12 Mountain Goats lyrics about the BOM

Since their founding in 1991, the incredibly prolific band The Mountain Goats, led by singer-songwriter John Darnielle, have given the FIRST community a rich pool of lyrics which perfectly describe key elements of the FIRST competition experience.

By Steevven1 - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10469679

In this article, we explore 12 Mountain Goats lyrics that express what it's like to develop and submit a Bill of Materials (BOM) for an FRC robot.

 1. When your sponsors can't look at your BOM to understand your team's actual robot development costs.

No one knows where the lone wolf sleeps
No one sees the hidden treasure in the castle keep

"Rain in Soho"
From the 2017 album Goths

2. When your $55 sensor wasn't paid for completely with your $50 product donation voucher.

Look beyond the broken bottles
Past the rotting wooden stairs
Root out the wine-dark honeyed center
Not everyone can live like millionaires

"The House that Dripped Blood"
From Tallahassee

3. When you can't use all 45 new motors you bought.

All the chickens come on home to roost
Plump bodies blotting out the sky
You know it breaks my heart in half, in half
When I see them try to fly

From The Sunset Tree

4. When "Identical Functional Replacement" means something different to each Reasonably Astute Observer based on their prior knowledge of the part and its application.

There's a monkey in the basement
How did the monkey get there?

"The Monkey Song"
From Protein Source of the Future... Now!

5. When you try asking QA for help understanding the budget rules.

Our conversations are like minefields
No one's found a safe way through one yet
I spend a lot of money
I buy you white gold

"Southwood Plantation Road"
From Tallahassee

6. When you email AndyMark to ask them to re-price $5.00 items at $4.99.

Look at the person I've turned into
Tell me, how do you like him now?
No standards of any kind to break
No creeds to disavow

"Family Happiness"
From The Coroner's Gambit

7. When you use your machining resources to make your own fabricated duplicates of COTS parts.

But none of the money we spend 
seems to do us much good in the end
I got a cracked engine block, both of us do
And the fights, and the lies that we both love to tell
fail to send our love to its reward down in hell
I got pudding for a backbone, but so do you

"Fault Lines"
From All Hail West Texas

8. When you've accounted for every possible exception but you still can't afford the Limelight.

King Saul fell on his sword when it all went wrong
And Joseph's brothers sold him down the river for a song
And Sonny Liston rubbed some Tiger Balm into his glove
Some things you do for money and some you do for love love love

"Love Love Love"
From The Sunset Tree

9. When you've finally written a BOM that you feel is good enough to show to inspectors.

I dreamt that I was perched atop a throne of human skulls
On a cliff above the ocean, howling wind and shrieking seagulls

From Heretic Pride

10. When you arrive at the event and learn who the LRI is.

An agent crests the shadows of the nearby alleyway
Piles of broken bricks, sign posts on the path
Every moment points towards the aftermath

"Sax Romer #1"
From Heretic Pride

11. When your inspector only looks at your BOM for just about 10 seconds.

I know what my weaknesses are
Probably better than you do

From Full Force Galesburg

12. When FIRST finally retires the BOM for good.

And I hope when you think of me years down the line
You can't find one good thing to say
And I'd hope that if I found the strength to walk out
You'd stay the hell out of my way

"No Children"
From Tallahassee