Music

Stickman

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Stickman
copyright Tim Griffin 1995

Pretty fat Patty was lovely but large
‘Til she decided it was time to take charge
She read how to do it in a fashion book
She gonna look like a model no matter what it took
She’s gonna get slender and sexy and sleek
You know she’s goin’ on a diet, losin’ ten pounds a week.

Stickman, stickman, that’s your name
You know those stickwoman stories are all the same
Stickwoman, stickwoman, no no no
If you want to lose weight you got to go slow

Cute fat Patty started losing the weight
And all her friends told her she looked great
The pounds are coming off and they ain’t coming back
And it’s been four days since she even had a snack
She’s down to the weight that she wanted before
But now she wants to lose just a little bit more

Stickman, stickman, what a shame
You know the diet that you’re on is a losing game
Stickwoman, stickwoman, better beware
You’re gonna diet to death if you don’t take care

Sweet fat Patty doesn’t look like herself
And her friends are worried ‘bout her health
They tell her that she’s got to eat some food
But she learned on the T.V. that skinny is good
She eats her dinner but it makes her feel fat
So she vomits it up to keep her tummy flat

Stickman, stickman, look at you
You know you couldn’t hold your dinner if you wanted to
Stickwoman, stickwoman, that’s what’s wrong
You’re gonna die for your diet by end of the song

Stick-thin Patty doesn’t need any food
But now she doesn’t look so good
Her friends say Patty is all skin and bone
But she still feels fat when she bows to the throne
Poor fat Patty felt fat on the day
When she finally wasted away

Stickman, stickman, look like a stick
You don’t believe the doctor, tell you you’re so sick
Stickwoman, stickwoman, change your ways
Or you’ll end up like Patty one of these days

Print Notes Notes

I kept this one in my “unfinished” file for years, wondering whether to record it. The subject matter is extremely unpleasant and the scansion a little rough in places. Furthermore, the content standards of the Common Core, the Next Generation Science Standards, and the state of California barely make any reference to eating disorders.

Still, some friends kept bugging me about it. After all, the media don’t wait for high school to start bombarding our kids with unrealistic and unhealthy ideals of physical perfection; maybe we shouldn’t wait to start discussing body image issues and the self-destructive behaviors they cause. I certainly wish someone had talked to a student of mine before she wound up hospitalized with an eating disorder. She was nine years old and beautiful, but had become convinced her healthy body was too fat. It was right after that episode in 1995 I wrote this song.

Parents, please use your judgment about whether to share this with your kids. I dislike sharing such an unpleasant thing, and it dismays me that I find it necessary.

CALIFORNIA CONTENT STANDARDS: Grades 7 & 8; Health & Nutrition 1.9.N: Analyze the harmful effects of engaging in unscientific diet practices to lose or gain weight.

GUITAR CHORDS: E, A, B.