It’s the explosion that keeps on ‘sploding.
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the time the Oregon Highway Division decided to remove an 8-ton sperm whale from a Florence beach by blowing it up with dynamite, and over the decades it's become clear that it might just be the state's most widespread cultural contribution.
For example: Even the English are mildly obsessed with the story.
In the early part of the coronavirus pandemic, the town of Doncaster used the incident as an allegory for following quarantine guidelines. And now, a couple of Brits have written a song about it.
Last week, the Brett Domino Trio—an ironically named duo made up of keytar-wielding YouTube comedian Rob J. Madin, aka Brett Domino, and another guy named Steven Peavis—appeared on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, a hybrid game show and comedy panel whose origins and premise are too convoluted to summarize here.
All you really need to know is that on the Feb. 18 edition, Domino played a tune from an alleged (read: totally made up) West End-style musical he's writing about the incident, as told from the perspective of George Thornton, the late engineer who came up with the brilliant idea to blow the carcass to bits using dynamite.
"Nothing can go wrong/I'm just strapping a whale to a half-ton bomb," goes one line. "It'll be like Christmas Day/Raining beautiful snowflakes of the decomposing carcass of a dead sperm whale."
Watch the short performance below, starting at the 31:35 mark.
It’s extremely Flight of the Conchords-y, down to the dinky keyboards, but we can’t deny that a stage play about the exploding whale is long overdue. We finally got a park named after him last year, so let’s check another box, please.
It should be noted, however, that this isn't the first song written about our beloved combustible cetacean: In 2015, Sufjan Stevens released a song called "Exploding Whale" as an exclusive tour 7-inch during the promotional cycle for Carrie & Lowell, aka his "Oregon album."
Related: Oregon Historical Society Has Released Newly Restored Footage of That Time State Officials Blew Up a Dead Whale.