A long time ago, our point of view
Was broadcast by Mr. Bartholomew
And now the world is full of sorrow and pain
And it's time for us to speak up again

You're slack and sorry
Such an arrogant brood
The only purpose you serve is to bring us our food
We sit here staring at your pomp and pout
Outside the bars we use for keeping you out

You've taken everything that you wanted
Broke it up and plundered it and hunted
Ever since we said it
You went and took the credit
It's been headed this way since the world began
When a vicious creature took the jump from Monkey to man

Monkey to man

Every time man struggles and fails
He makes up some kind of fairy tales
After all of the misery that he has caused
He denies he's descended from the dinosaurs

Points up to heaven with cathedral spires
All the time indulging in his base desires
Ever since we said it
He went and took the credit
It's been headed this way since the world began
When a vicious creature took the jump from monkey to man

Monkey to man

Big and useless as he has become
With his crying statues and his flying bomb
Goes 'round acting like the chosen one
Excuse us if we treat him like our idiot cousin

He hangs up flowers and bells and rhymes
Hoping to hell someone's forgiven his crimes
Fills up the air with his pride and praise
He's a big disgrace to our beastly ways

In the fashionable nightclubs and finer precincts
Man uses words to dress up his vile instincts
Ever since we said it
He went and took the credit
It's been headed this way since the world began
When a vicious creature took the jump from monkey to man


Lyrics submitted by clearlygonemad

Monkey to Man Lyrics as written by Elvis Costello

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Monkey to Man song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment

    I love this song--it considers our close evolutionary relatives' disgust at our twisted and destructive ways-- our denial that we're animals too. Not many songs express our entire specie's stupid behaviour:)

    skye415on January 04, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I agree but I also think one verse singled out Bush (who happens to resemble a monkey more than most):

    Big and useless as he has become With his crying statues and his flying bomb Goes 'round acting like the chosen one Excuse us if we treat him like our idiot cousin

    Though that could be a slam of all arrogant humans

    Shep420on July 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Another folly into the neodawinist lie. monkeys aren't my cousin. I would argue it's the neodarwinist beliefs that cause the problems the prior posters are complaining about.

    gallium31on December 18, 2010   Link

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