Lyrics Explained: Gorillaz “On Melancholy Hill”

Lyrics Explained: Gorillaz “On Melancholy Hill”

hey everybody I'm preferred to send me the fab son professor and welcome to my channel where we make English class awesome by talking about song lyrics today we're talking about on melancholy Hill by Gorillaz this song is really interesting partially because the lyrics are among some of the most simple and seemingly easy to understand of any gorilla song but the music video will blow your mind I don't know maybe it will maybe alone but basically when the band was interviewed about the song they talked about how this feeling of melancholy is just sort of like this in-between relaxed contented tired sort of feeling where like you know there's good things there's bad things we're just kind of in the middle it doesn't matter seemed to be the vibe but Damon Albarn the guy who writes the lyrics for the band was interviewed he asked he said well this morning I woke up and I was on a massive highway it was gray I so sad colours were starting to emerge from the green but there were thousands of people driving their way into Boston to start Monday so the Green is great but they're all going to work in the city so they went away from the green on one hand is part of the pessimism of our consumer condition you know we got it works we can buy things on the other hand there's a kind of beauty in it and that's where the melancholy wins for me the beauty is those leaves but it's also the beauty of just watching the people go off to work and so that melancholy is him kind of feeling conflicted between kind of feeling sad or feeling bad for them but also kind of finding the beauty and the everyday within that does that make sense basically melancholy is sort of a conflicted tired happy content feeling in the face of something that we shouldn't feel happy about necessarily at least according to him so we dive into the music video and obviously there's a lot to the mythology of gorillas there's some really interesting stuff out there and a link below to a video that does an incredible job talking about the four phases it reads like a comic book or a story watching this video so it's worth the 22 minute investment really good stuff but basically in this music video the band has been separated as they've been going on some different travels on their own but we find noodle she is on a cruise ship that's gained attacked by pirates which are probably actually this sort of like secret organization that have to do with the devil and the fifth Horsemen of the Apocalypse flatulence maybe anyway you got to watch that video to understand all of this so she's getting attacked she escapes and then she's just stranded on a lifeboat then we see that the two of the other band members Murdoch and Toodee are with this Bionic version of noodle and they're in a submarine surrounded by other submarines that are being piloted by the other collaborators on the album which is pretty cool they keep driving along we cut back to noodle and then there's this giant Russell who comes out of nowhere he's this enormous version of himself coming out of the water and apparently the backstory is that he's been trying to swim to Plastic Beach the place that everybody is going which incidentally is a place that Murdock bought for the band with some insurance money to be able to go and live at to start making music again it's like this island that we'll see and so Murdock spins or Russell has been swimming there he's been eating a lot of nuclear waste litter and drinking a lot of water and so he's grown to an enormous version of his own size the submarines get to the the place they've assumedly been going and it's this giant manatee on top of melancholy hill and behind it is the boogeyman who is actually the fifth Horsemen of the Apocalypse apparently he's trying to massage the manatee and there's no explanation for that but apparently he wants that manatee and so he he steals the manatee and keeps going and I don't know if there's ever an explanation for why that manatee was so important to him and then the final scene the clouds roll away and behind melancholy Hill is Plastic Beach which is named so because it's a island in the middle of the ocean made out of litter basically so there's not like a deeper meaning to exactly what's going on there it's part of the larger story arc of gorillas phase three again that videos in the description you should totally go watch it but if we take a look at the lyrics I think it was Murdock in an interview who said that the band was looking for something a little bit more relaxed a little bit more pop in this song and you kind of hear that in the music and then in the lyrics it does feel kind of like there's these vague references to the storyline but for the most part it feels kind of like just a pop love song up on melancholy Hill there's a plastic tree are you here with me so melancholy Hill this sort of sad in-between place there's a plastic tree so it's it's supposed to be this naturey thing but it's made out of garbage okay cool so that's an exact picture of melancholy according to daemon Albert are you here with me talking to the person that you know he or she loves just looking out on the day of another dream where you can't get what you want but you can get me that's the melancholy again it's good and bad mixed together so let's set out to see because you are my medicine when you're close to me when you're close to me and that's just a sweet kind thing to say you're my medicine when you're close to me I'm sick without you so then we say so call in the submarines a reference to the music video around the world we'll go does anybody know her which makes it feel like they're kind of searching he the singer the song is searching for the person that he loves if we're looking out on the day of another dream if you can't get what you want then come with me it's telling her come back to Plastic Beach with me basically up on melancholy Hill sits the manatee and that's the moment where you feel like this entire song has lost connection to reality what the heck is going on here there's there's a manatee just looking out for the day when you're close to me and it just I don't know it could be a commentary on how pop songs are basically meaningless and make no sense or it could be a reference to the music video or it could just be that the manatee is some symbol of happiness and joy in the world and it's it's up on melancholy Hill to this giant freaking manatee but the overall point of the song does seem to be sort of a simple sweet almost cute love song set to the contrast of the really weird submarine boogie man manatee filled music video but really honestly guys would you expect anything else from gorillas so the basic story of melancholy Hill is one of a contrast we have really crazy things happening we have really sweet things happening we have sadness we have joy we have a searching for someone we have the being close to someone it's all about opposites being brought in together around this concept of melancholy which is the whole center of this song I felt that you felt that we've all felt it and on melancholy Hill is a good song to listen to when we are feeling it thanks for watching guys don't forget to check out this explanation of feel-good ink by Gorillaz and this one of Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz both songs are incredible and have such deep meanings in fact I think we get deeper on those than we do in this video but I hope that you enjoy and I'll talk to you next time

31 thoughts on “Lyrics Explained: Gorillaz “On Melancholy Hill”

  1. Tyler says that we havent decoded everything in his new album i need help! Ive seen many new theorys and idk what is credible and what isnt can you make another video trying to decode their cryptic crap?

  2. This song is so beautiful and its nice on its own, but gorillaz basically mastered music videos and it goes. So. Much. Deeper.

  3. And it’s really cool because the manittee that he sings about in the song actually has a name. 2-D, the main singer of the band, named it Hugh. So when you put it together, it makes Hugh-Manittee…Humanity. A lot of people have said that this song is a metaphor for the pollution that we do to our planet, that is why the tree is made of plastic because it is the only thing left in our world after the pollution


    Edit: my thoughts
    I always thought melancholy hill was a representation of heaven, and the manatee was supposed to be God

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