Greenwich Mean Time
By: Beck Hansen, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Written by: Beck Hansen, Charlotte Gainsbourg

Versions:
  1. Greenwich Mean Time (2:25)
    Available on IRM.
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Bass, Guitar (Acoustic), Percussion, Piano, Producer, Vocals (Background)
    Brian Lebarton: Bass, Celeste, Drum Machine
    Joey Waronker: Drums, Percussion
    Charlotte Gainsbourg: Flute, Vocals
    Alice Attal: Vocals (Spoken)
  2.  
  3. Greenwich Mean Time (Sunset Sound Session)
    Available on Sunset Sound.
 
Lyrics:
Greenwich Mean Time [Version (a)]:

Crooked Man down a crooked mile
Crooked backbone, crossed out smile
Crooked Cat, Crooked Mouse
We live together in a crooked little house
We're all fine, we're all fine
We fit together like worms on a line
We're so good, we're so nice
We stick together like dirty horseflies

Crooked eyes, crooked tooth
Crooked mind bending back the truth
A crooked road on a crooked town
Looking down at the crumbs on the ground
We're all fine, we're all fine
We fit together like nickels on a dime
We're so good, we're so nice
We talk the mumbo jumbo Greenwich Mean Time

We're all fine, we're all fine
We fit together like nickels on a dime
We're so good, we're so nice
We talk the mumbo jumbo Greenwich Mean Time
 
The Song:

"Greenwich Mean Time" can be found on Charlotte Gainsbourg's album, IRM. Beck wrote and produced the entire album, and this song is the only one where Charlotte is credited as a cowriter. I do not know how their songwriting was apportioned, who did what.

The song is a distorted mix of sounds, including "Dior Theme"-style acoustic guitar, percussion, toybox tinkles. The nursery rhyme lyrics are pretty fun as well.

The fuzzed-out spoken talking near the end is credited to Alice Attal, who is Charlotte's 5-year-old daughter. (Her older brother Ben drums on "Trick Pony.")

Originally, this song was to be called "Crooked Man" but that changed. (The title is mentioned in the copyright database as an alternative to "Greenwich Mean Time".)

"Greenwich Mean Time" is based around the opening lines of the nursery rhyme/folk song, "There Was A Crooked Man":

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.


Very close! The rest of the song builds from there, maintaining the childlike rhythm and phrases as Beck and Charlotte create their own nursery rhyme.