Originally Released on:


also appears on:

  • Teenage Riot single (edit)
  • Burning Spear 7" (live '93)
  • Washing Machine bonus disc (live '95)
  • 1991: The Year Punk Broke (live '91)
  • Screaming Fields of Sonic Love
  • Screaming Fields of Sonic Love video (music video)
  • Daydream Nation deluxe reissue (LP, live '89)
  • Mix Tape #6 (live '88)
  • Hits Are For Squares
  • Rarities 2 (live '89)
  • 11/05/88 "LIVE AT CABARET METRO 1988"
  • 12/13/88 "LIVE AT CBGB'S 1988"
  • 04/12/89 "LIVE IN MOSCOW 1989"
  • 03/05/93 "LIVE AT THE WARFIELD 1993"
  • 07/06/00 "LIVE IN COPENHAGEN 2000"
  • 08/20/04 "LIVE AT THE ORANGE PEEL 2004"

  • Gigantic! (video mix)
  • Astro Sheen
  • Option Giveaway
  • Metal CD Giveaway
  • Rebellious Jukebox
  • RCD Classic Rock Collection Vol 10
  • Westwood One In Concert: New Rock #94-16 (live '93)
  • Mute Bank
  • Buy Product
  • Lord of the Boards
  • Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the 80s Underground
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Thurston - guitar/vocals
Kim - bass/intro vocals
Lee - guitar
Steve - drums

Lyrics   status: confirmed

You're it
No you're it
Yeah, you're really it
You're it
No I mean it, you're it
Say it, don't spray it
Spirit desire (face me)
Spirit desire (don't displace me)
Spirit desire we will fall
Miss me, don't dismiss me
Spirit desire, spirit desire
Spirit desire we will fall
Spirit desire
We will fall
Spirit desire, spirit desire
Spirit desire we will fall
Spirit desire
We will fall

Everybody's talkin' bout the stormy weather
And what's a man to do but work out
Whether it's true
Lookin' for a man with a focus and a temper
Who can open up a map
And see between one and two

Time to get it, before you let it get to you
Here he comes now
Stick to your guns and let him thru

Everybody's comin' from the winter vacation
Takin' in the sun in an exaltation to you
You come runnin' in on platform shoes
With Marshall stacks
To at least just give us a clue
Ah here it comes, I know it's someone I knew
Teenage riot in a public station
Gonna fight and tear it up in a hypernation
For you

Now I see it, I think I'll leave it out of the way
Now I come near you
But it's not clear why you make the way

Lookin' for a ride to your secret location
Where the kids are settin' up
A free speed nation for you
Got a foghorn and a drum
And a hammer that's rockin'
And a cord and a pedal and a lock
That'll do me for now
It better work out, I hope it works out my way
Cuz it's gettin' kinda quiet in my city's head
It takes a teenage riot to get me out of bed
Right now

You better look it
We're gonna shake it up to him
He acts the hero, we paint a zero on his hand

We know it's down
We know it's bound too loose
Everybody's sound is round it
Everybody wants to be proud to choose
So who's taking blame for the stormy weather
You're never gonna stop all the teenage leather
And cooze

It's time to go round
A one man showdown teach us how to fail
We're off the streets now
And back on the road on the riot trail

Track length: 6:57

First Known Performance: 06/09/88
Last Known Performance:  11/14/11


  • Working title: "Rock and Roll For President", supposedly written about a fantasy world where J. Mascis is president.
  • Excluding the Ciccone Youth vids, this is SY's 4th video, and is directed by Sonic Youth themselves.
  • Often performed live w/out the 'spirit desire' intro until mid-90s, most recent performances have extended feedback outros that generally segue into something like "Burning Spear".
  • Jim O'Rourke played guitar on this song while he was in the band.
  • Performed on Later with Jools Holland in 2009 while promoting The Eternal.


  • On "Teen Age Riot" single - EDIT - 3:50

    The mix used for the video was 4:20, and this is probably the "video mix" available on the Gigantic! compilation.

  • On Mix Tape #6 - LIVE - 7:13

    Recorded live on 06/09/88 in Hoboken, NJ. Outtake from Daydream Nation deluxe.

  • On "Daydream Nation" deluxe disc - LIVE - 4:38

    Recorded live on 03/26/89 in Amsterdam, Holland.

  • On "The Year Punk Broke" - LIVE - 4:28

    Recorded live somewhere between 8/20/91 & 9/1/91.

  • On "Burning Spear" 7" - LIVE - ?

    Recorded live on 1/24/93 in Melbourne, Australia @ Big Day Out festival. 7" only available w/ limited versions of Dirty in Australia. Same version is on "Westwood One" radio disc.

  • On "Washing Machine" 2xCD - LIVE - ?

    Recorded live on 9/12/95 in Paris, France @ Elysee Montmartre. Bonus CD w/ some import versions of Washing Machine.