"Itzcuintli-Totzli Days" is one of the many Mountain Goats songs that displays John Darnielle's fixation on ancient Aztec culture: "Itzcuintli" (or "Itzquintli," the dog) is the tenth day of the Aztec calendar, and "Totzli" (or "Tochtli," the rabbit) is the eighth. Apparently, Tochtli symbolized drunkenness, something looked down upon by the Aztecs. So when Darnielle sings "I know he's coming, let him come / Let the big, big rabbit come out," he's singing a good old-fashioned drinking song, albeit with Aztec imagery. It can never be said that Darnielle writes straightforwardly.
(It also makes me think of the film "Harvey," and the relationship between the alcoholic Elwood P. Dowd and an invisible rabbit; the line "Let him cast his shadow on the bright face of our little house" brings to mind the promotional artwork.)
Like many Mountain Goats songs, every element comes together: the words, the melody, the vocals (lead and harmony), and the guitar playing. (I emphasize the guitar playing because a friend of mine says that Darnielle's not a particularly good guitar player. He's wrong.) it's only 1:24, so there's not much to it, but it's (short and) sharp. And at the end, there's applause. where it's coming from, I don't know, but it just as well might be coming from us.
from Beautiful Rat Sunset (Shrimper SHR 99), available on CD
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version of Itzcuintli-Totzli Days