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Music / The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

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I've never had to knock on wood,
But I know someone who has,
Which makes me wonder if I could,
It makes me wonder if I've,
Never had to knock on wood,
And I'm glad I haven't yet,
Because I'm sure it isn't good,
That's the impression that I get.
"The Impression That I Get"

An American Ska band active from 1983 to 2022 and one of the main groups involved in the ska punk genre, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones were recognized mainly for their fusion of ska and Hardcore Punk and the distinctive growling vocals of frontman Dicky Barrett. They became prominent in The '90s during the height of the Third Wave ska revival and had a very successful hit with "The Impression That I Get", which topped the modern rock charts in 1997, and the platinum album Let's Face It. After going on hiatus for several years in The Noughties, they reformed in 2009 to release a new record, Pin Points and Gin Joints.

The group's line-up — particularly in the horn section — fluctuated over the years, but the most recognizable and longest lasting members are probably Dicky Barrett (vocals), Joseph "The Bass Fiddleman" Gittleman (bass guitar), Joe Sirois (drums) and Ben Carr (manager, dancer and "Boss Tone"). Other members included Tim "Johnny Vegas" Burton (saxophone), Kevin Lenear (saxophone), Chris Rhodes (trombone) and Lawrence Katz (guitar).


  • Devil's Night Out (1989)
  • More Noise and Other Disturbances (1992)
  • Don't Know How to Party (1993)
  • Question the Answers (1994)
  • Let's Face It (1997)
  • Pay Attention (2000)
  • A Jackknife to a Swan (2002)
  • Pin Points and Gin Joints (2009)
  • The Magic of Youth (2011)
  • While We're At It (2018)
  • When God Was Great (2021)


  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Their song The Daylights is quite good at this.
    Sanity worth saving, well, I'm not so sure,
    A soul that's somewhat suitable to save,
    The feelings I had felt from falling on the floor,
    Good God, I'm getting ready for the grave!
  • Anti-Christmas Song:
    • Not quite fully "anti-", but "Xmas Time" note  is about being alone in Boston during the holiday season, with little money and no real place to go.
    • "Jump Through The Hoops" has a verse with some anti-Christmas sentiments.
  • The Cameo: Jimmy Kimmel occasionally sings/plays with them live. Usually he gets to sing the "The Impression That I Get" or play the oboe with them.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: "Another Drinkin' Song".
    "Gonna dive into a dive I've dove into before"
  • Listing Cities: In “Pirate Ship”.
    "Trips to St. Louis, Lawrence, and Austin San Diego, Atlanta and don't forget Boston"
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Like most ska bands, they're quite good at it.
    • The aforementioned "Another Drinkin' Song" is quite upbeat in its third chorus while it talks about alcoholism.
    • "The Magic of Youth" is also upbeat, while it talks about two young lovers who grew apart and became a stripper and a drug addict.
    • "Royal Oil" sounds like a celebratory party song - it's an Ode to Sobriety warning the listener about how deadly heroin is.
    • "Her Man" is a catchy tune about domestic violence and how a woman couldn’t bear to leave her abuser and paid for it with her life.
  • "Sesame Street" Cred: They appeared in Sesame Street's 30th anniversary special, Elmopalooza, performing "Zig Zag Dance", one of the show's most obscure songs, with Count von Count.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: The B-Side "Chocolate Pudding", sung by Tim "Johnny Vegas" Burton, is the only Bosstones song to have anyone other than Dicky Barrett sing lead.
  • Trope Codifier: The Ska-Core, the Devil and More EP is probably the codifier for for the sound of ska-core.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Dicky Barrett’s singing (especially on early Bosstones albums) is EXTREMELY guttural, angry and loud, although he sings much cleaner vocals these days. His speaking voice on the other hand is very pleasant to listen to (although he’s still quite loud and brash, being from Boston).