Crash Test Dummies: Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Meaning
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Song Released: 1993
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Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Lyrics
Got into an accident and couldn't come to school
But when he finally came back
His hair had turned from black into bright white
He said that it was from when
The cars had smashed him so hard
Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm...
anonymous Sep 29th, 2006 9:57am report
The key I think is the verse before the church kid. Obvious the boy and girl feel they dont' have it as bad as the kid who has no life and parents have essential forced him to live at home, school, and church. Even though the other kids have physical problems that they have no control over this kid has no control over the mental aspects which his parents are sucjecting him to. The boy and girl would rather have their looks than have no life and shake on the floor at church. They will survive fine, the last church boy will more than likely have worse problems in society.
anonymous Oct 9th, 2006 10:30am report
so, I think too deeply into things like this...
But the song has always made me *really* sad even before I couldn't understand the lyrics.
Verse one: I think it's talkng about how the accident changed the kids personality. Maybe it wasn't a car crash, he never specifies.
Verse two: the girl, I think the 'birthmarks' were actually bruises. She was afraid and ashamed to admit it, but I feel that her parents were abusing her.
Verse three: the girl and the kid both preffer their own issues because atleast they have some escape from it, but this boy, he has no life other than that.
That's just my take on it.
anonymous Apr 16th, 2007 4:36pm report
For the first kid, I believe that he got into a car accident, and he had been badly hurt by the accident, and therefore, he didn't really his life. (And maybe got into a coma and grew old?) Anyways, I think that when he came back to school he was different mentally because of the accident.
The girl: I think that she had been abused by her parents, hence the birthmarks = bruises theory.
And the last one.. I have no idea, how to interpret that. I don't think the epileptic thing makes sense, but it could have something to do with the religion, and.. How they trap their son into it to.
anonymous Aug 29th, 8:29pm report
Ok the girl with birthmark all over body is talking about the disease neurofibromatosis they always just been there for me living with this disease I never couldn't quite explain why I had so many they always just been there look it up it causes birthmarks all over body and tumors as well
anonymous Nov 12th, 2012 11:02pm report
Well I think after putting in a bit of thought, is about the peculiarity of religion. Or something along those lines.
Reasoning: to a kid, even hair changing color due to a car crash, to birthmarks covering your entire body, are more explainable than religious behaviour.
anonymous Jan 30th, 2012 1:10pm report
The first two are about physical peculiarities that the boy and girl have, and the video gives the implied notion that there is some embarassment.
The third boy, is a child in an evangelical religious family. He doesn't understand it but just assumes the lurching (laying of hands, feeling god, etc. etc) is normal cause thats all he's ever known. If you've ever experienced one of these types of churches, it makes complete sense. Having been to a wedding ceremony where the pastor was "speaking in tongues" and shaking about, you realize the oddity of the religion and how he is different from his friends.
The song's key and subtle line is that the first boy and girl felt better because the regligious imprisonment is a far worse peculiarity than what they suffer from.
anonymous Nov 21st, 2011 11:46pm report
When somebody goes through a traumatic or stressful experience like a car accident where the exhibit a lot of fear and stress, their hair can actually turn white. I don't think the little girl is being abused because birth-marks and bruises look completely different - I believe that the two kids who only had minor physical ailments rightfully thought they had it better than the third kid who's life is controlled entirely by his parents. The cognitive development would be hindered by psychological oddity. Living in family of over zealous protective type parents can really affect one's behaviour as a child and those issues will only grow. As for the shaking and lurching, I could only guess that he is talking about a non-traditional religion that may or may not be an extremist group (like the Westboro Baptist church)which, in my opinion, is beyond damaging in a psychological and societal way.
anonymous May 14th, 2011 5:48pm report
Umm I don't really know if this is good but it is my interpretation.
I think the first part is about this little boy who got into a (car) accident. He was hurt, maybe mentally, not physically, and he couldn't come to school. Once he was well enough to return, his hair had turned white.
I think this girl was too embarrassed to change with the other girls in the changing room. One day she was forced to and everybody saw that she was covered in birthmarks. (I don't really think they were bruises because the lyrics say she couldn't quite explain them. I understand that people think it was a cover-up, but It's a song, not real life. Or maybe it is...)
In this part, the girl and boy are glad that they don't have it as bad as this boy, because their problems were physical, and this kid had weird parents, which could be physical and mental. They could still live their lives, but she might not.
I think this part is about a kid who is forced home every day after school by his parents. Once he gets home, his parents go to this odd church where they shake around and dance a lot and then throw up. (Bulimia?)
anonymous May 13th, 2011 5:29pm report
This is just an initial opinion, so it might be wrong but...
The first verse, I thought the boy may have had some sort of disease/sickness that made him keep away from school, and used a car accident as an excuse. Maybe the treatment with all the chemicals/radiation made his hair turn white as a side effect, and he "couldn't quite explain it," as in he wanted to hide the truth so that other kids wouldn't stay away from him for his disease.
The second verse, the girl wanted to hide her bruising from abuse, as most people already noticed...
I honestly don't understand the last verse though, maybe a cult, maybe drunk parents.
The mmms could be signifying the type of "mm mm" people do to imply negative. As in, "nuh-uh."
anonymous Mar 27th, 2011 3:29pm report
I belive that the first two are simply what they say. The third is a little different, it makes more sence that it is boy having his childhood takrn from him we he had no choice in what happend. The other two see themsrlves as different but not an outcast like the third may.
anonymous Feb 27th, 2011 2:24am report
After reading these interpretations of the lyrics, I felt that the lyrics were written about child abuse. But after watching the video and thinking about it, there is no real reference to the parents abusing their children save that of the "birthmarks" looking like somewhat like bruises in the video clip.
I feel though, that in the first two verses, the children's abnormal physical attributes, e.g. the white hair at a young age and birthmarks, are causing the children to feel ashamed because their parents cannot accept that their children are different, even though the rest of the community can. This is represented in the video clip when the children bow at the end of the performance and everyone claps except their parents.
But both kids are glad because there is this one kid who is forced to participate in a strange, by normal standards, religion. This is referring the shaking and lurching all over the church floor, adding to the fact that his parents make him come home right after school, thereby not allowing him to socialise with the other kids means that this kid feels not only shunned by society, but disappoints his parents by not participating in their religious activities, this is referring to the part in the video where the kid is looking desperately at his parents in a plea for them to not make him shake and lurch like the others, and them returning a stern, disapproving glare.
So basically I believe that the song is written about two kids with physical abnormalities, not necessarily disabilities, and a kid who wants to be normal but forced to be different. As a result the parents are ashamed of their kids because they cannot accept how their kids are.
The use of the word "normal" in this context means "what is the norm," not "what should be." being different is not necessarily a bad thing.
anonymous Dec 8th, 2010 12:23pm report
there are blogs going back 12 years trying to solve this one.lets simplify
the boy has a physical oddity
the girl has a physical oddity
physical oddities they will "get over"
religion is not a physical oddity. religion is a far more powerful entity than a physical trait. i believe the church boy has realized he is being forced by his parents to believe a certain way about religion and does not agree. maybe he's gay, maybe he prefers the juche or cao dai or maybe he just doesn't like snakes. he just wants to interpret religion for what it is and that is what you make of it. thus the shock and embarrassment of the resentful parents leaving the play
anonymous Jul 17th, 2010 7:44am report
Dunno if this has been said before, cause there are so many answers.
But i think the third kid and his parents simply went into the black people's church. Where they sing and dance and seem to have a lot of fun. The first and the second kid were quite ok with their problems, and their parents in the music video just seemed so proud of them. But the third kid's parents were ashamed and embarrassed cause they had the image going on of good, strickt christians who had their boy come home directly after school and them going to church every day. But when their story was told, everyone would find out that they actually went to church to dance and have fun. "They always just had gone there."
Thats my point of view, and sorry for the bad english.
anonymous Jun 14th, 2010 6:01pm report
with the first one i don't know if the boy was in a car accident or not but what ever it was it terrified him.
the girl in the second one i have no reason to believe that the marks on her body aren't birthmarks. people have embarrassing birthmarks all the time.
the third boy. his parents seem to be very controlling, which never ends well, but i don't understand some of the other interpretations talking about the holy ghost. i am a christian and i've never heard of anyone chanting and shaking from having the holy spirit. in fact the only time i've heard of someone having a spasm like that in a church is either they all had sesures at the same time, or they were possessed by demons. what that says about the parents i don't know, that's just how i took that particular line.
anonymous Apr 2nd, 2010 4:52am report
This song is quite obviously about child abuse, its messages are riddled among the lyrics. For proof look at the crash test dummies 2nd dvd where the famous question of "what is mmmm mmmm mmmm really about?", is asked.
anonymous Oct 28th, 2009 10:44am report
This song is definitely not about abuse. The first verse about the boy who was in an accident, it specifies that he was in a car accident.The lyric "he said it was from when the cars had smashed so hard" - That to me would be a response that a child would give to explain to others why his hair colour had changed - Obviously no physical injury could cause your hair colour to change but being traumatized or frightened can cause a persons hair colour to change to gray or white and a child would attribute the change of his hair colour to the accident and wouldn't know how to articulate or explain that he had been so scared his hair colour had changed ..
I don't interpret the verses about the girl with birthmarks to mean that she actually had bruises, the lyrics even say "they'd always just been there" if it were bruises, they would not have always been there ...
The girl obviously had a lot of birthmarks which she was embarassed to allow the other girls to see ...
People probably don't think that it's possible to be covered in birth marks so they interpret it as being bruises ... But my own child is absolutely covered in birth marks all over her body.
The song basically seems to be about people who have physical abnormalities/problems whether caused by an accident, or birth .. But that although it presents issues for them by being embarassed about their physical problems - other people have it worse than them ... For instance the boy whose parents are forcing him into religion and not allowing him to have his own life. I also interpret the last part of the song to meaning that his parents were involved in the religion that I've heard of referred to as "shakers" or something similar, or possibly something cult like, or extremely bizzare.
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
anonymous May 14th, 2009 5:25pm report
To me the boy was in a horrible accident (not tough interpretation). And the girl was beaten while younger but not anymore (the birth marks = scars) and it took place when she was so young that it just seems like the scars have always been there. And they are both glad because they are done with their traumatic incidents but the next boy has to live inside a prison created by his parents every day.
anonymous Apr 27th, 2009 4:01am report
I took the last verse to be about the mass cult suicides. where the shook and lurched as they drank the poison. and the kid didn't understand because he always went to the church and it never happened before.
anonymous Apr 6th, 2009 4:24pm report
Like it says on wikipedia:
Each verse describes the isolation and suffering of a child, each of which have wild-sounding stories: a boy whose hair has prematurely whitened from shock, a girl covered in birthmarks, and a boy whose family belongs to a peculiar religious sect.
anonymous Mar 31st, 2009 3:52pm report
The first interpretation was probably the most accurate. The first kid and girl are both elusive and trying to hide their physical differences (there is a little bit of psychological issue there, as the differences would make them elusive if they'd been pestered about them.)
The birthmarks conundrum isn't as deep as everyone thinks. It's not abuse, or the lyrics wouldn't say "they'd always just been there". Song lyrics aren't usualy THAT vague, to leave it open to interpretation that "the dog ran away and the boy was sad" to "the dog was abused, and he barely got away, and the boy was sad because he was just about to bring his parents to the psycho ward." The girl is self concious. Not abused.
The third verse definately has nothing to do with epilepsy. It's the Pentocostal Church, when the holy spirit is said to overflow in the hearts of worshippers. I've personally seen the "shook and lurched all over the church floor" myself, at a youth convention. Basically the verse says that the boy's parents are so into their worshipping that they make it so the boy has no life.
anonymous Mar 29th, 2009 3:44pm report
Personally, I think the first verse represents a new outlook on life. He got into an accident and came back to school with "bright white" hair. Given that white hair is typically associated with age, I see it as this boy being exposed to something that caused him to mature rapidly.
The other two verses I'm admittedly fuzzy on.
The second girl obviously has body issues, but I don't know whether the birthmarks are there to represent something greater or not. However, I have my doubts about the "birthmarks = bruises" theory, because it's rather difficult to confuse one for the other.
There's something about the third verse that bugs me as well. "He couldn't quite explain it/They'd always just gone there." I agree that it's possible that the Shaker theory is accurate, but the way the CTDs describe the parents actions ("they shook and lurched all over the church floor") doesn't seem very religious to me. I can't seem to shake the idea that the 'church' is not, in fact, a church, and that the parents experience something that puts them into some kind of seizure. However, this then brings to mind the question of why they keep going there.
Hmm, I really like both the ideas about physical matter (verse 1&2) or psychological matter (verse 3) that become problems in teenage social life, and also the ideas about abusive parents.
maybe I'm just trying to mix them up an adding my own interpretation.
verse 1 : I don't think the boy have suffered a comma.
look at this :
"He said that it was from when
The cars had smashed him so hard "
i mean, you don't have to explain why your hair has gotten into white if you are truly an old man, "it was.." represents his hair that turned to white. If you explain WHY you ARE THERE in school when you HAVE ALREADY grown as an OLD MAN, you don't explain the hair... but your lateness education. but it was about hair that seems abnormal to us seeing a boy in his age having a white hair. aah, I hope you understand what I mean.
this boy has sunk into a very deep SHOCK because an 'accident', whether it is really physical accident, come unintended, or intended accident, psychologically. You know, like that marie antoinette in french revolution story whose hair turn into white because of deep stress before execution.
verse 2: yeah maybe she has an abusive parent. left her some 'birthmarks' there in her body. maybe these birthmarks are used in an AMELIORATIVE way. They might be scars, bruises or burn marks. anythings.
"She couldn't quite explain it
They'd always just been there"
if we viewed it as a birthmarks, we don't need to explain it. but maybe she can't explain it because she doesn't really understand what her faults or what her parents have done to her is just not a normal things parents done.
whether it is an ameliorative or a truly birthmarks, she just a girl. a teenage girl. your looks are everything. The marks make her feels her body is shameful.
verse 3:well, there it is. This child doesn't have his own life. He is the one that are truly have 'the abusive parent problem'. It's clear. His parents abuse him in a psychological manner. a way we sometime don't address or admit it as an abusive act.
my theory is, not, are :
-yeah maybe those two first kids are 'only' having a physic problems (even it was at first a psychological, it then turned into a physical matter for the boy. I assume that if he already there at school, he might have overcome his trauma although it's not completely cured). and they maybe ashamed of it but, it is far a lot better than not having your own life.
-but I rather go into this theory: this song is about kids that are suffered by abusive act from someone (parents, relative, anyone). all are written symbolic. but the verse 1 kid and verse 2 kid think that their kind of problem is far a lot better than having your mind trapped in jail created by your parents.(maybe they have managed to escape? because he finally came to school and the girl finally showed the marks? the third kid is having a problem we cannot really judged it is abusive or not by law)
i myself cannot decide the best explanation,
but this songs is aiming to address children/teenage problems that they themselves don't really understand why they have to suffer or are they really suffered by these problems. problems the don't really understand at their age.
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