Confusions about a Goldfish


In between mind-mapping my future, updating my resume, meeting other Fisher ex-employees, and watching Deadwood DVDs from Netflix, I’ve had time to surf the web for whatever my passing fancy desires. One of my fancies is reminiscing about, and hunting for, music.

The earliest lyrics to notably impact my emerging teenage consciousness were these, from “Confusions about a Goldfish,” from the album of the same name by John Kongos:

Does the goldfish in the bowl celebrate Thanksgiving?
And can he see me?
And if he can, does he think that I created him
just to look like me?
And does he question the changing of the water?

You can find reviews of the artist, and sometimes this album or song, but finding the song itself is difficult. I’ve found only one online source, a 1960’s music compilation called Lavender Popcorn. You can find the physical import if you hunt around hard enough. Or, far more easily, you can buy it as a download.

At best, explaining why a piece captures our feelings from a moment in time is super difficult but not cringe-inducing; at worst, you sound like a goofball. I’ll just say his music was the first to make me think about the greater world, and multiple realities, and leave it at that.

Another great verse from it:

There must be more than kicking the ball
around and around the box of food
Even more than the joy and pride of a mother
and her smiling Thalidomide

Boy I hope I transcribed that correctly. It’s how I remember the lyrics. If Kongos himself came here to comment that I got them wrong, I’d curl up into a fetal position and die.

Oddly, Kongos’ official site plays four musical clips, but “Confusions about a goldfish” isn’t one of them.

I think his biggest hit was another favorite of mine, “He’s Gonna Step on you Again”. It’s still easy to find this one online. The music was very rhythmic and primitive:

Gonna stamp out your fire
He can change your desire
Don’t you know that he can make you forget you’re a man?
You’re a man. 
He’s a man.

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