Fire Coming Out Of A Monkey's Head Lyrics - Gorillaz

Review The Song (15)

Once upon a time at the foot of a great mountain,
there was a town where the people known as Happyfolk lived,
their very existence a mystery to the rest of the world,
obscured as it was by great clouds.
Here they played out their peaceful lives,
innocent of the litany of excess and violence that was growing in the world below.
To live in harmony with the spirit of the mountain called Monkey was enough.
Then one day Strangefolk arrived in the town.
They came in camouflage, hidden behind dark glasses, but no one noticed them: they only saw shadows.
You see, without the Truth of the Eyes, the Happyfolk were blind.

Falling out of aeroplanes and hiding out in holes
Waiting for the sunset to come, people going home
Jump out from behind them and shoot them in the head
Now everybody dancing the dance of the dead,
the dance of the dead,
the dance of the dead

In time, Strangefolk found their way into the higher reaches of the mountain,
and it was there that they found the caves of unimaginable Sincerity and Beauty.
By chance, they stumbled upon the Place Where All Good Souls Come to Rest.
The Strangefolk, they coveted the jewels in these caves above all things,
and soon they began to mine the mountain, its rich seam fueling the chaos of their own world.
Meanwhile, down in the town, the Happyfolk slept restlessly,
their dreams invaded by shadowy figures digging away at their souls.
Every day, people would wake and stare at the mountain.
Why was it bringing darkness into their lives?
And as the Strangefolk mined deeper and deeper into the mountain,
holes began to appear, bringing with them a cold and bitter wind that chilled the very soul of the monkey.
For the first time, the Happyfolk felt fearful for they knew that soon the Monkey would stir from its deep sleep.
And then came a sound. Distant first, it grew into castrophany so immense it could be heard far away in space.
There were no screams. There was no time.
The mountain called Monkey had spoken.
There was only fire.
And then, nothing.

O little town in U.S.A, your time has come to see
There's nothing you believe you want
But where were you when it all came down on me?
Did you call me now?

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Elites and usurpers | Reviewer: Xw | 3/17/14

I don't know if this makes sense but to me the song is about an actual elite that has access to some kind of magical or spiritual knowledge that they are using to "play out their peaceful lives", which are protected by the violence in the world below, see "Dirty Harry" (I need a gun to keep myself from harm cos all we do is dance). These happy folks are hedonistic and they live away from other folk because they wouldn't understand their life style, so to preserve it and because they were the rulers of the world and guardians of the Monkey (spirituality, or good, or white magic, call it what you want) they had to hide themselves. The problem is, the strange folk, whom I think of as folks that have had access to similar spiritual knowledge, have found a way to bend their own nature in order to enter the "town of the happy folks" thus escaping from the "litany of excess and violence of the world below", the strange folks have a realistic and materialistic perspective on life which is called "the truth of the eyes" (search for humanism, enlightenment, science over religion, rationality, the values of our society) their advantage over the happy folks is that they can act and the happy folks don't know evil or pain or violence because they've never felt it, strange-folk come from a world that the happy folks only know from far away but they have been corrupted by the treasure of the mountain called monkey which is supposed to be guarded by the pure of spirit but now is being used against mankind as a weapon, slowly bending the nature of everyone so they get more people on their side while the happy folks which are a minority are dying or gone or just powerless to do anything because the way of doing things has changed and the ancient values which they protected are now dismissed by everyone. Does it make sense? I had a hard time finding the words to say this but to me it's like, this song is talking about something mystical here, something deep, like a metaphor for what's going on in the world right now, I just feel it

immigration | Reviewer: dan | 10/25/12

i think this has to do with all the immigration in the USA,,as they are here working and making money but that money is sent to fuel another country's economy and not put back in the economy were it came from,.that is why there is so many holes in the mountain the mountain is the economy what is taken out of the mountain has to be put back in it....

Yeah, you're all basiclly correct | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/25/11

I agree with what most people say (or the jist of it anyways). This song is about how "civilazation" comes in and takes over natives and thier land. They ruin it, make the once happy nativies misrable, and then when there're done, what do we have? Nothing.
It's a great song, beautiful but in a creepy, frighting sort of way, because really it describes humanity in genral. While we build, we destroy much more. Sad.

simple | Reviewer: Luke | 6/22/11

You don't have to think too hard on it. It has multiple meanings, but the bulk is as follows: outsiders come to an unspoiled area, make their way to the inner workings, learn to exploit the natives, and take what they want. They don't care about the mess they leave behind, as long as they get what they want. And what's left over after they're done? Nothing. Its funny, but think about the developement of a wal-mart in a small country town that has relied on home owned businesses. Its the perfect comparison.

i love you people | Reviewer: stephen | 11/8/10

these are some great reviews
I am thoroughly impressed by everyone’s reading, i seriously saw none of this when i first heard this song
usually on other sites I have to sieve through crap to find any intelligent information
you all have rekindled my faith in humanity, thank you

911 | Reviewer: winger27 | 11/4/10

I'm feeling more and more like this is a commentary on American imperialism and greed,and the Fire is 911.. payback time as it were, and the whole deal at the end is probably the fact that, if you live in America like I do, you really feel the sturggle and disconnect between the cities and the country.. it's the millions of people living all over the country in the small towns and suburbs that back the government, pay their taxes, vote conservative, and try to keep America like it 'used to be'..
but it's also really weird, because it's these places that supply most of the military.. I really love trying to figure out these lyrics.. I think they are a mix of deep meaning and meaningless style.. a real reflection on the world today in the first world..
We better all re-connect, hopefully peacfully and together, or eventually world circumstances will make this happen anyway, maybe violently!
The world is in for some hard times in the next 30 to 100 years I feel.. of course you say, it ALWAYS has been so.. but before we didn't have weapons that could kill millions of people at a time, and electronics that can infiltrate your deepest santucaries and track your every move, economic, social, everything..
hope it all works out.. hope my son has a good life... Peace everyone!

interesting language! | Reviewer: Lisa | 8/8/10

first of all: i am from germany, so I dont have all the vocabluary to tell you what I saw, but I'll try - because noticable is the language.

Especially the alliteration. You can hear in in the song: "For the first time, the Happyfolk felt fearful for they knew that [...]" For, first, folk, felt, fearful, for...

moreover you can see an antithesis: Here they played out their peaceful lives,
innocent of the litany of excess and violence that was growing in the world below.
they show up the peace and the violence, immense contrasts.
"without the Truth of the Eyes, the Happyfolk were blind." is a kind of metaphor. A climax you find in these lines: "Distant first, it grew into castrophany so immense it could be heard far away in space." but it's actually not a clear one. In addicion to that we also have an anaphora here: "There were no screams. There was no time."

Is is just very interesting to see which methods they brought in here, it is so special, the pattern as a story that is told, but still with all those rethorical devises! I love this song. I'd love to interpret those devises, but first I've got to improve my english skills and I need much more time.

theme | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/15/10

this song is a metaphore of industrialization {i think} happy folk are just regular people living calm lives. but when the strange folk invade they take all of their land and use up all of their resources. the happy folk were "blind" to how destructive humans could be. monkey "speaking" is the environments reaction to polution. "fire" is global warming

two cents | Reviewer: Sarah | 4/8/10

I'm going to take this as a "literal" translation. In literature we notice that when stories are to be thought of in a far distant pass they begin with "Once upon a time.." The fact that the song mentions twice that, "their very existence a mystery to the rest of the world." and "innocent of the litany of excess and violence that was growing in the world below". This describes perhaps an unknown or underworld perhaps similar to those spoken of in hollow earth type theory. These indigenous type people who were very connected to simply living in harmony with an entity that held all "jewels" of sincerity, beauty and "where good souls come to rest". A place where good souls would come to rest would be a type of heaven. In similar ancient beliefs with these type of "crystals" exist so do different heavenly realms of existence. Then one day strangefolk arrived in Camouflage. This would seem like an obvious parallel to some type of army and the aero planes re date the story. "Now everybody's dancing the dance of the dead" signifies a process that the dead goes through once they die. The caves of unimaginable sincerity and beauty could be the caves that are being protected by our ancient ancestors. The song points out, "they coveted the Jewels in these caves above all things" It is believed in ancient scripts that there have been precious rocks or "jewels" scattered across the earth that hold unimaginable power to those who have access to it. "Meanwhile the happyfolk slept restlessly." The deeper the strangefolk dug into the mountain the worse things got until the Monkey woke up and basically this world was destroyed. I also agree with many people about the idea of "the man" eating away at our naturalism which could also be our ultimate divinity. When "the man" eats away at this divinity and searches for more than is needed and denies this "divinity" or "holiness" or "godliness" or whatever it might be, then this "natures/divination/gods" in turn might punish the people. "And then came a sound. Distant first, it grew into castrophany so immense it could be heard far away in space." Any "castrophany" able to be heard from space would ultimately be a type of distraction that would obliterate the earth it happened on. "There were no screams. There was no time. The mountain called Monkey had spoken. There was only fire. And then, nothing." The part addressed to the little town in the USA is literally talking to the people of now, and that "The time has come to see", "there's nothing you believe you want."- again addressing our hopeless searching in the things we might want, but what are we looking for? What do we want? "But where were you when it all came down on me?
Did you call me now?" I believe this is the singers way of personifying a "savior", the monkey head or this earthly-"divinity" that in turn helps or punishes the people and he's asking us where we were and what we were doing when this was all happening and when it "came down on me". and it concludes by asking "Did you call me now?" Are we calling on the power of monkey head now? This savior" This divinity or this ultimate decision perhaps on the day of judgement day to dance the dance of the dead?
Also, someone earlier mentioned something about a parallel to slavery in the way the humming was done. This is also something very good to look at when we look at the purpose of humans and how we function in our society and some purposes we might serve to others.

Some review about stuff. | Reviewer: Dan-Dan The Superman | 12/4/09

Well, the part about the "litany of excess and violence" is obviously part of Gorillaz' usual commentary on society, although it's a lesser part than it usually is. If you ask me, based on the last few lines, I'd say it's about when something happened to someone but their friend wasn't around to help. Likely something involving people with weapons, hence the first singing part.

just lettin ya know | Reviewer: zack | 4/2/08

so my dad got the gorillaz cd and my friend fell in love with this song so whenever were in the car he tells me to play it. but now we got an assignment at school to write a sci-fi story and this song instantly clicked into my head

interesting stuff! | Reviewer: rose | 1/24/08

i just read what you guys said about mount pinatubo and that is an AWESOME comparison! especially seen as i am actually studying the song for english!
but ever thought of it as a view upon the bibles teaching on how last time god sent a great flood next time it will be fire? im not entirely religious but that was what first came to mind for me and i figured that the Gorillaz had just related it back to their personal theme and used it as an analogy...maybe?! what are your thoughts on that one?

A parable | Reviewer: Nate | 12/4/07

Pinatubo or otherwise, this song works as a parable of the West's modern-world occupation (and subsequent mining/environmental plunder) of indigenous lands the world over, be it the US, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Peru, South Africa, etc. The "monkey" works as an analogy for "mother nature," or some other cosmic equilibrium thrown askew.

Sounds like Mount Pinatubo to me.......... | Reviewer: Brian | 7/22/07

When i was in the philippines back in 1997 and then again 1999 and 2000 i had several people that lived close to pinatubo tell me that the reason it awoke after 500 years of dormacy was because people (most likely americans from the near clark airbase) had found that the volcanic plug had a wealth of gold...gems....and massive amounts of valuble minerals and ores and proceded to mine deep in to plug...maybe for many years to such an extent that it eventualy weakened the plug....also... the happyfolk of this song talks about sound remarkibly like the native people that lived near the mountain before the eruptions started...also the contents of ejected material were indead rich with massive mounts of valuble minerals such as copper...zinc....nickel and others... i will now provide you with a link to the wikipedia site so you can draw your own conclutions and the first time i heard the song my thoughts and gut feelings went instantly to the storys i had heard about mount pinatubo...expecially as the songs lyriks progressed....and it all happened the very first time i heard the is the link....its facintaing reading no matter what your opinion on my theroy...and even if it was true there would probably be nearly if not totaly impossible to prove it....(EXPECIALLY if the US goverment was some how involved and/or directly or indirectly responsible)....

awesome | Reviewer: n.d | 4/1/07

like it even better than feel good inc. aso think that dennis hopper is kick ass

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