Song Interpretation: 薛之謙 Joker Xue – 動物世界 Animal World

Singer: 薛之謙 Joker Xue

Song: 動物世界 Animal World

Animal World is a super interesting song because the lyrics make you think a lot. This song is not related to the Chinese film with the same name. Joker Xue is the lyricist of this song.

Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species book appears in the music video. Darwin made great contributions to the field of science because of his research on evolution. I’ve taken a university-level course on Animal Psychology and I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology so I might be able to provide some insight…

I’ve only provided my interpretations to the parts that stood out the most to me.




This part is about swallowing a lover. The female praying mantis eats the male after they mate.

努力進化 笑動物世界都太假

This part is about humans laughing at how fake the animal world is. Humans work hard to evolve. My interpretation of this – this relates to how superficial society has become. We spend a lot of money to look good. We spend a lot of time altering how we look by applying filters to our pictures and posting on social media to show how much “fun” we are having. All of these, one could argue, is “fake.”

不再進化 動物世界裡都太傻

This part is about thinking that animals are stupid. My interpretation is that we as a human race believe that we are superior to other animals. Whether or not this is true, is up for debate.

得到了你就該丟下 人性來不及粉刷

所以啊 人總患孤寡

This part talks about how people don’t always hide their true nature. It talks about the “ugly” side of people and how we can easily break up with a person for superficial reasons. The next part says that people are always worried about being alone.

別再進化 別讓動物世界太假

Now the lyrics are saying that humans should not evolve, to not let the animal world become more fake than it already is. Here, we understand the perspective of the singer – which is not necessarily Joker Xue’s perspective.

我們 該露出爪牙

This part says that we should show our claws and teeth. My interpretation is that we should drop the superficial act and show our “true selves.” We can be cunning and harm others, so why not show it.

優勝劣汰 自舔傷疤

This part talks about Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” phrase and that it is part of our human nature. The interesting part about this is that it says that part of our nature is to lick our own wounds – which relates back to the earlier lyric of humans being alone in this world.

假裝進化 拼命想和動物有差


This part talks about humans pretending to be different from animals by acting noble and elegant. My interpretation of this is that the singer believes that we are no different than animals. Humans could even be worse than other animals, because of the fake acts we do in order to appear that we are the “better evolved” species.

在人們腐爛的慾望下 獸性來不及抹殺

This part is about human desire and that our animal instinct is undeniable. My interpretation – even if we try to pass off as elegant, our natural instincts are still “animal-like.”

人類用沙 想捏出夢里通天塔


This is about our dreams, and how we are willing to pay any price for our own greed. Some people would resort to killing or robbing other people for their desires.

駕馭著昂貴的木馬 巢穴一層層疊加

最後啊 卻一絲不掛

This part is saying that we drive expensive cars and add layers to our nests. In certain bird species, the female bird chooses her mate depending on how “good” the nest looks. The male bird with the most beautiful nest will mate with the highest number of females. Then the lyrics say that in the end, we will end up naked. I think this refers to sex. We do these things to attract potential mates and the outcome is sex.

別害怕 我們都孤寡

This part says that we are all alone.

I want to make it clear that my interpretations of the song don’t necessarily reflect how I personally feel. I’m just giving my thoughts on what I think the song is supposed to mean. I could be wrong, and you may have a different interpretation of it. Although Joker Xue wrote the lyrics to his song, it is unclear what his perspective is.

My thoughts? I think the song sounds great. I really like Joker Xue’s voice. The music video has intimate scenes, which goes back to the theme of sex and reproduction. I think the lyrics are definitely thought-provoking, but they are so cynical. To be honest, I feel very dejected after analyzing the song.

I don’t think I agree with everything the singer says. A flaw is that the song kind of lumps every person on the planet together and sees them as a single entity that has the same goals and motivations. However, that’s just how the singer (not necessarily Joker Xue) views things. There’s nothing wrong with that in my opinion. It was interesting to hear this kind of perspective, especially the parts on superficiality.


8 thoughts on “Song Interpretation: 薛之謙 Joker Xue – 動物世界 Animal World

  1. Wow, this song is awesome! I’m not familiar with the artist or song (like I am with most Mando pop), but I really enjoy your quotes and interpretation.

    I wonder why the retro feel in the MV? Does it signify regression, or does it highlight the peak of our fake “civilization”?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This sounds so brilliant. I love songs like these that really make you think about a lot of things; that have so much depth to them. Those are honestly my favourite sorts of things to listen to.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This song has a very depressing vibe about it. Why is so much recent music so depressing? I seem to remember several decades of (mostly) happy music.

    And the things the guy is lamenting are all superficial. Sounds like the author was unlucky in love or felt lonely and depressed (or all the above) and was looking for “reasons” why life sucks.

    The answer to superficiality is not to be superficial. Don’t worry about upgrading that Mercedez. Don’t go chasing after a girl just because she has a hot bod or dresses stylishly. Mix in some delayed gratification with that greed. (I suspect the author is on the affluent side.) If you go for *depth*, the world is full of beautiful things and good people.

    Humans don’t do well alone. You can’t crawl into another person’s thoughts, so yeah, we are alone that way. But you wouldn’t want to because EVERY person’s thoughts sometimes involve inner demons you don’t want to know about. Instead, we have empathy which is also a part of the human animal. So is love. Both are traits that long predate Homo sapiens. They enable us to lick each other’s wounds so we don’t always have to lick our own.

    I’m not sure that “we will end up naked” means sex to the author. That’s too optimistic for this song. I think to him it means that despite all the layers of nesting, we end up exposed and vulnerable.

    Sad. Because to me, “naked” means *freedom*.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joker Xue is very famous in China. Knowing his history, I don’t think he’s been unlucky with love, but he has commented before on the superficiality in show business. After all, he is famous and he’s seen people treat him with a lot of respect and kindness to his face. But behind the scenes he’s heard them talk differently.

      Yeah, I’ve taken a course on Social Psychology and humans are social animals. We do depend on one another and it’s been this way for ages. I just think this kind of perspective was fascinating to examine.

      That’s interesting! I thought the “naked” was going to refer to reproduction (passing on your genes to your kin), therefore sex. Being exposed and vulnerable definitely sounds plausible to me.

      Liked by 3 people

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