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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fire Coming Out of a Monkey's Head

By Gorillaz
Narrated by Dennis Hopper

Once upon a time, at the foot of a great mountain
There was a town where the people known as Happy Folk 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, strange folk 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 Happy Folk 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, the strange folk found their way
Into the higher reaches of the mountain
And it was there that they found
The caves of unimaginable sincerity and giving

By chance, they stumbled upon the place
Where all good souls come to rest
The strange folk, they coveted the jewels
In these caves above all things

And soon they began to mine the mountain
It’s rich seam fueling the chaos of their own world
Meanwhile, down in the town, the Happy Folk 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 strange folk 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 happy folk felt fearful
For they knew that soon the Monkey would stir from its deep sleep
Then there came a sound, distant first, it grew into castrophany
So immense that it could be heard far away in space

There were no screams, there was no time
The mountain called Monkey had spoken
It was only fire and then, nothing

Oh, little town in USA, the 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? No.

  I can't get this song/story out of my head; it's quite an eerie piece. There has been a lot of discussion about the meaning. Some believe the Happy Folk were too ignorant and brought their downfall upon themselves, others believe it’s the old story of greed and power corrupting. There is also a lot of debate about what events the song is actually alluding too; 9/11, genocide of Zimbabwe, the stolen land from Native Americans. Everyone has applied their own meaning to the words, which, I think, is where the real beauty of it lies.
  One thing we know is that “Fire Coming Out of the Monkey’s Head” is the first part of a trilogy of songs on the album Demon Days. The second part is “Don’t Get Lost in Heaven” the third “Demon Days”.

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