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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.