiting SF one time, sitting in someone's living room, when Robyn came in the door to pick up one of the roommates he was dating. I nearly passed out from the coolness of it all. He is so very clever.
I have a completely rational and logical hatred of this song.
:eek: what did I do?
The long slow demise of HFS (arguably the greatest radio station ever) was agony for a faithful listener. At its best (late 70's through late 80's) you could listen every day for a week and not hear the same song twice. However Balloonman was not a favorite and would best remain forgotten.
nate917 wrote:
Completely agree about HFS. Completely disagree about Balloon Man.
I totally agree with both of you about the "death" of HFS, and I agree with one of you about the song.
Experiment gone horribly wrong, apparently. The song, however, is quite good. manbirdexperiment wrote:
could this song be any suckier?
now then, now then, what's all this then?
:cheesygrin: Barmy, brilliant.
...i have absolutely no clue what this song's about, other than taking it at nonsensical face value...
Ah HAA! Herman's Hermits lives. Catchy tune.
I always liked this song in the 80's but until I heard some of his other stuff on RP, I didn't realize how off the wall (he) his songs are.
anotherlistener wrote:
The long slow demise of HFS (arguably the greatest radio station ever) was agony for a faithful listener. At its best (late 70's through late 80's) you could listen every day for a week and not hear the same song twice. However Balloonman was not a favorite and would best remain forgotten.
Completely agree about HFS. Completely disagree about Balloon Man.
This song is almost a guilty pleasure. "and it rained.... like a slow divorce... and I wished.... I could ride a horse...." Absolute brilliant pop nonsense. 9
celadonstone wrote:
He blew up very suddenly, I guess his name was probably Bruce Bruce, eh? (ahh, Monty Python!)
:yes: :roflol: :yes:
The long slow demise of HFS (arguably the greatest radio station ever) was agony for a faithful listener. At its best (late 70's through late 80's) you could listen every day for a week and not hear the same song twice. However Balloonman was not a favorite and would best remain forgotten.
Soooooo good.............
He blew up very suddenly, I guess his name was probably Bruce Bruce, eh? Second Bruce: G'day, Bruce! First Bruce: Oh, Hello Bruce! Third Bruce: How are you Bruce? First Bruce: A bit crook, Bruce. Second Bruce: Where's Bruce? First Bruce: He's not 'ere, Bruce. Third Bruce: Blimey, it's hot in here, Bruce. First Bruce: Hot enough to boil a monkey's bum! Second Bruce: That's a strange expression, Bruce. First Bruce: Well Bruce, I heard the Prime Minister use it. "It's hot enough to boil a monkey's bum in here, your Majesty," he said and she smiled quietly to herself. Third Bruce: She's a good Sheila Bruce, and not at all stuck up. Second Bruce: Here! Here's the boss-fellow now! - how are you bruce? (Enter fourth Bruce with English person, Michael) Fourth Bruce: 'Ow are you, Bruce? First Bruce: G'day Bruce! Fourth Bruce: Bruce. Second Bruce: Hello Bruce. Fourth Bruce: Bruce. Third Bruce: How are you, Bruce? Fourth Bruce: G'day Bruce. Fourth Bruce: Gentleman, I'd like to introduce man from Pommeyland who is joinin' us this year in the philosophy department at the University of Walamaloo. Everybruce: G'day! Michael: Hello. Fourth Bruce: Michael Baldwin, Bruce. Michael Baldwin, Bruce. Michael Baldwin, Bruce. First Bruce: Is your name not Bruce? Michael: No, it's Michael. Second Bruce: That's going to cause a little confusion. Third Bruce: Mind if we call you "Bruce" to keep it clear? (ahh, Monty Python!)
he splattered me with tomAHtoes, chickpeas, and some strips of flesh........ Mmmmm.
:bananajam: :bananajam: :bananajam:
could this song be any suckier?
Little_Wing wrote:
Weeeeeeee!
Fun!
Zarba wrote:
HFS was one of the great stations. I used to look forward to travelling home to PA so I could listen to a good radio station. I hated to see it decline like it did, and then disappear. Like watching a beloved old dog slowly fade away.
RNR now is as good as HFS was in its day. Although I do miss Weasel.
I love a song about where I work. Now it needs to be followed up with Greg Khin's "Madison Avenue Man".
Weeeeeeee!
Saw Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians open for REM back in the day. I always thought it was wrong that they should be the opener.
wow, 2 bunk songs in a row
Since we're slamming WHFS: My partner tells the delightful story of his friend, A., who stood in the front row of the HFStival wearing a T-shirt that read "I listened to HFS when it didn't SUCK". I forgot the name of the DJ who was in charge of programming after the transition from good to bad (Pat something?), but when he came out on stage, he just started cursing out A. A. may have been forced to leave, I don't remember. I love that story. On another subject, though, I saw Robyn Hitchcock open for Billy Bragg sometime in the past 10 years, and he was... creepy. He was kind of glaring at the audience while he was playing. Not in a "I'm so cool" way, more in a "I know you're waiting for Billy and I hate you for it" kind of way.
WonderLizard wrote:
Amazing how many 'HFS junkies turn up in the unlikliest of places. Just after the Epsteins sold 'HFS and Weasel and Bob the Drive Time Guy (afternoon--the guy who played the Dead all the time; never did know his last name) had left, the new management started sticking it to Damien, who has a disability due to an auto accident. You know, can't live up to his obligations, etc. The real reason was that he was one of the Epstein's sons, and they just wanted to get rid of him. Well, Bonnie Raitt comes to Wolf Trap (Nick of Time or Luck of the Draw tour--forget which) and after her opening number sez, "I think what they're doing to Damien at 'HFS is bullshit!" How popular was 'HFS? The place goes nuts and wouldn't stop until Bonnie calmed 'em down so her show could continue. Damien struggled on gamely until the Epsteins bought another station (WRNR in Annapolis--referred to below), and he went home to family. Ugly business, radio. Vital, but ugly.
HFS was one of the great stations. I used to look forward to travelling home to PA so I could listen to a good radio station. I hated to see it decline like it did, and then disappear. Like watching a beloved old dog slowly fade away.
... :bananajumprope: ...
This song is fun......
Johng wrote:
"it rained like a slow divorce " Boy can I relate to that image.
LOL, I thought he was singing "it rained like a slaughter horse" whatever the heck that is. :)
Silly goose. It's not Sixth Avenue. It's Avenue of the Americas! (Okay, never mind that no one actually calls it that. Gotta use the PC name, though!)
this is bloody catchy.....
ChardRemains wrote:
Oh, that's where I got sick of it... but even if I do not miss this song at all, golly do I miss the old HFS.
Amazing how many 'HFS junkies turn up in the unlikliest of places. Just after the Epsteins sold 'HFS and Weasel and Bob the Drive Time Guy (afternoon--the guy who played the Dead all the time; never did know his last name) had left, the new management started sticking it to Damien, who has a disability due to an auto accident. You know, can't live up to his obligations, etc. The real reason was that he was one of the Epstein's sons, and they just wanted to get rid of him. Well, Bonnie Raitt comes to Wolf Trap (Nick of Time or Luck of the Draw tour--forget which) and after her opening number sez, "I think what they're doing to Damien at 'HFS is bullshit!" How popular was 'HFS? The place goes nuts and wouldn't stop until Bonnie calmed 'em down so her show could continue. Damien struggled on gamely until the Epsteins bought another station (WRNR in Annapolis--referred to below), and he went home to family. Ugly business, radio. Vital, but ugly.
A saw the video for this song on VH1 Classic a few weeks ago... what an enjoyable flashback that was!
I was floored to hear that Robin Hitchcock, who has that awful album "Spooky" is the singer of this song! Unbeleivable! Haven't heard this in centuries!!
uritsukidoji wrote:
horrible... too happy for me at the moment, it's not sunny at all... And i hate balloons... >-(
Listen to the words more carefully- the melody may be upbeat, but the words are certainly not happy or sunny
horrible... too happy for me at the moment, it's not sunny at all... And i hate balloons... >-(
Hitchcock was one of the first musicians I got into when I was 14 or 15. Odd, but true. Always happy to hear one of his tunes.
"it rained like a slow divorce " Boy can I relate to that image.
Love this song :sunny.gif:
85on95 wrote:
..."classic rock" station.....gag, a lot of talent relegated to a lousy format. ...
There's nothing wrong with classic rock. Maybe your point is that the format of classic rock is restrictive, but anyway. 94.7 (in DC) is a decent station as far as "old world radio" goes. HFS was a great station, I agree. It started going downhill a long time ago. I think it was at its peak when it was a real eclectic format. In the (late) 80s it started following trends too much and it started losing its luster.
85on95 wrote:
HFS went in the tank, being owned by the corporate giant, and recently bailed because of lousy ratings and turned into an all Spanish radio station. Weasal and Cerphe are on the local "classic rock" station.....gag, a lot of talent relegated to a lousy format. yes.. it was an abrubt, bizarre switch to spanish dance music -- no announcement.. nothing! the last song was jeff buckley, "last goodbye". i don't really miss HFS all that much though -- it was bad for the last couple years at least, mostly angry rock. oh.. and i like this little ditty by robyn hitchcock!
85on95 wrote:
HFS went in the tank, being owned by the corporate giant, and recently bailed because of lousy ratings and turned into an all Spanish radio station. Weasal and Cerphe are on the local "classic rock" station.....gag, a lot of talent relegated to a lousy format. Damien's still at WRNR in Annapolis, a small watt station, very proud of their non-corporate giant ownership, hence "home grown music." Pretty good stuff, just can't hear them very far. But the old WHFS sure did bring a lot of joy and new music to the mid-atlantic region. Those were the days.
Wow...I'm a Northern VA native but have been in CO for 10 + years. Haven't heard HFS referred to in years. So sorry to hear they went in the tank. :cry:
Yeah, but what a twitchy little chorus, eh?
8)
HFS went in the tank, being owned by the corporate giant, and recently bailed because of lousy ratings and turned into an all Spanish radio station. Weasal and Cerphe are on the local "classic rock" station.....gag, a lot of talent relegated to a lousy format. Damien's still at WRNR in Annapolis, a small watt station, very proud of their non-corporate giant ownership, hence "home grown music." Pretty good stuff, just can't hear them very far. But the old WHFS sure did bring a lot of joy and new music to the mid-atlantic region. Those were the days.
When this first came out, I was program director at a radio station in Willits California (OK, THEEE radio station, there's only one). I got the record in and immediately had to put it on the air. I still really love this song, a great song. I'm sure there are very few people who heard KLLK during those days, but it was a very good radio station! One of the last of the breed, I'm afraid. Now we have to come here...
please have mercy and make it stop
ChardRemains wrote:
Oh, that's where I got sick of it... but even if I do not miss this song at all, golly do I miss the old HFS.
Wow, back in the good old days before Clear Channel nazis took over the airwaves!! What was the name of that squeeky DJ? Weasel? And you could listen to Howard Stern on DC101!
ick, ick, ick.
camden_hampden wrote:
This actually did get a lot of radio play on Baltimore/Washington's once (long ago) great WHFS, but it is still a fun song by one of our time's finest performers, so I'm all for it!
Oh, that's where I got sick of it... but even if I do not miss this song at all, golly do I miss the old HFS.
Quote: Originally Posted by ScottFromWyoming: I want to move to your planet, where they actually play good music on the radio! It sure as hell ain't earth.
Then why are you listening? Geesh!
Normally I wouldn\'t much care for this, but today, coming on the heels of a somewhat inexplicable set on the theme of \"Hell\", it comes as an enormous relief.
Originally Posted by Shimmer: I got sick of this when it was originally played to death, and I'm still sick of it now.
This actually did get a lot of radio play on Baltimore/Washington's once (long ago) great WHFS, but it is still a fun song by one of our time's finest performers, so I'm all for it!
Originally Posted by ScottFromWyoming: I want to move to your planet, where they actually play good music on the radio! It sure as hell ain't earth.
Indeed!!!
Originally Posted by Shimmer: I got sick of this when it was originally played to death, and I'm still sick of it now.
I want to move to your planet, where they actually play good music on the radio! It sure as hell ain't earth.
Originally Posted by Shimmer: I got sick of this when it was originally played to death, and I'm still sick of it now.
Where was this played to death? This is the first time I've ever heard it. Mine you, I didn't listen to radio too much during the time my kids were babies (other then Radio Disney ) which was from about 1989 to 1998. So was it in this time frame? I like it...it's fun. pbm 8^)
Originally Posted by catmaven: Shimmer, you and others may just not like poop--excuse typo! I meant "pop" music. :p
Yeah, well I love good pop music. This ain't it.
Shimmer, you and others may just not like poop--excuse typo! I meant \"pop\" music. I don\'t like it usually. BUT you must admit that it provides a background and contrast in texture when an avant-garde immediately follows it--which is what our DJ seems to have so cleverly done. Think of it this way: If there were no leather, how could you appreciate boiled wool? If there were no deserts, how could you really appreciate mountains? If there were no grits with butter, how could you appreciate chiles rellenos with salsa picante? :p
I got sick of this when it was originally played to death, and I\'m still sick of it now.
Originally Posted by dmax: Fortunately, he recovered and did a great show. :-)
He is great. I saw him open for REM on the Gtreen tour. Sadly, the crowd wasn't much interested in his quiet set, but for those of us listening, it was fab.
a whole lotta syd barrett... but who did the arrangements? :roll:
I echo \"Gary\'s\" thoughts.
Great song. Pure pop at it\'s best. I can\'t wait till I can play/sing this to my kids some day!
Saw him at the Fillmore, where he opened with a mournful, slow song (? "I Often Dream of Trains" ? Can't remember) and in the middle of it, the promoter released a net full of balloons over the crowd, and we'd been told that one of them had some free tickets or something in it. It was clearly a promotion based on Balloon Man, but they released it at the wrong time, so the crowd is popping balloons as fast as possible as he's trying to do this heartfelt song. Finally he stops and says something like "Who did this fking stupid thing!?!?!" Fortunately, he recovered and did a great show. :-)
A catchy tune, I like it :) Note to Bill: The CD title should be \"Globe of Frogs\", although \"Box of Frogs\" does sound more logical.
I thought he said \"Blue Man,\" not \"balloon man ... \" For 90 percent of the song I had images of one of the Blue Man Group guys..... :lol:
He has some good songs but this one is just stupid.