"Boy Lilikoi" as written by and Jon Thor Birgisson....
I want to be a lilikoi, Boy Lilikoi
You grind your claws, you howl, you growl unafraid of Hoi Polloi
You run, you're free, you climb endless trees, you reignite
You growl, you howl, you show your teeth
You bite, it's alright

Just say no more, use your eyes, the world goes and flutters by
Use your eyes, you'll know you are
Use your eyes, the world goes and flutters by
Use your eyes, you'll know you are

Wild be my boy, you burn so bright, till you illuminate
One day you're out, you give up the fight, you slow down heart-rate

We all grow old, use your life, the world goes and flutters by
Use your life, you'll know you are
Use your life, the world goes and flutters by
Use your life, you'll know you are

Electricity wires are down, rainbow colours fade into brown
I dreamt your smile was shifting for good
Courageous boy, now you are gone
And run faster, yet have no place to go
Your spirit still burns, it's now a ghost sun
You are (Alive)
You are (Alive)

I want to be a lilikoi, boy, you
You grind your claws, you howl, you growl, unafraid of Hoi Polloi

Electricity wires are down, rainbow colors fade into brown
I dreamt your smile was shifting for good
Courageous boy, now you are gone
You run faster, yet have no place to go
Your spirit still burns, it's now a ghost sun
You are (Alive)
You are (Alive)


Lyrics submitted by arnfdeno

"Boy Lilikoi" as written by Jon Thor Birgisson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Boy Lilikoi song meanings
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24 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentIm just gonna start off by saying how amazing this song is! Definitely not what i expected, but a very pleasant surprise. I am enjoying hearing jonsi singing in english as well!

    As for the title of this song, i have no clue how it relates. A lilikoi is a type of passionfruit. I looked for an icelandic translation but found nothing. I think the first part of the song is about an adventurous boy and then grows up, longing to be the adventurous boy he used to be.
    TheRevisioniston December 07, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think jw7 really got a good jest of the song with the first paragraph, very well done.

    Personally, I think the song is completely metaphorical, as previously stated. But what I think is different is it's not so much about a pet, but a person.


    "I want to be a Lilikoi Boy, Lilikoi.
    You grind your claws, you howl, you growl, unafraid of Hoi Polloi.
    You run, you're free, you climb endless trees - you reignite.
    You growl, you howl, you show your teeth,
    You bite, it's alright."

    The relation with the fruit being they're bright coloured, yes, but thick in skin. Relating that to where you can either say, the boy in subject is either thick skinned, that he's tough and unafraid, or that he shows one side of him - a bright, daring boy, like most young boys are, but does it to hide his true nature through his actions, that he shows a willingness to fight to be himself and to not grow up. That he protects himself through his actions and keeps his true self preserved through the shell he creates because he doesn't want to be crushed by the weight of the world, or the "Hoi Polloi", he fights them away and their cruel nature by his actions and attitude.

    Either way, he's of envy to the narrator. In fact, I think it's safe to say he's talking about himself.


    "Wild be my boy, you burn so bright, you illuminate.
    One day you're out, you give up the fight, you slow down heart-rate."

    He doesn't want the world and it's heaviness and the course of life to slow him down and take all the light and the beauty he had in himself and that he saw in everything, set in everything around him, right out of him, as it seems to have begun doing. He doesn't want the world to open up the shell and to take everything he has, and he doesn't want to be empty past the shell he created as he grows older.


    "Say no more, use your eyes, the world goes and flutter by.
    Use your eyes, you know you are."

    I think he's saying to see what the world does to you. The second line saying that the boy does, that the he knows he does and that's why he is like he is. He's saying not just see the beauty of the world, but to see the fall of of people as it begins to come head on, and to be different than the others, to not lose your soul like so many others do over time. The idea flows as the song progresses:


    "We all grow old, use your life, the world goes and flutter by.
    Use your life, you know you are."

    "Electricity wires are down,
    Rainbow colours fading to brown.
    Adventurous smile shifting to frown,
    Courageous boy, now you're a clown.
    Your antarctic hair, off with the crown,
    Your spirited friend's now a ghost town.
    You run."

    This being about how the world changes. Like he said, to use his eyes, to see the change that has happened. This is the change. The conversation is over, the beauty is gone, and everyone and everything has changed but the boy. He's pinned for it and is called the clown, the fool, yet his friends are the ones who from the inside are empty, from the outside age.

    He doesn't want to live as the adult he's begun to be, he doesn't want to age. He wants everything to still be beautiful. But, no one around him sees the world like that. He doesn't want to be there, where he's being forced to give up his inner self and die to his true nature in many ways. He doesn't want to be like everyone else, who slowly dies in their age, both on the inside and the outside. He refuses it. He runs away from it.


    So generally, the song is just about not growing up. Like someone said, it reminded them of Peter Pan. It really is like that. This song is definitely my favourite on the album, it's brilliant.
    Muufaceyon July 14, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthere are also all these references to the sun. consider that a lilikoi is a very round, bright and yellow fruit. the sun also causes trees to loose their leaves in the fall ("you climb and dress trees") and in the spring to gain them back ("you reignite").

    also, he admires and idealizes the boy lilikoi but he himself cannot find a way to be as free as him. so the boy lilikoi sings back to him "use you eyes, use your life." that's all the advise he can offer. until time, having taken a toll on him, brings death and so he passes on leaving a legacy behind. radiating like a shiny star in night sky ("you are light").
    arnfdenoon December 20, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI grew up in Hawai'i, where you can pick lilikois in anybody's backyard, and if you've never had a real lilikoi, it's hard to imagine what kind of fruit it is. It's messy, goopy and often bitter. To open one without a knife or any other implement, you have to break it or bite it open. Inside are a bunch of brown seeds contained in orange/sometimes grey fruit; it's not exactly pretty. Typically you eat it with your fingers, and chew the seeds along with everything else. Overall it's a very primal experience, and it's not uncommon to see a little kid with lilikoi mess all over their face. I absolutely love this song because it captures the feral innocence of childhood, much like Where the Wild Things Are, as the previous comment indicated.

    I <3 Jonsi
    orcinusorcaon October 07, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentfinally he kept the promise he made me the first time i heard "agaetis byrjun"
    owennnnnnnnnnon December 27, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionMakes me think of Peter Pan! :)
    gplpark92on January 21, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentlisten to this AMAZING interview with jonsi about his upcoming record:

    wnyc.org/shows/soundcheck/episodes/2010/01/21/segments/…

    he sings an acoustic version of boy lilikoi and if youre a fan you need to hear this. ^^
    rockisgroovyon January 24, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a great song. The first few times I listened to it, it sounded like juvenile Sigur Ros, but it definitely grew on me. Definitely illustrates Jonsí's playful side.
    rentboyon December 10, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with you TheRevisionist about the meaning.

    I do love it. Its very very very different from what I've heard from Jonsi. But I like it. His english is so much clearer than it is on All Alright.

    I can't wait til Go comes out :D
    it promises such a warm and happy album.
    Embody Musicon December 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think he's saying he wants to be eaten by the boy (who he describes as a sort of creature). He wants the boy to seize life and the speaker in the song wants to provide that. It's a beautiful metaphor.
    robwyattfanon December 20, 2009   Link

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