"Karma Chameleon" as written by Michael Craig, Roy Hay, Jon Moss, George O'dowd and Phil Pickett....
Dessert loving in your eyes all the way.
If I listen to your lies,
would you say I'm a man without conviction,
I'm a man who doesn't know
how to sale a contradiction?
You come and go, you come and go.

Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma, chameleon,
You come and go, you come and go.
Loving would be easy if your colours were like my dreams:
red, gold, and green, red, gold, and green.

Didn't you hear your wicked words ever'y day.
And you used to be so sweet.
I heard you say that my love was an addiction.
When we cling, our love is strong.
When you go, you're gone forever.
You string along, you string along.

Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma, chameleon,
You come and go, you come and go.
Loving would be easy if your colours were like my dreams:
red, gold, and green, red, gold, and green.

Ev'ry day is like survival.
You're my lover, not my rival.

Ev'ry day is like survival.
You're my lover, not my rival.

Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma, chameleon,
You come and go, you come and go.
Loving would be easy if your colours were like my dreams:
red, gold, and green, red, gold, and green.


Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit, edited by OthaFish

"Karma Chameleon" as written by Michael Craig, Roy Hay, Jon Moss, George O'dowd, Phil Pickett

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Karma Chameleon song meanings
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45 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentBoy George was in the band Culture Club. He is gay (you didn't know - gasps) and was having a secret affair with the drummer of the band. So the song is about that:

    I listen to YOUR lies would YOU say
    I'm a MAN without conviction
    I'm a MAN who doesn't know
    How to sell a contradiction

    Would YOU say that I'm a MAN....

    The affair is secret so the lover is angry that he would be "outted".

    He came and went - could not make up his mind = contradiction.

    Love would be easy is you let your true colors shine through. The way you are with me (when they are together but also in his dreams). But your FEAR makes it very difficult. They fight (rival) over this.

    I think green just happens to rhyme with dream... no importance.
    UrJokingon May 04, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGreat song! I dont really know what it means, but 'desert loving' can be a reference to the movie "Priscilla Queen of the Desert"
    TheAntiPoseron June 12, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song has been stuck in my head the past 4 days straight... i'm trying to figure it out by taking it in bits and pieces but when i put them together it doesnt make sense lol...
    im more interested in figuring out the color part...
    Loving would be easy
    if the colours were like my dreams
    Red, gold and green
    Red, gold and green
    i was listening to it in the car and i saw a traffic light... could this represent a traffic light comparison?
    like they stop and see each other than gradually date until theyre in a nonstop relationship?
    idk im grabbing for things...
    dmentedpixistixon January 13, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe song is about fear that people have, the fear of standing up for one thing. It's about trying to suck up to everybody like if you aren't true, if you don't act like you feel, then you get Karma-(justice), that's nature's way of paying you back."
    iluvuluvmeon April 18, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe first verse, This is about a woman whom is moody and ungrateful to his love. She knows what she is doing and he'sgetting now that she's just stringing him along. Telling hime the things he wants to hear to real him in and then playing him.

    She's a chamelion, sometimes she's sweet and nice, sometimes she's a mean chick, sometimes she's there, sometimes she's not.

    She's a chamelion changing all the time. The colors mean nothing, but those are teh color's he likes to see her as, instead he waks up and she's crazy. In my last bad relationship, I would dream about the girl and she was amazing in my dreams, but I'd wake up to arguying and ungratefulness.
    dontadowon May 01, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentUrJoking, THANK YOU. That's the only sensible SongMeaning I've seen for this song. :P

    I saw the comments about the song being about a woman and nearly fell off my chair, by the way.

    Anyway, apart from him being a scary dirty old man, Boy George is pretty fucking awesome.
    MashedtoaPulpon June 11, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationOkay, submitted a typo - desert loving isn't the right lyric. My interpretation:

    Is the loving in your eyes all the way?
    If I listened to your lies would you say
    I'm a man without conviction, I'm a man who doesn't know
    How to sell a contradiction?
    You come and go, You come and go

    I always believed "come and go" is a play on words here - meaning that his partner is different in bed than when they're not sleeping together. Like as soon as they cum, he's out the door. The narrator's in a double bind because if he stands up for himself he can lose his lover, but if he doesn't, he feels like his lover doesn't respect him for going along with the lies and he might lose him anyway. He just can't win. What he's really wondering throughout this song is does his partner even want the relationship to work, and is it possible to fix things?


    Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon
    You come and go you come and go
    Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams:
    Red Gold and Green, Red Gold and Green

    I like the explanation someone else gave about Red Gold and Green being a symbol of political opinions (Rastafarian, etc) being a source of conflict. In many ways, the couple here just isn't right together. They have different values. As for karma chameleon, for some reason I think he used karma because it sounded good, but he probably meant "aura." Back in the 80s, a lot of the target audience wouldn't have known the difference anyway.

    Didn't hear your wicked words every day
    And you used to be so sweet
    I heard you say that my love was an addiction
    When we cling our love is strong
    When you go you're gone forever
    You string along

    George is coming to terms with his own denial of the change in the relationship. Again, the lover is sweet as anything until he's gotten what he wants, then he's consumed with bitterness, leaving and coming back over and over again. It's possible the lover is even having difficulty coming to terms with his homosexuality and taking it out on the narrator. So sweet as the lover used to be, George is starting to hear the wicked words and take them seriously as a problem.


    Every Day is like survival
    You're my lover not my rival

    This seems to indicate jealousy (possibly over George's greater fame?) but not just that, the feeling that the relationship is a struggle, the only thing that's working is the sex and the dawning realization that as much as he wants this to work, his lover just isn't open or honest enough for that to be possible. But he never quite makes up his mind in this song.
    notthattartagainon July 17, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song gets stuck in my head.
    weezerific:cutleryon May 11, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song gets stuck in my head alllll the time.
    Seriously.
    It's wicked...catchy.
    LoveRhymesWithDoveon December 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat's a karma chameleon? like, exactly..I love this song though..it gets stuck in my head too..
    littlelover403on January 12, 2006   Link

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