Frank Zappa

Brown Moses

Composed by Frank Zappa

Song Review by

"Brown Moses" is one of a very few songs written especially for Frank Zappa's 1984 pseudo-musical Thing-Fish. The character of Brown Moses is played/sung by Johnny "Guitar" Watson. In the previous scene ("Briefcase Boogie"), Harry and Rhonda were having a delirious sex fight, the man indulging in S&M with a puppet, the woman making love to her briefcase. The scene freezes as Brown Moses enters the stage, singing his song with the Crab-Grass Baby in his hands -- everyone had completely forgotten about him: "Dis pygmy I be clutchin'/Have been lef' out on de lawn!" (Yes, he talks like Thing-Fish.) The man gives his prediction, "Sho'ly one day he will grow/'N put some shit/In yo' sack o' woe," before asking for a small ransom. The soulful song, featuring lots of vocal overdubs, has a gospel feel. On stage it was performed with a light reggae beat (and followed by "The Evil Prince"). Ray White's vocal performances were more convincing, as can be heard on You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 4. The song was performed only a few times at the end of the 1984 tour.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Thing-Fish 1984 Zappa Records 3:01
You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 4 1991 Zappa Records 2:38
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