In the time of chimpanzees I was a monkey
Butane in my veins so I'm out to cut the junkie
With the plastic eyeballs, spray paint the vegetables
Dog food stalls with the beefcake pantyhose
Kill the headlights and put it in neutral
Stock car flamin' with a loser and the cruise control
Baby's in Reno with the vitamin D
Got a couple of couches, sleep on the love seat

Someone keeps sayin' I'm insane to complain
About a shotgun wedding and a stain on my shirt
Don't believe everything that you read
You get a parking violation and a maggot on your sleeve
So shave your face with some mace in the dark
Savin' all your food stamps and burnin' down the trailer park

Yo, cut it
Soy un perdedor
I'm a loser baby so why don't you kill me? (double barrel buckshot)

Soy un perdedor
I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?

The forces of evil in a Bozo nightmare
Ban all the music with a phony gas chamber
'Cause one's got a weasel and the other's got a flag
One's on the pole, shove the other in the bag
With the rerun shows and the cocaine nose job
The daytime crap with the folksinger slop
He hung himself with a guitar string
A slab of turkey neck and it's hangin' from a pigeon wing

Gotta get right if you can't relate
Trade the cash for the beef, for the body, for the hate
And my time is a piece of wax fallin' on a termite
That's chokin' on the splinters

Soy un perdedor
I'm a loser baby so why don't you kill me?
(Get crazy with the Cheeze Whiz)

Soy un perdedor
I'm a loser baby so why don't you kill me?
(Drive-by body pierce)

(Yo bring it on down)

(I'm a driver, I'm a winner, things are gonna change I can feel it)

Soy un perdedor
I'm a loser baby so why don't you kill me?
(I can't believe you)

Soy un perdedor
I'm a loser baby so why don't you kill me?

Soy un perdedor
I'm a loser baby so why don't you kill me?
(Sprechen sie Deutche, baby)

Soy un perdedor
I'm a loser baby so why don't you kill me?
(Know what I'm sayin'?)

Lyrics submitted by Ice, edited by peppieddie

Loser Lyrics as written by Beck Hansen Carl Stephenson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Loser song meanings
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  • +13
    General CommentBeck recorded himself playing slide guitar on a four track for about an hour. Then the guy he was working with Took part of the noodling and added a drum loop that became the main riff we know and love.

    Beck then started rapping stupidly on top of the looped guitar riff, completely improvising. He was so embarrassed at the lyrics that he'd come up with that he just started singing 'I'm a Loser baby' in the chorus.
    ma0smon May 19, 2002   Link
  • +9
    My InterpretationBeck wrote this as a starving folk-artist on a serious funk. Most of the dumb animal metaphors (monkeys vs. chimps, pigeons, turkeys) reflect his low self-image, his impulsive nature at the time. He's also feeling a bit burned by false promises from a phony society (don't believe everything that you breathe: they're chimps, they're a ditching girlfriend, they're an evil bozo nightmare that doesn't like his cynical lyrics, yet creates the low-class world he lives in). Growing more cynical, time's candle is wearing down and he's stuck in the wax, a miniscule termite choking on lifeless, impoverished matter--a mere scavenger like the urban pigeon. But like the great satirists, he's an artist that pokes fun at the raw hand he's been dealt. The fun, hip, carefree beat and free-style hip-hop rhymes tells us that he's a clown, smiling at his own misery--and the satire is what is going to keep him going. He refuses to go away, daring the gas-chamber society--or his girlfriend--to kill him. Another interpretation is that "the loser" image is a degenerate illusion created by society, and he's thrusting a middle finger at it.
    hubris1on June 17, 2010   Link
  • +6
    General CommentWhy write a song that makes sense if your a loser? Nobody would care to listen, so why not have some fun? There's meaning to madness, after all...
    Thanlarkison September 16, 2002   Link
  • +6
    General CommentI think the whole point of Beck's music, especially his early stuff, is to make fun of postmodernism.

    And for those of you who think every song ever written is about drugs need to LAY OFF The FUCKING ACID!
    divinediscontenton November 24, 2004   Link
  • +6
    General CommentMaybe its all about donuts
    d9s9123on June 08, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General CommentGet crazy with the cheese whiz!

    I think he's more making fun of the grunge trend, where the general sentiment was "I'm a loser, etc."

    PS: Beck is not stupid now. Odelay is his best album, and although midnight vultures was a little disappointing, it's still good.
    Unarmedon May 17, 2002   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningThis song is basically just stating anything and everything that's pathetic and will make one say "Wow, that's dumb. What loser!" for example: "in the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey" (chimpanzees eat some monkeys)
    "got a couple of couches, sleep on the love seat" (why would you sleep on a love seat when there's 2 couches??)
    "my time is a piece of wax falling on a termite that's choking on the splinters" (one of the best analagies in the song. Wax melts very quickly. If it falls on a termite the termite will die a slow and freak-accident death. Termites eat wood, making a termite choking on splinters extremely pathetic. That's almost as bad as a human choking on air)
    alexischamberson July 22, 2010   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationThese is a great song, that I've thought long and hard about its meaning. About ten years ago I think I understood what he's saying in the first stanza.

    Beck is playing a lot with language in a very poetic way. Parts of words are sometimes the point of the word and he uses sarcastic nicknames for other things. He also uses words that sound alike (homonyms) to make double entendres.

    A lot of the first stanza is a first person story about car racing in his Mustang.

    The time of chimpanzees was the late 1970s and early 80s, when the coolest cars around were the Datsun 280Zs (the "zees").

    He's saying that back then he was a [grease] monkey (a mechanic or someone who works on cars).

    Butane is a fuel gas that an engine could be modified to use for racing (or it could just be another terms for gasoline) and the veins that it's running through are the fuel lines of the car.

    He's racing against a junkie car (or junkheap) with plastic headlights, spraying (maybe mud on) the vegetables (brain dead people) watching.

    The car breaks down.

    "Dog food" is his dead Mustang because when a horse dies, pet food companies grind it up to make dog food. He's insulting to and mad at his car because it stalls (a side reference to horse stalls) with a burst hose (a beefcake pantyhose).

    He tells himself to stop stressing. "Kill the headlights" (don't think about it, in a double entendre) "and put it in neutral" (idle for a bit, you can't do anything about it at the moment anyway).

    The stock car (he's stock car racing) flamed out. It's just a car with a loser at the wheel and it's in the pit crew's control (cruise control).

    He then changes scenarios (or not).

    His girlfriend is in Reno in the sun (you get vitamin D from sunshine). She couch surfs there or has sex with different men for a place to stay. But he's in the "love seat" (she loves him).

    If he's still talking about his car, then he's saying that the car is in Reno with the sun. A couch is a seat or a row of seats. The Mustang has two rows of seats with a bench seat in the back and bucket seats in front. He's in the driver's seat.

    People tell him he shouldn't complain about racing. He's been complaining about being married to the shotgun (starter pistol) and the clothes (he's got a grease stain on his shirt or the mechanic's patch or sponsor's logo).

    He's now talking to himself, saying, if you believe everything that comes out of your own mouth (everything that you breathe, i.e. the complaints he's been making about the racing life), then you'll stop moving (get a parking violation) and settle down and have a kid (a maggot on your sleeve, he doesn't like children).

    So keep on taking the risks. Get a close shave with some ace in the dark (a racing opponent). Keep being poor (on food stamps) and burning (rubber) down in the trail or park (the trailer park).

    But he doesn't win, so he doesn't feel great. He's self-condescending. He feels like a loser - such a loser that he's got to tell us that in two languages.

    The second stanza is about different things, that I don't really have a handle on all the way.

    Here are some thoughts:
    A phony gas chamber is someone who's full of bull.

    One's on the pole (a woman working a strip club or on her period), shove the other in a bag (put a condom on the man).

    My time is a piece of wax - My time is making records (used to use wax to make LPs, look it up) or my time becomes the record. Anyway, he's talking about his music.
    Falling on a termite. A termite is a reference to a baby boomer.
    Who's choking on a splinter - who's choking because he can't believe he's hearing this great music from a gen Xer.

    Get crazy with the cheese, Wiz. Get crazy with the flourishes, wizard.

    Drive by body pierce is a drive-by shooting.
    psandon February 03, 2014   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is a great song and it is without coherent logic or grammar, however, everyone saying that Beck is always like this needs to take a long look at "Sea Change" - the lyrics are crystal clear and devestating.
    ShiNoKissuon September 24, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyeah this is a good song, i think beck is getting better with age. hopefully the new album will be as good as odelay
    Jabbatronon May 19, 2002   Link

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