The mystery man came over
And he said I'm outta sight
He said for a nominal service charge
I could reach nirvana tonight
If I was ready, willing and able
To pay him his regular fee
He would drop all the rest of his pressing affairs
And devote his attention to me

But I said look here brother
Who you jiving with that cosmik debris?
Now who you jiving with that cosmik debris?
Look here brother, don't waste your time on me

The mystery man got nervous and he fidget around a bit
He reached in the pocket of his mystery robe
And he whipped out a shaving kit
Now I thought it was a razor
And a can of foaming goo
But he told me right then when the top popped open
There was nothin' his box won't do
With the oil of aphrodite, and the dust of the grand wazoo
He said you might not believe this, little fella
But it'll cure your asthma too

And I said look here brother
Who you jiving with that cosmik debris?
Now what kind of a guru are you, anyway?
Look here brother, don't waste your time on me
(Don't waste your time)

I've got troubles of my own, I said
And you can't help me out
So, take your meditations and your preparations
And ram it up your snout
But I got the crystal ball, he said
And held it to the light
So I snatched it, all away from him
And I showed him how to do it right

I wrapped a newspaper 'round my head
So I looked like I was deep
I said some mumbo-jumbo, then
I told him he was going to sleep
I robbed his rings and pocketwatch
And everything else I found
I had that sucker hypnotized
He couldn't even make a sound
I proceeded to tell him his future, then
As long as he was hanging around
I said the price of meat has just gone up
And your old lady has just gone down

Look here brother
Who you jiving with that cosmik debris?
Now is that a real poncho or is that a Sears poncho?
Don't you know, you could make more money as a butcher?
So, don't waste your time on me
Don't waste it, don't waste your time on me (om shanti, om shanti, om shanti, shanti)


Lyrics submitted by nicole, edited by JarheadJim

Cosmik Debris Lyrics as written by FRANK ZAPPA

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Cosmik Debris song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +4
    General Comment

    I gotta say it could be about either. It is all up to interpretation, which is how Frank would want it to be anyway. Think for yourself!

    IMO I've always heard it as a anti-drug song. Being against drugs myself its the best, coolest anthem for being sober ever.

    voltafan101on May 23, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i dunno but i think that this song is making fun of religion?

    who_rockon January 30, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    He is talking about the meta-physical gurus of the 70's not drug use, that kind of stuff didnt do anything for atheist frank and he told them all off.

    Incinerateon September 25, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Actually, Gimpy Jim has it right. Despite popular beleif, Zappa was very much against any and all drugs.

    The Cosmik Debris are the drugs, cosmik like psychedelic far out etc.

    "He said, for a nominal service charge, I could reach nervonna t'nite"

    For a little money, he could purchase some drugs and get so high he'd fee like he was in nirvana from the drug enduced pleasure.

    The shaving kit was more than likely heroin, as that's how most people carried that stuff (see the movie "Ray" for example)

    It's basically Zappa saying that all the dealers that saw him as such a far out musician thought he was some kind of druggie and thought they could make some money selling him drugs should look to do business elsewhere, because he's above such things.

    Slightly_Shinobion April 07, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    no way incinerate is right its obviously about maharishi and those 70s gurus - especially the part about the crystal ball and devoting attention to me etc

    Zappa hated drugs but theres no way he was self-righteous enough to right a song about how he was too good for them

    davetceteraon April 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    That whole line about a real poncho or a Sears poncho is also in "Camarillo Brillo" on the album "Over-Nite Sensation." Just thought that was a fun thing worth noting.

    ferret111on November 13, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    It's about both. Criticism of drug use for spiritual purposes.

    artsluton August 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I love this song. I think it's about the guru's but I don't think it couldn't be about drugs. I don't understand the meat joke though. I kind of get it but I don't think I really get it, especially the later butcher reference.

    pezdelon October 27, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning

    A guru/shaman/dealer offers a quick and easy way to nirvana/healing/solve your problems, probably referencing psychedelic drugs ("expand your mind man"). The references to spirituality are probably meant to include the religious versions of this as well. Either way it's a guy offering a simple solution to complicated problems in exchange for money.

    Frank "does it right" and hypnotizes the guy, steals his things, and tells him the price of meat is going up so he should be a butcher (or something like that). This is how Frank interprets what the Mystery Man does, but he takes the bullshit out and just robs him plain.

    bennjamminon May 08, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    No, it's an anti-drug song. Frank was opposed to that.... The guy trys to sell him drugs from his shaving kit:

    He said, for a nominal service charge, I could reach nervonna t'nite If I was ready, willing 'n able To pay him his regular fee

    "There was nothin' his box won't do With the oil of Afro-dytee An' the dust of the Grand Wazoo He said: "You might not believe this, little fella, but it'll cure your Asthma too!" frank tells him to get bent, takes his crystal ball and robs him.

    Gimpy Jimon March 16, 2005   Link

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