I'm mad...and that's a fact
I found out...animals don't help
Animal think...they're pretty smart
Shit on the ground...see in the dark.

They wander around like a crazy dog
Make a mistake in the parking lot
Always bumping into things
Always let you down down down down.

They're never there when you need them
They never come when you call them
They're never there when you need them
The never come when you call them down down down down.

I know the animals...are laughing at us
They don't even know...what a joke is
I won't follow...animal's advice
I don't care...if they're laughing at us.

They're never there when you need them
They never come when you call them
They're never there when you need them
The never come when you call them down down down down.

They say they don't need money
They're living on nuts and berries
They say animals don't worry
You know animals are hairy?
They think they know what's best
They're making a fool of us
They ought to be more careful
They're setting a bad example
They have untroubled lives
They think everything's nice
They like to laugh at people
They're setting a bad example
(go ahead) laugh at me.


Lyrics submitted by Chris_Gough, edited by PairOFish

Animals Lyrics as written by David Byrne

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Animals song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentGreat Song. I think the narrator is overwhelmed and stressed by human needs and desires. He is jealous of these creatures who are much less "intelligent" than him but seem so much more content living simple existences. The lyrics and images of this song are certainly bizarre but I've always felt it contained a profound message.
    Lukewarm88on August 13, 2008   Link
  • +3
    My OpinionI love the idea of a man utterly crushed by society, outraged and jealous at the freedom of animals, and trying to somehow socially reprimand them ("they're setting a bad example! Think of the children! You'd better stop what you're doing, cats, or you'll never get work in this town again!") for their 'bad behaviour' in a society that they don't even know exists.
    samadrielon November 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA drunken paranoid rant by a character with too much on his plate, finally losing it and declaring that animals are laughing at him, telling his shocked barroom audience to go ahead and laugh as he breaks down.

    Interesting song, very odd.
    Cynothoglyson March 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat a great song! I love Dave's vocals on this one. One of my favorite Heads tunes.
    majestikmoose9on April 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentweird song. sometimes i think my dog is out to get me.
    abcdefon April 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThe whole album is about fear as noted in the title. I think the whole thing is hilarious and if you take it too seriously it's disturbing.
    SanjuroSeaCowon July 12, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionByrne told me he was inspired one day when his cat pissed in his shoe.

    Just a rant to remind pets they have it easy, it's a jungle out there.
    funkspielon May 02, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe name of this song is Animals. That's what it's about.
    Pelleason January 05, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere are some missing lyrics to this song. In the last minute, during the coda, the background voices are singing "Laugh at me, laugh at me", perhaps insinuating that the animals or people are laughing at his delusions. A very funny, but also strangley sad song, about schizophrenia.
    degree7on December 20, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think by animals he means people. Someone let him down ('I found out animals don't help', etc.) and he's mad about it. Now he describes animals, saying they 'don't worry' and 'think everything is nice,' and he means it as an insult -- people should care about one another.

    The theme plays around with who is setting the bad example. Even ironic when he says 'they're never there when you call them,' which is of course something a pet would do but a person might not.

    I'd say the song is somewhere between people letting him down and acting like animals, and humans being the worst animal.
    dayglopirateon March 27, 2014   Link

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