Curiosity was far greater than our fear
It felt so simple, so prodigious at the same time

Incredible things are happening in the world
Magical things are happening in this world

Across the river there are all kinds of magical instruments
While we really keep on living like monkeys

Incredible things are happening in the world
Magical things are happening in this world, yeah

Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher

Peng! 33 Lyrics as written by Timothy John Gane Laetitia Sadier

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Peng! 33 (Stereolab cover) song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentHas any other Iron & Wine fan read "One Hundred Years of Solitude?" I've been a fan of this song for awhile, and just tonight began reading that book. I only got to page eight when I stopped dead at the words "It seemed so simple and so prodigious at the same time..."

    Upon further investigation I found that these lyrics are taken from pages seven and eight (in my edition) of the book. The book reads "donkeys" not "monkeys," but I don't think this alters the meaning.

    To understand the lyrics you'd have to know what they mean in the context of the story:

    The character thinking these thoughts lives in a remote town composed of twenty houses that is visited annually by gypsies hawking the wonders of the world, like magnets and false teeth, that are so foreign to the inhabitants of the remote village they seem magical. The character is frustrated that all these things are already boring/established/history to the rest of the world, hence the "across the river... monkeys" comment.

    The one thing I have yet to understand is the song's title.
    wanderloveon August 18, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commenthahahaha....he did A nice work with the original.....but sam beam's is better...beam's voice is so much more.....I have not the words to describe it....but it makes me wanna live more
    manuelturcioson January 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this, it sounds like such a song of discovery, like suddenly the singer has discovered new life and is going to move beyond his/her old life, where it says "While we really keep on living like monkeys". It's beautiful and I would like to hear the original version.
    ikefoxon March 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe monkey reference is definitely there to make us question our position on the evolution chart. he's saying there's a whole lot more progress to be made in the world, and if we fear it instead of diving headlong into the new with "curiosity", we'll be the ones left behind like cavemen and other less evolved ancestors of the modern human.
    thenbanerdon January 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment@wanderlove-
    The title comes from a cartoon appropriated for the cover art of the Sterolab album Peng!
    I forget the story, but the final panel of the cartoon was the character shooting and the sound of the gun was Peng!
    dotdashon July 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThese lyrics are based on lines from the opening pages of “100 Years Of Solitude”.

    “Incredible things are happening in the world”


    “Right across the river there are all kinds of magical instruments while we keep on living like donkeys.”

    are directly from the book.
    cleekon October 09, 2013   Link
  • -1
    My OpinionI always thought the "While we keep on living like monkeys" was "Are there really people living like monkeys?" when I listened to it. Then again, I never listened very carefully.
    NasalSnackon December 24, 2010   Link
  • -2
    General CommentMan I hate Stereolab. But he did a good job with this.
    soundless_spaceon August 28, 2007   Link

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