"Porcelain Monkey" as written by Warren Zevon and Jorge A. Calderon....
He was an accident waiting to happen
Most accidents happen at home
Maybe he should have gone out more often
Maybe he should have answered the phone

Hip-shakin' shoutin' in gold lame
That's how he earned his regal sobriquet
Then he threw it all away
For a porcelain monkey

He threw it away for a porcelain monkey
Gave it all up for a figureine
He traded it in for a night in Las Vegas
And his face of velveteen

From a shotgun shack singing Pentacostal hymns
Through the wrought iron gate to the TV room
He had a little world, it was smaller than your hand
It's a rockabilly ride from the glitter to the gloom

Left behind by the latest trends
Eatin' friend chicking with his regicidal friends
That's how the story ends
With a porcelain monkey

He threw it away for a porcelain monkey
Gave it all up for a figureine
He traded it in for a night in Las Vegas
And his face of velveteen

Hip-shakin' shoutin' in gold lame
That's how he earned his regal sobriquet
Then he threw it all away
For a porcelain monkey

He threw it away for a porcelain monkey
Gave it all up for a figureine
He traded it in for a night in Las Vegas
And his face of velveteen


Lyrics submitted by AlmightyTim

"Porcelain Monkey" as written by Jorge Calderon Warren William Zevon

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Porcelain Monkey song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentOne of his more ambiguous and mysterious songs. And that's saying a lot. I think it's a sort of negative look at materialism/commercialism in the modern world.
    TheThornBirdson March 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI remember thinking from the first time I heard this song that it's about the decline and fall of Elvis Presley, but I could never fit in what the actual porcelain monkey was supposed to be. I tossed it back and forth from something to do with drugs (he had a monkey on his back?) or the fact that The King died on the crapper.

    I read Crystal Zevon's bio of Warren and it turned out to be a literal porcelain monkey that Elvis had in his living room, which Warren saw in a picture of the place. A piece of kitsch that for some reason Elvis liked.
    AlmightyTimon March 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Porcelain Monkey was a white figurine of a Monkey that was on a table in Elvis Presley's T.V. Room in Graceland.

    Here is a picture of said Monkey:
    jezsik.smugmug.com/Travel/USA/Memphis/i-jztjGs3/1/L/…

    Here is an interview with Warren Zevon where he explains how the song came about:
    zevonaticism.tripod.com/…
    fm451on January 23, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Porcelain Monkey was a white figurine of a Monkey that was on a table in Elvis Presley's T.V. Room in Graceland.

    Here is a picture of said Monkey:
    jezsik.smugmug.com/Travel/USA/Memphis/i-jztjGs3/1/L/…

    Here is an interview with Warren Zevon where he explains how the song came about:
    zevonaticism.tripod.com/…
    fm451on January 23, 2013   Link

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