Pair #9: "When a Cow Snapping over Friend Chiken XD"

Original Post Date: December 19, 2008
Runtime: 1:58
Genre: Rock Ballad
Compilation Album: Sweat Pants

Prompt Summary: "a song when a cow snapping over friend chiken XD." That's the whole request. Verbatim.

Many Songs to Wear Pants To are fantastic standalone tracks that would fit right in on the radio.* Then, there are those that would baffle anybody unfamiliar with the premise of Andrew's project. This fits snugly into the latter group. (And incidentally, understanding the website's premise doesn't really help with the bafflement in this particular case, as the prompt is…barely coherent.)

If you ever wanted to feel like you're on a half-decent hallucinogenic trip without the need for actual hallucinogens, just listen to "When a Cow Snapping over Friend Chiken XD." This slow ballad consists of the title repeated several times, with a backup vocal dropping in at the end of each phrase with a riff on the title. At the end, we get a little unintentional, behind-the-scenes glimpse into Andrew's process because his guitar pedal apparently lost power while he was recording this song. He adlibs about the event, tossing in a reference to the song title for good measure. No retakes here; that adlib is canonically part of the song now.

There are a million possible explanations for what the requester's original intention was, here. One commenter on the official STWPT site proposed that they meant to type "fried chicken." Someone else—clearly a fellow '90s child—thought it could have been a reference to the bonkers, late-90s Cartoon Network show Cow and Chicken.

The "XD" at the end of the prompt is probably the least ambiguous part: it's a classic emoticon indicating riotous laughter. This would suggest that the requester thought they'd come up with something truly hilarious, even though the meaning still eludes us well over a decade later.

Some of my favorite Songs to Wear Pants To are the results of Andrew's reading a prompt and then coming up with a cheeky interpretation. (See also: "Lyrics to a Song." I can't wait to write about that on this blog; it is perfection.) "When a Cow…" definitely at least leans against that box, especially given his inclusion of "XD," which was not meant to be included for real, considering it's an emoticon.

I don't know what else he could have done with the prompt. But that's okay because this song is perfect just the way it is. Well, except that I do wish it weren't such an earworm.

*Well, at least on Dr. Demento's show. Also, a radio station of just STWPT would be just swell. Please?

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