Gitchy, gitchy
Ooh la la
Da doo ron ron
You won't get far

I'm machine
I'm obsolete
In the land of the free
Lobotomy

I wanna suck, I wanna lick
I want to cry and I want to spit
Tears of pleasure
Tears of pain
They trickle down your face the same

It's how you look
Not how you feel
A city of glass
With no heart

If I had a tail
I'd own the night
If I had a tail
I'd swat the flies

Yeah, oh oh, oh oh, oh oh
Yeah, oh oh, oh oh, oh oh

Gitchy, gitchy
Ooh la la
Da doo ron ron
It won't get far

Animals in
The midnight zone
When you own the world
You're always home

Get your hands dirty
Roll up them sleeves
Brainwashed or true believers?
Buy flash cars
Diamond rings
Expensive holes to bury things

I'm machine
I'm obsolete
In the land of the free
Immortality

If I had a tail
I'd own the place
If I had a tail
I'd swat the flies

Oh-oh-oh, oh oh, oh oh, oh oh
Oh-oh-oh, oh oh, oh oh, oh oh

See me dancing on the stars
See me dance

If I have a tail
I will control the night
If I have a tail
I will control the night
If I have a tail
I will control the night


Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings, edited by Disen, sbutros1, stealthissound, wampaking, Cassabian, sparna, Hivnom, MilkManMike, thisendworld, TheBronze, Niamh168, TransMetalhead

If I Had a Tail Lyrics as written by Josh Homme Dean Anthony Fertita

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

If I Had A Tail song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

31 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +6
    General Comment

    This song is about a sociopath who lusts for and acheives action, sex and substance abuse in an urban setting but who doesn't want the reality of his or her actions to compromise his or her conscious. If the actions are contemplated the addiction ceases to exist and life becomes mundane. The person is the metaphysical interpretation of a "monster" hence the notion "If I Had A Tale". The ending is surrealistic in the portrayal of the literal manifestation of the monster by association of the sounds of the sociopath meta-morphing into the anthropomorphic representation.

    Psicosis1on June 02, 2013   Link
  • +6
    General Comment

    Correct lyrics taken from the ...Like Clockwork Double LP:

    Gitchy, gitchy Oo la la Da doo run run You wont get far

    I'm machine I'm obsolete The land of the free Lobotomy

    I wanna suck I wanna lick I wanna cry I wanna spit

    Tears of pleasure Tears of pain They trickle down your face the same It's how you look Not how you feel A city of glass with no heart

    If I had a tail I'd own the night If I had a tail I'd swat the flies

    Gitchy, gitchy Oo la la Da doo run run You won't get far

    Animals in the midnight zone When you own the world, you're always home Get your hands dirty, roll up them sleeves Brainwashed or true believers? Buy flash cars Diamond rings Expensive holes to bury things

    I'm machine, obsolete In the land of the free Immortality

    If I had a tail I'd own the night If I had a tail I'd swat the flies

    See me dance along the scars? See me dance?

    MilkManMikeon June 05, 2013   Link
  • +6
    General Comment

    Watched the video and the main character ( girl masked in the car) reminded me of the heroin in Stieg Larson's trilogy. In France "tail" is often used to refer to"dick". So to me that might be a girl singing this song. ( Like if i had a tail i could do things my own way and not be a victim). The lyrics to this song are very metaphoric and rich, they can be interpreted in so many different ways. I guess it's a collage of very different emotions, ressources and references. Once more it's a powerful text.

    Aleskeon June 28, 2013   Link
  • +3
    Link(s)

    The first two lines

    Gitchy, gitchy Ooh la la Da doo ron ron

    Are from "Lady Marmalade" by Labelle and "Da Doo Ron Ron" by The Crystals.

    url=[songmeanings.net/songs/view/66134/]Lady Marmalade[/url] url=[songmeanings.net/songs/view/3530822107858686722//]Da Doo Ron Ron[/url]

    unlistedon June 27, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Made an account to say your lyrics are spot on, Disen needs to get his ears checked.

    Stolidon May 16, 2013   Link
  • +2
    Song Meaning

    This song is plainly about the 21st century materialistic culture we are surrounded by.

    A lot of the inspiration for this album and the shift in focus of QOTSA to more meaningful issues other than sex drugs and rock and roll was inspired by Homme's medical issues, first attributed to knee surgery complications and later referred to as being in 'way too deep' with drugs.

    Here's why it's about a materialistic culture and opposing it:

    "Buy flash cars, diamond rings, expensive holes to bury things" in my opinion best line of the song and pretty obvious that he's saying all the clothes, jewellery and cars we buy are just there as shiny objects to distract us from fears and voids we may feel.

    "It's how you look, not how you feel, a city of glass with no heart" written to show values are placed on the wrong attributes, appearance of a human not the content of that person that makes them what they are and that despite large shining appearance there's nothing human to this culture.

    "I'm machine obsolete, in the land of the free lobotomy" The lobotomy is the shallow culture he's singing about, he's obsolete as someone who rejects this.

    KateMcCannonon April 09, 2017   Link
  • +2
    Song Meaning

    I originally thought this was a really silly song. A tail? What, like a cat? And it's so catchy. That whole "gitchy gitchy/doo run run" thing has to be deliberately silly, a throwback to earlier, lighthearted tunes from previous decades. It took me years to realise there was a hell of a lot more to it than I initially thought, which is highly ironic given what I think it means. My take on this is that we have a character who is commonly seen to be evil (note all the sociopath interpretations) but who might really be someone else - someone who feels. Someone who isn't actually a cold-hearted psychopath. I'm surprised that, given the amount of God/Devil imagery, not to mention the cover of the single (look it up on discogs) , that nobody has associated "tail" with "the devil". What if this character had a tail, and horns? What if they really were the devil everyone thought they were? The world sees them that way, and it doesn't really matter who they are underneath, because "it's how you look, not how you feel". Whether you're crying "tears of pleasure" or "tears of pain", they look the same to people from the outside. They're just tears. Society has painted them evil, and they're just following expectations, operating as instructed, like a machine. (Though, are they even needed? Can't the world do this job by itself? Are they obsolete?) They're following their wants, their desires. They want pleasure, to suck and lick and experience life. But that's generally not doable in, ironically, the "land of the free". Being yourself, when you deviate from the norm, is generally a bad thing. If you take that line in one go, we could even have a place where you get a "free lobotomy", as in, this is a place where you don't need to do anything as difficult as thinking or feeling, because you can have all that taken away, for free. That's a very clever line.
    The surface picture counts for more than whatever you're actually thinking and feeling underneath. We live in a world where materialistic desire trumps real connection. You can "buy flash cars, diamond rings" instead of actually engaging with the world. It's suggested there's nothing underneath all that. Or is there? What are these things we're burying in "expensive holes"? Feelings. Real connection. Thought. But here, this world with "no heart" is a "city of glass". It's easily broken. It's fragile, because it's so superficial. Someone is going to come along and fuck it up. Or at least, Josh Homme wants that to happen. Let's go back to that single cover. We see a vaguely punk figure facing off against a shadowy group, with knife in hand. And a red devil tail. They're standing behind a fire. If that character really did have a tail, if they really were the devil everyone thought they were, they wouldn't lose the fight that was about to happen. They'd win. And they'd feel good about it. They'd own the night. It's a beautiful fantasy of being in control, where in reality, we really aren't.

    elly107103on September 16, 2018   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I think...

    Out of motion Midnight soul

    Should be: Animals in the midnight zone

    also

    If I had a tail I know... goodnight

    should be: If I had a tail I'd own the skies

    sbutros1on May 16, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    The first line »Gitchy, gitchy, oh la la« are an callback to the chorus of the song Lady Marmelade i think.

    SpaceLordon May 31, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    It's a song about Homme's old-self. In 2010, Josh Homme was legally dead for moment due to complications during knee surgery. Homme said that it gave him a different outlook on life and heavily inspired Like Clockwork. He's pretty much saying that his old-self could be mistaken for the devil if you gave him a tail.

    Tibbitson August 03, 2013   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!