Pixies – Here Comes Your Man ….80’s Underground Mondays

Thanks to Dave at A Sound Day for bringing this song back up to me a few months ago. That 12 string caught my ear right away. 

Songwriter and guitarist Black Francis (Charles Thompson IV), he called this song “Hobo film noir.” He said the song was about hobos traveling by train and dying in a big earthquake in California. He started writing it when he was about 15 and was inspired by small earthquakes experienced growing up in California.

This was probably their most popular song, getting lots of airplay on college radio stations. They couldn’t be bothered promoting it but it did well on the alternative charts. 

This song was released in 1989 and it was on the album Doolittle. It peaked at #3 in the Alternate Charts and #54 in the UK. 

The band broke up in 1993 and reunited in 2004. 

Black Francis: “This is a pre-Pixies song that I wrote when I was about 15. It’s about winos and hobos travelling on the trains who dies in the California earthquake. Before earthquakes everything gets very calm, animals stop talking and birds stop chirping and there’s no wind. It’s very ominous. I’ve been through a few earthquakes actually ‘cos I grew up in California. I was only in one big one in 1971. I was very young and I slept through it. I’ve been awake through lots of small ones at school and at home. It’s very exciting actually, a very comical thing. It’s like the earth is shaking, and what can you do? Nothing.”

From Songfacts

The Pixies included this song on their first demo when they set out to get a record deal. Once they were signed, Frank Black had no intention of recording the song, and didn’t until their third album, Doolittle. “People have been telling us to record it ever since so we finally did,” he said.

This became a concert favorite for the Pixies after they reunited in 2004 (they broke up in 1993), but when it first came out, Frank Black had no intention of playing it. “The poppiest song on Doolittle, which we couldn’t even play live if we tried, is ‘Here Comes Your Man,'” he told The Catalogue in 1989. “We would never play that song live; we’re too far removed from it. It’s too wimpy-poppy.”

Joey Santiago played a 12-string Rickenbacker to get the jangly guitar sound on this track.

Here Comes Your Man

Outside there’s a box car waiting
Outside the family stew
Out by the fire breathing
Outside we wait ’til face turns blue

I know the nervous walking
I know the dirty beard hangs
Out by the box car waiting
Take me away to nowhere plains

There is a wait so long
You’ll never wait so long

Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man

Big shake on the box car moving
Big shake to the land that’s falling down
Is a wind makes a palm stop blowing
A big, big stone fall and break my crown

There is a wait so long
You’ll never wait so long

Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man

There is a wait so long
You’ll never wait so long

Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man

Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man

Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man
Here comes your man

Here comes your man