Ferris Wheel on Fire

"Ferris Wheel on Fire" is another popular unreleased Neutral Milk Hotel song. The band would play it in their live sets with some frequency throughout their touring heyday of 1996 - 1998. It's known to fans only by the various bootleg live versions; no studio or demo versions are currently in circulation. It's rumored that the band attempted to record a studio version for Aeroplane, but it didn't make the cut. One is left to assume that if they had gone back to the studio to record a follow-up album, the song would be a top candidate to appear, or in the very least, been given a second chance at a proper recording. But as it stands, fans of the song can only hope the fabled Aeroplane outtake is released as a "bonus track" or something someday.

As Jeff has stated several times in live introductions of the song, it's about just that: a ferris wheel at a carnival catching fire and rolling away.

various bootlegs - live version

Also Known As
Ferriswheel on Fire

played live many times.


Well now first of all
We became what we always had feared
Every engine holds
All their oils on fire appeared
They finally broke through
And on your shoulder
This weight has been placed upon you
And everything we ever learned

Now I'm keeping stow
In someone's bright carnival ride
All the crowd just cheers
As the bolts break and metal collides
Spiraling through
And flying up all over the hills
And now everything's broken in two
And everything's way over

But now most of all
I am holding you under my skin
Watch these buildings fall
Watch as each weak resistance caves in
All over you all over
And now finally fading from view
Is everything we ever knew

Back to Neutral Milk Hotel Song Index

The Carrot Flower Kingdom