"Tear Off Your Own Head (Doll Revolution)" as written by and Elvis Costello....
Who dries your eyes as you cry real tears?
Who knows or cares what an imitation is?
Only you do
You can paint his nails
Make him wear high heels
Why waste time altering the hemline?
Or do you?

Tear off your own head
Tear off your own head
It's a doll revolution

You can bat your lashes
You can cut your strings
You can pull his hair with your movable fingers
It looks so real
If one won't do it, so collect the set
Dress him in pink ribbons
Put him in a kitchenette
How does this feel?

Tear off your own head
Tear off your own head
It's a doll revolution

What's that sound?
It'll tear you around
It's a doll revolution

They're taking over
And they're tearing it down
It's a doll revolution

You can pull and pinch him
'Till he cries and squeals
You can twist his body 'til it faces backwards
Those plastic features
You could make somebody a pretty little wife
But don't let anybody tell you how to live your life
Broken pieces

Tear off your own head
Tear off your own head
It's a doll revolution
Tear off your own head
Tear off your own head
It's a doll revolution

Tear off your own head
Revolution
Tear off your own head
Revolution


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"Tear off Your Own Head (It's a Doll Revolution)" as written by Elvis Costello

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Tear Off Your Own Head (It's a Doll Revolution) song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentHa, this song is funny. I love Elvis Costello. And this song is wonderful. To me he's referring to a guy being so whipped by a girl. She can control his every move because he'll do anything for her. Like a string puppet. A doll. I dunno.
    Title_Trackon March 29, 2003   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningTitle Track, I basically agree. The song seems to be about a person, probably a woman, treating a/the man in her life / a significant other like a doll, thinking she can manipulate him however she wants. But he rebels: "Tear off your own head!" I think there's an equal-opportunity aspect here ("You could make somebody a pretty little wife / But don't let anybody tell you how to live your life").

    This song was used effectively, I think for its meaning, in the interesting Rachel Weisz movie The Shape of Things.
    NAwlinsContrarianon September 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have to disagree with both of you. Especially considering Costello's history of writing songs that may sound like they are some how misogynistic when they are quite the opposite, I feel like the song is about a female struggling within the classically feminine role (think of the imagery invoked, dolls, kitchenette, pink ribbons, painted nails, high heels: they're all things subjectifying women) and the other parts of her that do match this idea. Admittedly, she controls/manipulates the male(s) in her life as part of that struggle, making them feel what she feels. However, she has to manage this duality on her own: "Who dries your eyes when you cry real tears? Who knows or cares what an imitation is? Only you do." And in the end it kind of closes the narrative of the struggle with "You could make somebody a pretty little wife, But don't let anybody tell you how to live your life. Broken pieces."
    VictoriaLeeon September 24, 2011   Link

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