My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)" is a song written by Dee Dee Ramone, Jean Beauvoir and Joey Ramone, and recorded by the Ramones in protest of Ronald Reagan's visit to a soldier's cemetery in Bitburg, West Germany in May 1985.

The visit had been criticised in Europe as well as in the United States because 49 members of the SS, the Nazi paramilitary organization that helped run the extermination camps during World War II, were buried there. Some of SS members buried at Bitburg came from units that committed atrocities, including the murder of American POWs. According to White House Chief of Staff Donald Regan, in Reagan's view the majority of the soldiers who were buried at the cemetery were "simply soldiers of the German army.... There were thousands of such soldiers for whom Nazism meant nothing but the brutal end of a short life".

The lyrics are a departure from the Ramones' usual style, with a more outwardly serious content. Joey and Dee Dee Ramone had written the song with producer and former Plasmatics bassist/keyboardist Jean Beauvoir. Joey, who was Jewish, had started on the song lyrics after being almost physically sickened by the Reagan visit, feeling that the President had disrespected the six million victims of the Holocaust by visiting Bitburg.

"Bonzo Goes to Bitburg" was originally meant to be the sole title of the song, but guitarist Johnny Ramone, a conservative Republican and Reagan supporter, insisted that the refrain of "My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down" be the title on American releases of the song, and the reference to Reagan be in parentheses.

The song was used in the soundtrack of the film School of Rock.

See also

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