Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
Happier than you and me

Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
And it determined what he could see

Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
One chromosome too many

Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
And it determined what he could see

And he wore a hat
And he had a job
And he brought home the bacon
So that no one knew

He was a mongoloid

Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
His friends were unaware

Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
Nobody even cared

Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
One chromosome too many

Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
And it determined what he could see

And he wore a hat
And he had a job
And he brought home the bacon
So that no one knew

He was a mongoloid

Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
Happier than you and me

Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
And it determined what he could see

Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
One chromosome too many

Mongoloid, he was a mongoloid
And it determined what he could see

And he wore a hat
And he had a job
And he brought home the bacon
So that no one knew

He was a mongoloid
He was a mongoloid


Lyrics submitted by bouncing soles

Mongoloid Lyrics as written by Gerald Casale

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Mongoloid song meanings
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27 Comments

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  • +18
    General Comment

    Interestingly enough, not only was Mongoloid a term originally used to describe Down's Syndrome, but John Langdon Down (the guy they named the syndrome after) believed that it it was a result of a sort of genetic de-evolution, which was why it caused White people to take on "Mongoloid" characteristics (It was the 19th century, so I think at that time they believed that Asians were less evolved that Whites/Caucasians).

    I think what the song means is that this guy, whether through a medical condition or, more probably, as a metaphor, is so underdeveloped could be considered mentally retarded, but no one notices because culture has de-evolved so much that he fits right in.

    The point is that you don't have to be smart in order to function in society, you just have to be able to fit in with the corporate/consumer culture, which can easily be done, probably best of all, by someone with surprisingly little intelligence. SO as a culture we're all de-evolving...

    I'm kind of reminded of the song "Plastic Man" by the Kinks. Similar theme.

    PursuitofLifeon April 04, 2008   Link
  • +5
    General Comment

    You're close. Mongoloid is actually a now un-PC term describing someone afflicted with Down Syndrome.See: "one chromosome too many", referring to trisomy 21, as nicole said. Keeping with early Devo philosophy, I'd say this is a cynical take on gasp the de-evolution undergone by humanity in respect to society, either as a result of, or more like a response to the "Mongoloid" being able to assimiliate into society without anyone noticing.

    In other words: we're all getting dumb due to lack of natural selection, and the Mongoloid is obviously what should not have been selected.

    permanentlapseon March 22, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Killer Song. One of Devo's best.

    neontempeston October 30, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    brought home the baconnn

    i thought it was pretty self explanitory. but no, look, yep you've opened my eyes.

    I think it's a really nice song

    mestiphos_realmon April 23, 2008   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation

    I originally saw this song as a sarcastic comment on the typical PC attitude that we can't judge those who are less than us, or that disabled/primitive people are actually happier than the "enlightened" or "evolved" types. The "Happier than you and me" lyric especially references this. Think of anthropologists who claim that people are happier in primitive societies, because they are blissfully ignorant of the worries of the post-industrial world and have less to think about, because they're concentrating on the day-to-day labor of just staying alive. "Determined what he can see" refers to the fact that the Mongoloid had a limited viewpoint that made him happy. Thinking of "simpler" people as happier discounts the fact that, despite their happiness, their simpleness is still a defect -- at least from our viewpoint. Mongoloids and primitive people have a shorter lifespan and are less equipped to deal with the misery that they do face.

    You could also interpret this song much more simply and say that it's just a statement that ignorance is bliss, and if everyone is ignorant, no one will know you are, etc.

    RainyCaton April 19, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I've always seen this, as the song saying the guy was an absolute idiot and the writer being bemused of how nobody could notice such a blatantly obvious thing.

    However, I've read some interesting theories that it's commending a mentally disabled person for being able to lead a normal life.

    I prefer my original theory though, its a lot more cynical and Devo-like.

    Fauxpoeton March 01, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Permanentlapse is right. "Mongoloid" was once a well-known term for describing someone with down-syndrome. I also agree with how he describes it.

    BoojiBoyon February 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning

    A commentary, I think, about how ignorance is bliss. If you were mentally retarded or which and whatever, would you really worry about taxes? The government? Your salary? The mortgage? No, because why would you? How could you? Most likely, if you wouldn't even know that you were as you were, and if everyone else were, would and could anyone notice, and so possibly give a damn? No. And why should you, if no one else does...

    Which becomes very dangerous if anyone IS aware.

    Ignorance is bliss.

    Cynothoglyson May 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I agree with permanentlapse, its a blatant observation demostrated through the medium of music

    captainlumpyon August 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    yeah my mate said it was about how there was a down syndrome guy that could function perfectly well in society with a job and car and house and all that.

    finndevoon August 30, 2007   Link

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