"Feel Good Inc." as written by Damon Albarn, Jamie Hewlett, Brian Joseph Burton and David Jolicoeur....
City's breaking down on a camel's back
They just have to go 'cause they don't know whack
So all you fill the streets it's appealing to see
You won't get out the county, 'cause you're bad and free
You've got a new horizon It's ephemeral style
A melancholy town where we never smile
And all I want to hear is the message beep
My dreams, they've got to kiss, because I don't get sleep, no

Windmill, Windmill for the land
Learn forever hand in hand
Take it all in on your stride
It is stinking, falling down
Love forever love is free
Let's turn forever you and me
Windmill, windmill for the land
Is everybody in?

Laughing gas these hazmats, fast cats
Lining them up-a like ass cracks
Ladies, homies, at the track
It's my chocolate attack
Shit, I'm stepping in the heart of this here
Care bear bumping in the heart of this here
Watch me as I gravitate, ha ha ha
Yo, we gonna go ghost town
This Motown, with yo sound
You're in the place
You gonna bite the dust
Can't fight with us
With yo sound, you kill the INC
So don't stop, get it, get it
Until you're cheddar header
Yo, watch the way I navigate, ha ha ha

Windmill, windmill for the land
Turn forever hand in hand
Take it all in on your stride
It is stinking, falling down
Love forever love is free
Let's turn forever you and me
Windmill, windmill for the land
Is everybody in?

Don't stop, get it, get it
We are your captains in it
Steady, watch me navigate, ha ha ha
Don't stop, get it, get it
We are your captains in it
Steady, watch me navigate, ha ha ha


Lyrics submitted by Cori_Pea, edited by skelealpha, Pooer, vincent148, vinuaw

"Feel Good Inc" as written by Damon Albarn Brian Joseph Burton

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Peermusic Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, SHELLY BAY MUSIC, BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Feel Good Inc. song meanings
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  • +20
    My InterpretationI remember watching this video and listening to the song a long time ago when I was younger, and I remember loving it for some strange reason even though I had no interest in the genre nor the group at the time.

    But now that I'm older I revisited the video on Youtube and read the comments here, and I've finally come up with what I think this song and video really mean.


    So the video begins with a scene of a dismal, dark, rusty city plagued by the sound of police sirens and helicopters, and you even hear a gun being shot. Then, there's a cloud layer, Above that layer is the Feel Good Inc. tower.

    I assume this little clip is showing how the violence and killing is very separated from the tower of pleasure/cheap thrills/etc... Everyone in the tower is cut off from the reality below. Literally, their heads are in the clouds.

    Then we are shown the inside of the tower. Dead bodies are everywhere and the only one that stands out is 2D. Then, he raises his head a mutters, "Feel Good". Then he starts to get out of the chair. That screen with the rapping guy (symbolically the media, I assume) is in the background.

    2D is stuck in this 'dead' place, and suddenly begins to realize that something isn't right. He finally understands that he's trapped within the guy on the screen's "spell". All the dead people are symbols for the majority of society that's already died from the "spell".

    Then 2D pops in with a microphone, telling everybody something:

    "City's breaking down on a camel's back."
    From research, I've found out that a camel traditionally represents humility and the willingness to serve. So basically, the city is breaking down on the people's willingness to serve them and to not think beyond what they're told.

    "They just have to go 'cause they don't know whack"
    I assume this is 2D quoting the corrupting leaders who tell them not to think for themselves and telling them that anyone who does, doesn't know "whack". AKA, they don't know what they're talking about.

    "So all you fill the streets it's appealing to see"
    I think this line is 2D telling them that them going with the flow of the leaders is funny; he thinks it's ridiculous.

    "You won't get out the county, 'cause you're bad and free"
    This is a weird line, but I'm gonna guess that it's 2D mocking the leaders once again; I assume in the past the leaders have told them that they can't escape just because they're 'misbehaving' and trying to be free.

    "You've got a new horizon It's ephemeral style."
    2D is now telling them that what they're working toward is ridiculous; that it's ephemeral, meaning only lasting one day. Basically, their goals are cheap thrills that are short and stupid.

    "A melancholy town where we never smile."
    This is his opinion of the state of the society they live in; they never smile.

    "And all I want to hear is the message beep."
    He admits that he's still under the "spell", that he still wants to follow the leaders' messages, he's falling again.

    "My dreams, they've got to kiss, because I don't get sleep, no"
    Basically he's saying that his dreams have to kiss his ass, or say goodbye, because he can't reach them without sleep.

    An interesting part of this segment is that 2D's eyes are red, the same as the color of the rest of the dead people. AKA while their entire bodies are already tainted by the red, only his eyes (his soul) has been. The red starts to fade from his eyes.
    Another cool thing is how the word "Owl" is on his microphone. Owls symbolize wisdom, AKA 2D is speaking through wisdom.

    Then comes the first chorus, where 2D looks out the window onto a skyscape full of bright, soft colors and only the windmill appears above the clouds. I assume that the windmill represents the state of mind/land he wants to live in, but there's that glass window/barrier that keeps him stuck. The windmill goes beneath the clouds AKA out of his mind, and the bright colors switch to dark and the helicopters appear once more.

    "Windmill, Windmill for the land."
    Windmills turn air, correct? Traditionally, air represented intellect, ideas, and most of all freedom. That windmill on that island is generating that freedom. AKA the intellect and new ideas are bringing forth a new freedom.
    Windmills also have been thought to symbolize bringing about a transformation; from a hard grain that can only be used to reproduce into flour that can support and feed people. I assume that 2D is like the grain, wanting to become useful and not just a sex-obsessed slave.
    He wants this thought process, the windmill, to be 'for the land' AKA he wants everyone to have this better thought process.

    "Learn forever hand in hand"
    He wants to society to keep learning more and more and not be stuck in one mindset. When one doesn't learn, they cannot understand. He wants them all to learn and understand together 'hand in hand'.

    "Take it all in on your stride"
    2D wants them to use this philosophy in their stride AKA their lives.

    "It is sinking, falling down"
    2D's either commenting on the windmill falling or society falling, or even maybe his strive for that new way of living is fading.

    "Love forever love is screaming"
    Because of their fickle and physical obsessions, love has been forgotten.

    "Let's turn forever you and me"
    As I said before, he wants to become the windmill, as in wanting to live in that new way and transform other 'grains' into 'flour'. He's telling the viewer that they both should turn and make others realize what's happening.

    "Windmill, windmill for the land"
    Same as above.

    "Is everybody in?"
    He's asking everyone if they want to follow this new way with him.


    Then the rapper 'leader; appears on the screen and starts speaking to 2D. 2D instantly turns around and his attention is captured. Then as the rap goes on he keeps moving robotically, as if he is programmed that way.
    As it goes on, 2D starts getting that red hue on his skin again. Then he starts the "Feel Good" chant once more.

    "Laughing gas these hazmats, fast cats,"
    Hazmats are hazardous materials or substances, laughing gas is a drug that makes people laugh, and fast cats I assume mean just things that move fast like modern communication, cars, technology, etc... This is what the leaders use to trap people.

    "Lining them up-a like ass cracks,"
    The leaders are saying that the people line up the stuff mentioned above and take them all in excess.

    "Ladies, homies, at the track"
    Ladies means sex appeal, homies means things that are seen as cool, and the track is the mainstream media; all they're shown in the media are those drugs, sex stuff, things considered 'cool' etc.

    "It's my chocolate attack."
    Chocolate, when eaten, makes people release feel good chemicals in their brains. The leaders are saying that letting these people do all these bad things is the leaders' way of attacking them; trapping them with the feel good chemical.

    "Shit, I'm stepping in the heart of this here"
    The leader is mad that he just revealed the way he traps people.

    "Care bear bumping in the heart of this here"
    He's saying that this matter doesn't mean much; it's just soft care bear bumping. He's not doing anything terribly bad.

    "Watch me as I gravitate, ha ha ha"
    He's telling 2D to watch as he pulls more people in, then laughs because he knows 2D can't do anything about it.

    "Yo, we gonna go ghost town,
    This Motown, with yo sound"
    He's telling 2D that his ramblings are bringing the supposedly 'lively' town down.

    "You're in the place
    You gonna bite the dust
    Can't fight with us
    With yo sound, you kill the INC."
    He tells 2D that he's stuck, he's going to get snuffed out, he can't fight against it, and that his ramblings are killing the bad society.

    "So don't stop, get it, get it
    Until you're jet ahead.
    Yo, watch the way I navigate, ha ha ha"

    He tells 2D don't stop listening to him, keep striving for the cheap thrills and media and to keep following him.

    Then the windmill returns with Noodle on the very edge of its island, playing her guitar. She seems carefree and doesn't even notice 2D or the tower at all. That windmill, that way of thinking and living, is what is keeping her island and freedom up.
    2D sings the chorus again, looking very depressed and tired, and looks down from the window. Then in the last part of the chorus, Noodle is singing at the same time as him.
    It's as if he's watching her and imitating her, wanting to be like her and where she is, but is stuck.

    Then the island flies by, the light leaves, and darkness shadows the window. 2D becomes red again and starts to fade and sits back in his chair, the leader laughing at his futile attempts at freedom.

    Basically, overall, here's the symbolism:

    CITY BELOW THE TOWER: Reality. What's really going on. Violence, decay, evil.

    CLOUD LAYER: Separates the tower from the city. Separates reality from society.

    TOWER: The manufactured and fake happiness, a prison, keeping people from independence and freedom. Corruption. Stuck in the clouds as in stuck in fantasy.

    WINDMILL: Generating intellect, freedom, free thinking, etc. Transformation from grain to flour AKA reproductive goals to something that benefits society.

    DEAD/ASLEEP PEOPLE: People who have no chance; not only is their soul dead, they're physically dead.

    RED: Corruption of the leaders/media. 2D's eyes start from red, to black, to red, and then his skin becomes red.

    ISLAND: Place of freedom, love, new ways, thought.

    SCREENS: Brings the message from the bad leaders to the people, keeps them under control.

    Overall, I think the song means what everyone else has been saying; the media and our leaders are corrupting society and benefiting from it. When someone tries to stand against it, they're brought down. Eventually their soul decays from all these sins; sloth, lust, gluttony, etc.... sex without love, drugs, and fake things, basically.

    Whew! Sorry that it's so long, lol.
    supagameron August 09, 2012   Link
  • +12
    General CommentI dunno, they seem to do a pretty good job of puttin git into words.

    GORILLAZ SPEAK OUT ABOUT NEW VIDEO

    The brand new video for 'Feel Good Inc' is here now for you to see. The band have been very busy making it - 2D and Murdoc speak out for the first time about excess and hedonism, exactly what the video's about and what really happened on the shoot...

    2D: I think Gorillaz built a tower around themselves that they couldn't get out of. Of excess and hedonism. The video is based on this feeling. For a while it was great to be on the inside, but the party's got out of hand. It' s become like the Last days of Pompeii….a…er…Sodding Gommorah. The Feelgood Inc Tower represents this. The palace we built has become a prison. In the video I'm just waking up from this year-long hedonists dream, and I realise that maybe… the fruits of success have turned sour.

    Noodle is outside of the Tower, in the pale morning-after light, sitting on the edge of this floating island. And you can see she knows what's happening. But people have to wake up to it themselves. So that's what the video is about; being trapped by the things you make, and realising everyone else is caught up in it. Using it. Just…they need their party to continue, to keep this thing afloat. The Tower of Babel.

    Murdoc: Apart from the obvious thing, which is my gyrating hips, the coolest thing about the video would be the the hydraulics on this gig. Just for the windmill section alone cost about 3.5 million pounds. That's sterling. We had to buy a small island, make a mold of it and then scrape out all the insides. When that was done we filled the whole thing full of helium. Using the motor from the windmill we managed to get the thing to float, but it was an absolute bugger.
    Figdblon April 11, 2005   Link
  • +7
    General CommentThe whole song pretty much talks about what everyone does to make them feel good. (work all day to make money, stay up all night to party, get the women etc... lots of different things in there)

    But the chorus comes in and it sounds all pure, talks about this windmill and love.

    When I listen to the song I get a dirty feeling from the song like a gritty town late at night everyone thinking they're happy but they're all pretty have no idea w\of whay they need.

    Then when the chorus kicks in i get an image of a wide open field with jsut a windmill, no buildings nothing just a plain and a windmill fresh air, fresh land, for the people who understand love and ate truly feeling good and happy.
    Figdblon April 03, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThey lost their originality? Methinks not. Methinks I used "methinks" incorrectly there, as well...

    Anyway, fans.gorillaz.com has a little bit with 2D and Murdoch talking about the song.

    The gist is, people are too caught up in excess and hedonism, and are trapped in their own little "towers" (See: The video). Basically, it's about being trapped by your own devices. Check that site out for the actual response from 2D. It's the most I've ever seen him talk. o.o
    NeoSatoshion April 06, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentAlright all you mofos who don't get this song ARE not Very Feeling or deep

    This song is very deep and emotional it has to do with people who hide thier sorrow and act happy even though it's obvious they r not

    The Video shows how all the people acting happy are in a sad and depressed setting while the singer is happy but also sad for the people who hide thier sadness
    SOAD14on April 10, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'll be honest. I have no idea what this song means. There's the distinct possibility it means nothing.

    But, to me, this song is a contradiction of the title. The video is very dark and has a eerie feel to it. The words "feel good" are muttered throughout the whole song, but I think it's just supposed to add to the eerieness o f the whole thing.

    I just rambled, I have no clue.
    met3oraon April 02, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe lyrics above are WRONG..

    (laughing)
    Feel Good (x8)

    City's breaking down on a camel's back
    They'll just have to go coz they don't know wack
    So all ya fill the streets it's appealing to see
    And you won't get undercounted cause you're damn ass free

    You got a new horizon it's an ephemeral style
    In a melancholy town where we never smile
    And all I want to hear is the message beep
    My dreams they come a kissin' cause I don't get sleep no

    Windmill windmill for the land
    Turn forever hand in hand
    Take it all there on your stride
    It is tickling fallin' down
    Love forever love is free
    Turn forever you and me
    windmill windmill for the land
    Is everybody in?

    Laughing Gas, these Hazmats, Fast Cats,
    lining them up like ass cracks
    Lay these ponies at the track
    It's my chocolate attack
    Shoot I'm stepping in hotter this year
    Care bear reppin' it harder this year

    Watch me as I gravitate hahaha

    Gonna ghost town
    This Motown
    With your sound you're in the blink
    Going to bite the dust
    Can't fight with us
    With your sound you kill the inc.

    So don't stop get it, get it
    Until your Cheddar's heavy
    And watch the way I navigate ha ha

    Windmill windmill for the land
    Turn forever hand in hand
    Take it all there on your stride
    It is tickling fallin' down
    Love forever love is free
    Turn forever you and me
    windmill windmill for the land
    Is everybody in?
    adamron April 14, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentLove the song. The album's gonna be awesome
    Borangeon May 04, 2005   Link
  • +2
    My OpinionDe La Soul appear as ghastly, larger-than life, seemingly omnipotent images on surrounding television screens, laughing at the lonesome 2-D, the content Murdoc, and the seemingly ambivalent Russel. Through their singing, they taunt 2-D about how he is not strong enough to fight them; that his attempts to wake everyone up and to escape the prison are futile; that he should not resist them; and that they are the ones in control ("With your sound you're in the blink/ Going to bite the dust/ Can't fight with us/ With your sound you kill the Inc./ So don't stop get it, get it/ Until you jet ahead / Yo, watch the way I navigate, ha ha ha ha"). Their taunting also forces 2-D into a wild, hypnotic frenzy as he tries to resist the now-carnal urge to succumb and be dumbed down. They represent both the voices of the "corporation" – the media, which can brainwash people into believing certain things and convince people to follow the mainstream – and the “false icons” of the media, a reference to how some people seem to idolize and over-emphasize celebrities. This can be seen most especially in the fact that they claim 'Your sound' (individualistic thoughts) will 'Kill the Inc' (destroying the tower).

    The island represents a place in a person's mind where one could go to if it were not for the fear instilled into them by the constant and unrelenting bleakness of events in the world. In addition, it also represents a note of optimism and a memory of a simpler time, as if it were an image of an older and more dark world with "anarchy" and "turmoil" In fact, according to the commentary, they wanted to "make the island seem as if it sprung from the mind of a child".

    At the end of the video, 2-D appears emotionally beaten by his surroundings, and returns to the state he was in when the video began, repeating "Feel Good" until the video finally ends (in an exact reversal of the intro, apart from the movement of 2-D's mouth). The repetition of "Feel Good" represents that 2-D is convincing himself that everything is OK (as if he is brainwashing himself to believe it), instead of facing the harsh truth of the situation.
    MusicLoverDXon August 13, 2011   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningThe message is simple. We drown ourselves in misguided hedonism, expecting to find happiness and fulfillment in women, money, stuff, and media. They make us feel good, and feeling good gives us a distraction from a melancholy existence laden with things that give us pleasure but don't make us happy (key line: "A melancholy town where we never smile"). Think about it, surfing the internet for hours gives us a pleasurable distraction but we rarely, if ever crack a smile while doing it. That's the key distinction. Happiness is the freedom and confidence to do anything anywhere at any time, while a dependence on feeling good keeps us tethered to the things that make us feel good. Our inability to recognize the difference will trap us in the tower, this melancholy town where we never smile, and even if we do recognize the difference, we may be too far gone to break free. 2D sees Noodle out there being happy and free but he can only watch helplessly with his hands pressed against the glass before regretfully retreating back to the den of hedonism.
    QuestioVeritateon August 31, 2011   Link

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