David Lynch: "It's a Small World" was a traumatic experience.

David Lynch Was Traumatized by “It’s a Small World”

David Lynch Was Traumatized by “It’s a Small World”

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Slate's Culture Blog
July 17 2013 12:56 PM

David Lynch Was Traumatized by “It’s a Small World”

David Lynch in happier times

Photo by GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images

The A.V. Club has a fun recurring feature called HateSong, in which they ask artists to talk about songs they hate. Today they’ve published a particularly delightful entry in which David Lynch talks about “It’s a Small World.” Or, rather, he talks about “Flappy,” a “code word” for the song that the A.V. Club agreed to use, because hearing the song was so traumatic for Lynch that he doesn’t even like to hear the name of it mentioned.

“Traumatic” is his word, by the way, the one he uses to describe his first experience hearing the 1964 Sherman Brothers’ classic, which, not surprisingly, he heard at Disneyland, on a trip with his daughter. The tune “got stuck in my head,” Lynch says, “and it was like having a disease,” specifically, he later adds, “like the swine flu or something. Through music, you get the swine flu.”


Lynch acknowledges that the song is “actually a masterpiece in some ways,” and that there “could come a day, in supreme enlightenment, when ‘Flappy’ would be absolutely fine.” But that day seems far off. For now, “Just the thought of it can start it going, and it’s a torment.”

If you don’t mind risking such torment, you can refresh your memory below.

David Haglund is the literary editor of NewYorker.com.