Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance

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Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance
ReleaseThing a Week Two
Release date01-27-2006
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"Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance" is a song inspired by Soterios Johnson, the morning anchor on the NPR station in New York, WNYC, who may or may not have a secret life of dance. It appears on Jonathan Coulton's fifth album, Thing a Week Two.


"Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance" was originally written for Little Gray Books Lecture #27: How to Lead a Double Life (or Death) (Download MP3). On his website at the time, JoCo wrote about it as follows:

"If you don't live in New York, chances are you don't know who Soterios Johnson is. But if you do, you have certainly heard him say his name over and over again on WNYC's Morning Edition. NPR is my alarm clock, so I'm pretty familiar with old SJ, and I got to thinking: this guy's so smooth, so polished, he's got to have some kind of a crazy secret life in which he goes to raves and lets it all hang out. (Also, I had to write a song about double lives for Little Gray Books.) The official title of this song is Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance, and I'm going to be a real stickler about the punctuation here, so watch it."

In a November 2005 interview, Johnson said about the song, "I’m quite honored...It’s a clever and catchy song written by a very creative guy."

It received a full update and was released as the eighteenth Thing a Week on January 27, 2006.

JoCo, in a comment on his blog entry (January 27, 2006) described the circumstances of his rewrite as follows:

"Sheesh. This is worse than when Dylan went electric. The lyrics are different in this version - when we did a Little Gray Books show in Philadelphia I localized the song a bit by adding the whole Terry Gross thing (her show Fresh Air started at WHYY in Philly). I for one like these lyrics better. And it’s my damned internet!"

In an interview in June 2008, JoCo said the new lyrics were written at the last moment while sitting on the sidewalk outside the lecture hall, because a musical group scheduled to perform at the lecture couldn't come. The lecture, along with the first (acoustic) performance of the song with the new lyrics, can be heard on the PRX website. [1]

Demo version[edit]

A demo version of "Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance" on the non CD collection, Other Experiments. The lyrics are slightly different, and it has little to none of the electronic accompaniment of the Thing a Week version. The demo version of this song is part of the non-album collection Other Experiments and is available on the Jonathan Coulton Store as Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance (Demo).

Live performance[edit]

"Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance" is occasionally played at Jonathan Coulton concerts. It is a popular choice for requests. When performed, it is stripped down to just Jonathan and a guitar, sounding more like the original demo version.



"Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance" is currently only available for purchase in the Jonathan Coulton MP3 Store as an individual track or as part of Thing a Week II. Of course this song is also included as part of the "Everything" playlist.

Downloadable FLAC versions of the above are available in the Jonathan Coulton FLAC Store.


"Thing a Week II" is available for purchase as a CD here.

Other versions[edit]

A karaoke version of both the Thing a Week and Demo versions of "Dance,+Soterios+Johnson,+Dance" are available on the Jonathan Coulton Karaoke Store.



Thing-a-Week Two
1. Flickr · 2. Resolutions · 3. You Could Be Her · 4. I Will · 5. Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance · 6. So Far So Good · 7. Curl · 8. Chiron Beta Prime · 9. Take Care of Me · 10. A Talk with George · 11. Don't Talk to Strangers · 12. Stroller Town · 13. Re: Your Brains