Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead By XTC


1992 | Rock

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“Peter Pumpkinhead fooled them all, emptied churches and shopping malls. -- When he spoke, it would raise the roof, Peter Pumpkinhead told the truth. -- But he made too many enemies of the people who would keep us on our knees. -- Hooray for Peter Pumpkin. -- Who'll pray for Peter Pumpkinhead?"


  • Nonsuch hit #97 on the Billboard 200 while The Ballad Of Peter Pumkinhead hit #1 on the Modern Rock chart.
  • XTC were a rock band formed in Swindon in 1972, fronted by songwriters Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding.
  • There are two different versions of the music video, both of which feature a scenario very similar to the assassination of President JFK. The US version removes much of the more controversial material.
  • The song was covered by Canadian group Crash Test Dummies in 1994 for the soundtrack to the film Dumb and Dumber.


Luke Tatum

My, my. Isn't this something? Doing what's right, providing charity care (Note: Not voting for someone to steal money and then be generous with stolen funds) and having a good spirit gets you attacked by the people in power? Say it ain't so! It's hilariously on-point, this one. Sex scandals and other things used to target people could sound like a conspiracy theory, but after a certain point it just becomes old news.

Sherry Voluntary

There is no doubt that this song, especially with the accompanying video, is about John F Kennedy. While I do believe that JFK made many enemies of the powerful by trying to expose some corruption and alleviate some oppression of minorities, I’m far from wanting to canonize him as a saint, as so many others seem ready to do. In the end the man was still the head of one of the largest States the world has ever known and came from a privileged family that used and uses the political system to personally benefit from their status. That sex scandal that the song mentions failing, failed precisley because of that priviledge and protection. He may have wanted to do some good things, but in the end, if those good things come at the cost of lost freedoms, with laws that help to grow The State, you may be looking at a pyrrhic victory.

Nicky P

I enjoy and appreciate the layers of allegory this song basks in but much like Sherry I'm not about to sign on the line canonizing Kennedy as the second coming of Christ. This allusion is a great illustration of where most people's thinking stops. The envision a Christ-like person saving the masses and for some reason assume that figure is going to be in politics. I find this interesting because I can't think of any person that doesn't accept on face that politicians as a whole are the worst people humanity has to offer...other than their guy. I personally think that any tech innovator has done more to help humanity than any politician. Sadly look at how we deal with people trying to legitimately free people. They get double life sentences for non-violent crimes that shouldn't even exist. Ross Ulbricht is who I'd sub in if i made this video today. Speaking of, go visit freeross.org.

Created By
Nicky P