365 Days of Mike Patton: “RV,” Faith No More (1992)

I’m not sure anything I’ve heard from Mike Patton that could be considered a country and western song. Except, of course, for “RV,” the fourth song off Faith No More’s masterpiece Angel Dust.

For the first time since joining the band a few years earlier, Patton had a big say in the music and the lyrics for Angel Dust (pretty much everything was pre-manufactured for Patton on 1989’s The Real Thing). We know how eclectic Patton can be. So, we can assume “RV” is something that could have sprang from his mind. Or Tom Waits’ mind, as a number of reviews of Angel Dust said at the time (or, as Rolling Stone wrote, “’RV’ is a bizarre Tin Pan Alley/country hybrid,” and as many mention, it might take inspiration from the scenes in “Super Mario Bros” when Mario was swimming underwater).

 

About a year ago, there was a thread on the Faith No More subreddit about whether “RV” was a stupid comedy song, and at first glance, it appears it could be.

With lyrics like …

“Yeah, I sweat a lot

Pants fall down every time I bend over

My feet itch

Yeah—I married a scarecrow”

… you could see how that can be taken as some sort of crudely cruel comedic song about some sad sack of a man who has no real future in life.

But it’s probably not. If you read between the lines, there’s some dark content contained in the song, particularly an element of child abuse and self-hatred and perhaps suicide. This isn’t a funny song at all. Especially the last line which is just a killer kicker.

I love this song, but damn if it doesn’t make me feel slightly uncomfortable.

Previously from Angel Dust:

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