Frank Zappa

Father O'Blivion

Song Review by

"Father O'Blivion" is the last part in a four-part suite titled "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow," which also includes "Nanook Rubs It" and "Saint Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast." All appeared on the 1974 LP Apostrophe.

As you "do the funky Alfonzo," you are told the story of Father O'Blivion (and once again, remember this is all a dream!). He was given a hand job by a leprechaun the night before the pancake breakfast fundraiser. It turns him into a sex fanatic or something like that, as the song shifts from a fast-paced rock to a sunny Latin fiesta. The last verse, "Good morning, your Highness/Ooo-ooo-ooo/I brought you your snow shoe," is an intentionally lame attempt at turning the suite on itself and locking it in place by referring to the first part of the suite.

On the studio version, the piece fades out at this point. Live, it was given a proper ending. The 1979 recording included on You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 1 features a long bombastic finale. "Father O'Blivion" seems to pre-date the suite, as it was premiered in 1972. This lifeless proto-version is found on You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 6.

"St. Alfonzo's Pancake Breakfast" and "Father O'Blivion" make a relatively independent entity in the suite and have been performed this way by cover bands (like the Bohuslan Big Band).

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Apostrophe (') 1974 Rykodisc 2:18
Apostrophe/Over-nite Sensation 1986 Ryko Distribution 2:18
Poughkeepsie 2018 Chrome Dreams / Smokin' 2:27