Frank Zappa

A Little Green Rosetta

Composed by Frank Zappa

Song Review by

Placed as the conclusion of the three-LP set Joe's Garage, "A Little Green Rosetta" seems highly provocative. Here is a concept album closing with a very stupid, totally unrelated song. Maybe it's album filler; maybe also Frank Zappa sent a strong signal that everything previously heard was not to be taken seriously (then again, who would have?). Finally, maybe it was self-mockery over a story line that clearly lacked cohesion.

The Central Scrutinizer tells us that Joe has finally abandoned his dreams of music and now works happily at the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, icing muffins that pass in front of him on a conveyor belt -- this, of course, is a reference to "Muffin Man" (on Bongo Fury, 1975). Then the song itself begins, an ultra-repetitive exotic-like vamp based on the lines "A little green rosetta/You'll make a muffin betta" (the rosetta is a spurt of icing in the shape of a rose). Two more lines later in the song need to be quoted: "Because this is a stupid song/And that's the way I like it."

"A Little Green Rosetta" was probably written (well, sketched) in 1975, around the same time as "Muffin Man." A first version was meant to be included on the ill-fated box set Läther. It features Zappa on piano and vocals in a sound setup identical to "Evelyn, a Modified Dog." After a minute the piece cuts to a live guitar solo later released in a different edit as "Ship Ahoy" on Shut Up 'n' Play Yer Guitar. The Joe's Garage version was completely re-recorded and features background vocals by the whole "cast." Thankfully the song was not performed live.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Joe's Garage, Acts 1-3 1979 Rykodisc 8:15
Joe's Garage: Acts II & III 1979 Rykodisc 8:16
Läther 1996 Rykodisc 2:48