Humor is incredibly important to me, so I try to find it everywhere I can. That is how part of me deals with negative situations a lot of the time. I may worry about certain aspects of what is going on around me, but I’ll always find a way make some fun of it. Humor is an incredible coping mechanism.
Ween’s 1996 classic “Piss Up a Rope” is quite a stupid song. And I love it. A single from their country concept album “12 Golden Country Greats,” “Piss Up a Rope” serves as a stellar parody of style and thematic elements in country western music. Loss, grief, and anger are all subjects prevalent in country western music. In these songs, the singer loses their wife, dog, truck, or whatever, but they move on with little to no emotional baggage. How do they do it? By just brushing it off with a smirk and some colorful way of telling someone to take a hike. Dean Ween says the inspiration for the expression “piss up a rope” came from his dad saying “aw, go shit in your hat;” a nonsensical way of saying “whatever.”
The main focus of the track is the songwriting. While the music adds to the concept Ween is developing, it isn’t anything really exciting. Besides a distorted guitar solo, the music arrangement is fairly generic. It serves its purpose, though. The key to the song is authenticity if it is going to live up to the western theme. With vocals led by Gene Ween, “Piss Up a Rope” is a story of a man who has had enough of his loud, abusive wife. Gene has had enough of her shit and is ready to give her the ol’ one finger salute and end this terrible marriage in the most hilarious way possible; stupid lyrics colloquialisms.
Ween is famous for their strange, experimental style. They’re very consistent at being inconsistent. Some of their material is way out there, but all of it is rich in humor. There was a lot of material to choose from, but I’ve got a soft spot for “Piss Up a Rope.” It is a song that is committed in recreating an entire thematic experience. It is not a song for everybody and for obvious reasons. Music like this is really an acquired taste for its reality-numbing effects. And Ween doesn’t care. If you can’t cope, then piss up a rope.