What do you think the Maytals song "Monkey Man" is about?
September 8, 2004 8:22 AM   Subscribe

What do you think the Maytals song "Monkey Man" is about?
posted by Mayor Curley to Media & Arts (8 answers total)
From Toots himself:

It's all vibes. A hundred years from now, they will be played, because it is logical words in the songs that people can relate to. And if it makes you happy, it makes you happy.

So there you go.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:31 AM on September 8, 2004

It's about him confronting his girlfriend, who has been copping off with one of the bouncers (doormen) at a club I think. Or did I completely misunderstand your question?
posted by bifter at 9:00 AM on September 8, 2004

No, you understood it. As far as I could tell, it was about someone hugging a monkey-man and a monkey-man riding a horse.

I pictured a girl dancing with Chewbacca, Hannuman or Craig Grebeck.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:13 AM on September 8, 2004

Gotcha. I'm pretty sure he's talking about her hugging up a great big hulking ape-like bouncer. Can't remember exactly why I think it's about a bouncer, but it's whatever the reason, it's deeply-ingrained and long-standing.
posted by bifter at 9:31 AM on September 8, 2004

bifter, In the version that i have heard there is a spoken intro that mentions the bouncers in the room so that is probably where you heard it from.
( also it was produced by Leslie Kong :-) i think )
posted by stuartmm at 10:00 AM on September 8, 2004

Yeah, the Special's version starts out, "This one's for the bouncers."
posted by Otis at 10:47 AM on September 8, 2004

The bit about the horse is a burlesque of a nursery rhyme.

"Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross to see a white lady upon a white horse" etc.

The expression "cock horse" has rather fallen out of favour in the last century or so, can't think why.

"Monkey man" is just an insult to his ex's new man.

(Although years ago, here in the Antipodes, it was a term for a money lender).
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:38 PM on September 8, 2004

Monkey man was, in the early XXth Century, a southern American black vernacular term for an adulterer, I believe.
posted by y2karl at 9:35 PM on September 8, 2004

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