Trick Pony
By: Beck Hansen

Written by: Beck Hansen

Versions:
  1. Trick Pony (2:53)
    Available on IRM and 1 other release.
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Bass, Guitar (Electric), Percussion, Producer, Vocals (Background)
    Ben Attal: Drums
    Charlotte Gainsbourg: Vocals
  2. Trick Pony (Boys Noize remix)
    Available on Trick Pony.
    Credits
    Boys Noize: Remix
  3. Trick Pony (Maton remix)
    Available on Trick Pony.
    Credits
    DJ Maton: Remix
  4. Trick Pony (Django Django remix) (4:35)
    Available on Trick Pony.
    Credits
    Dave MacLean: Remix
    Django Django: Remix
    Tommy Grace: Remix
    Charlotte Gainsbourg: Vocals
  5. Trick Pony (Ghost Hunter remix) (4:24)
    Credits
    Ghost Hunter: Remix
    Charlotte Gainsbourg: Vocals
 
Lyrics:
Trick Pony [Version (a)]:

Train train
Come and gone
My rum coco
My cold empty
Shake shake sugaree
Shoo shoo fly
Don't come back again
XX the eyes
CC Rider riding
On the morning tide
To the far horizon
Sic sic the wolves
And hope it don't get ugly
Your trick pony
He don't know me
He don't know me at all

Knock knock, go away
Pull the trigger
And see your shadow laughing
Transatlantic
There's no-one there
It's no cold comfort
With your conscience calling
XX the eyes
CC Rider riding
On the morning tide
To the far horizon
Sic sic the wolves
And hope it don't get ugly
Your trick pony
He don't know me
He don't know me at all
Trick Pony (Django Django remix) [Version (d)]:

Knock knock, go away
Pull the trigger
And see your shadow laughing
Transatlantic
There's no-one there
It's no cold comfort
With your conscience calling
XX the eyes
CC Rider riding
On the morning tide
To the far horizon
Sic sic the wolves
And hope it don't get ugly
Your trick pony
He don't know me
He don't know me at all

Train train
Come and gone
My rum coco
My cold empty
Shake shake sugaree
Shoo shoo fly
Don't come back again
XX the eyes
CC Rider riding
On the morning tide
To the far horizon
Sic sic the wolves
And hope it don't get ugly
Your trick pony
He don't know me
He don't know me at all

Knock knock, go away

Train train
Train train
Train train
Train train
My rum coco
My rum coco
My rum coco
My rum coco
 
Trick Pony (Ghost Hunter remix) [Version (e)]:

Train train
Come and gone
My rum coco
My cold empty
Shake shake sugaree
Shoo shoo fly
Don't come back again
XX the eyes
CC Rider riding
On the morning tide
To the far horizon
Sic sic the wolves
And hope it don't get ugly

Knock knock, go away
Pull the trigger
And see your shadow laughing
Pull the trigger
And see your shadow laughing
Pull the trigger
And see your shadow laughing
XX the eyes
CC Rider riding
On the morning tide
To the far horizon
Sic sic the wolves
And hope it don't get ugly

He don't know me
He don't know me
He don't know me
He don't know me...
 
The Song:

"Trick Pony" can be found on Charlotte Gainsbourg's album, IRM. Beck produced and wrote the entire album.

The song is one of Beck's electric guitar blues--think "Soul Of A Man" but weirded up. Charlotte's teenage son (at the time of recording), Ben Attal, is the drummer.

The song itself references a lot of blues culture and phrases, but as is Beck's way, he distorts a lot of them, giving them his own twist. Also Beck quite entertainingly plays on phrases that use repetition ("coco" "shoo shoo" "CC Rider" "knock knock" "XX" "shake shake sugaree" etc.).

Here's some of the references that I can think of off the top of my head:

- "train train" : lots of blues train songs use "train train" as a call. "Mystery Train" by Elvis Presley is one ("train train / coming down the line" etc.).

- "rum coco" : 2 options on this. Rum Coco appears to be a drink of rum & coconut water. Not aware of that being a musical reference. If they meant Rum & Coca Cola, there is a famous Andrews Sisters song about that.

- "shake shake sugaree" : old blues song by Elizabeth Cotten called "I've Got A Secret (Shake Sugaree)." The Grateful Dead wrote their own "Shake Sugaree" also.

- "shoo fly / don't come back again": old nursery rhyme/children's folk song goes "shoo fly / don't bother me."

- "CC Rider riding": "CC Rider" is an old blues song, recorded by tons of people. The "riding" is Beck's own touch.

The title "Trick Pony" also somewhat distorts the normal phrase, "one trick pony" and in essence changing the meaning. However, the title phrase does not even appear in the song, so I wonder how it connects.

I get the sense all around that it was fun for Beck to write, for Beck & Charlotte & her son to record, and for us to hear.