Squirrel Nut Zippers is an American swing and jazz band formed in 1993 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by James “Jimbo” Mathus (vocals and guitar), Tom Maxwell (vocals and guitar), Katharine Whalen (vocals, banjo, ukulele), Chris Phillips (drums), Don Raleigh (bass guitar), and Ken Mosher.
The band’s music is a fusion of Delta blues, gypsy jazz, 1930s–era swing, klezmer, and other styles. They found commercial success during the swing revival of the late 1990s with their 1996 single “Hell”, written by Tom Maxwell. After a hiatus of several years, the original band members reunited and performed in 2007, playing in the U.S. and Canada.
In 2016, Mathus and Phillips reunited the band with a new lineup to tour in support of the 20th anniversary of their highest selling album, Hot.
The Squirrel Nut Zippers continue to tour, and released their new album, Beasts of Burgundy in March 2018, and singles “Mardi Gras for Christmas” and “Alone at Christmas” in November 2018.
In the afterlife
You could be headed for the serious strife
Now you make the scene all day
But tomorrow there’ll be Hell to pay
People listen attentively
I mean about future calamity
I used to think the idea was obsolete
Until I heard the old man stamping his feet.
This is a place where eternally
Fire is applied to the body
Teeth are extruded and bones are ground
Then baked into cakes which are passed around.
Beauty, talent, fame, money, refinement
Top skill and brain
But all the things you try to hide
Will be revealed on the other side.
Now the D and the A and the M
And the N and the A
And the T and the I-O-N
Lose your face, lose your name
Then get fitted for a suit of flame