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At The Zoo song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThis song is a metaphor for those lovely folks working on Capitol Hill. I'm not sure which animals correspond with which employees, but yes, that is what this song is about.
    TheCheeseStreeton November 10, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is a really dope song by a great band.

    Sounds like the animals at the zoo represent certain characteristics.
    River Wolfon November 17, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentriver wolf i think youve pretty much got the idea. this song is actually making fun of racism, using animals
    maryleneon January 08, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYeah, I thought it did give the government a sort of poke. How does it make fun of racism? I love that idea, but I don't see it.
    starangelon May 03, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDon't know if this song is about anything. It takes place in the Central Park Zoo, which is a "light and tumble" journey from Manhattan's Upper East Side, rather than the more distant, and far larger, Bronx Zoo. Some comments on here have indicated that Simon's metaphors relate to people, perhaps to the government, at a time of the escalation of the war in Vietnam and increased skepticism of the government. I have no idea. His metaphors and lines obviously are not meant to be taken too seriously and he writes his words to conform to the rhyme scheme and rhythm of the song, rather than actual facts about animals. Elephants as generations of elephantologists can attest are anything but dumb and are in fact among the most intelligent animals on the planet; orangutans may or may not be skeptical; zebras- animals that integrate black and white stripes on their bodies, an important consideration considering the civil rights movement going on in full intensity during the time Simon wrote the song- are not a good exemplar of "reactionary," and so on. But this is nitpicking and merely demonstrates the problem with taking the lyrics of songs written in this era too seriously.
    mbrachmanon October 22, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti sort of thought of this song as a poke at the government. i might be wrong lol
    Tapies24on February 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf it is making fun of racism (which I've never seen before, but it is definitely an interesting thought), it would probably be the fact that all the animals are lumped together with certain characteristics. ALL monkeys are honest, ALL giraffes are insincere, etc. Maybe not overt racism, but I can definitely see it as a sort of mockery of stereotypes.
    HabsFanVAon December 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is saying that humans and animals have more in common than we admit. I believe it's a call for animal rights.

    "Orangutans are skeptical
    Of changes in their cages,
    And the zookeeper is very fond of rum."

    It's just about what it means to be a living thing. We're all the same.
    jordan strangeon December 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHang on Marylene et al. This does not seem to me to be about stereotyping at all, since the qualities are not being ascribed to species but to the members of those species residing in the Bronx zoo. It's not ALL orang utans that are sceptical of changes in their cages!

    I think that this is just a playful anthropomoprhic reflection on a day at the zoo. It's fab.
    ShineYouDiamondon August 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmaybe the animals are just each representing a different part of all of us, showing that we are like the animals in our certain characteristics. I think it's a little mocking, but it's also very serious, sort of reminding people where we have evolved from and that that is still a part of us. Maybe I'm taking it a little to seriously, but you can see what i mean.
    annaywon March 29, 2007   Link

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