Gorillaz: Feel Good Inc. Meaning
Song Released: 2002
Feel Good Inc. Lyrics
City's breaking down on a camel's back,
They just have to go 'cause they don't know wack,
So all you fill the streets it's appealing to see,
You wont get out the county, 'cos your bad and free
You've got a...
anonymous Dec 24th, 2005 12:44am report
I think this song is talking about revolution.
Feel Good Inc. could refer to a massive corporate entity, in which the people in charge only think about materialistic things, like having a million women, or being the ruler of everybody else. However, they are so caught up inside their own tower, that they are completely miserable despite all of the things they have. Ironically, these same people seem to enjoy talking about how much they are enjoying life in an attempt to make themselves appear all the more powerful and superior.
Still, there are lines where the person(s) talking seem to look down upon the "lower" people in distaste, saying that their talentless, carefree nature is the cause of all of Feel Good Inc.'s misery and boredom: "They've just gotta go cuz' they don't know whack" and mentioning them being "damn-ass free" After that, the person talking goes on to talk about being in a "melancholy town that never smiles" and not being able to sleep.
Then the next thing you know, the windmill flies by with the sun rising in the background. Also, there are helicopters chasing after it; these helicopters seem like they're part of a super-modern world and are trying to stop or capture the windmill. I, personally, think that this windmill represents a new thought, or revolution. One that allows happiness outside of materialism and power; outside of "Feel Good Inc."
So in the end, I think Feel Good Inc. represents an idealized "perfect" world set upon us by powerful corporate and government people, whereas the windmill represents a new wave of thought that doesn't rely on objects or social status for happiness and fulfillment. Some clues of this are in the chorus: "Windmill, windmill, for the land".
I'm thinking that the guys who write the songs for Gorillaz thinks that it's time for a revolution before we end up living in a totalitarian government. Then again, they could just be talking about the band's status... who knows?
anonymous Jun 16th, 2013 6:06am report
Ok Im not going to really break this song down bit by bit, but here is what I think. Feel Good Inc. Is a tower on top of the world, and murdoc and 2-D are in there "enjoying" the luxuries of being on top. I feel like this music video is different in that I have never seen 2-D with such a look of desperation.
He is sitting in a chair at the beginning just looking at what is happening, and I think his singing is him thinking to himself. I feel like in the video it shows that they are rich and famous with lots of women from making music which is supposed to be something they love, but its like they have forgotten the reason they started making music. They are too distracted by the women and the fame to truly enjoy their music, and I think that is why 2-D has a megaphone because he is like screaming "hey! what are we doing here" and trying to wake everyone up and realize what is happening here.
When he goes to the window you can tell that he feels trapped in this new world of fame. I feel like the floating island with the windmill is what he dreams of for the future. On that island its just nature and music with no distractions and it is totally disconnected from the world. By the end of the song everyone shakes the distractions and its just them making music and actually enjoying themselves. Murdoc is totally not even paying attention to the women and he just making music and dancing. Also you cant even make out any of the womens features by the end, they are just blurs but you can see murdoc rocking out.
As for the helicopters following the island. Noodle is paying no attention to them at all. She is just playing her guitar and chilling doing what she likes to do. She is leaving the distraction of fame in her path which is why the helicopters are behind her little island. I just think the island symbolizes a clear head.
anonymous Nov 2nd, 2005 11:56pm report
I think it's about the world and how it seems to be falling apart...so much hate, violence, polution, sex, drugs...seems like its destroying the world. and nowadays it so hard to find love and peace wherever you go. but there is love and you just have to believe in it and you will eventually find it. I think the character feel trapped in this world and wants to find freedom and just get away from "it" all. and I think the windmill symbolizes the circle of life...or maybe it also has to do with ecological reasons.
anonymous Feb 6th, 2020 2:18pm report
This song is really about people falling prisoner to our own gluttony. I'll break this down as best as I can.
this video starts inside of a tower labeled feel good inc. and as the name suggests this tower is full of people looking for an endless party. primarily seen in this crowd are 2-D and Murdoc, both with very different perspectives on the situation. Murdoc is seen to be enjoying himself. But
2-D seems to go through several different feelings on the matter. he is first seen in an almost hypnotic state and looks as if he just woke up from a trance. he is then shown with a megaphone, like someone who is trying to start a movement. he then stares out of the window and is presented with something he can't have, an island of simplicity. he is interrupted by de la soul who appears as an almost god-like figure and begins to laugh at 2-D. after this, 2-D is clearly conscious, yet still repeats the "feel good" mantra, as if he is trying to calm down and convince himself that everything is fine. once he has calmed down, he goes back to the window, and the same thing happens. only this time, when he begins repeating the mantra, he begins heading back towards his seat, having finally come to terms with the fact that the temptations of feel good inc. overpower his desperation to be free.
the main parts I want to focus on are the parts actually sang by 2-D: the first verse and the chorus. after the songs intro, 2-D begins to sing the first verse. which, when broken down translates to:
city's breaking down on a camel's back, they just have to go cause they don't know whack.
(your life is falling apart and you don't even realize it)
you got a new horizon its ephemeral style, a melancholy town where we never smile.
(this short term happiness that you indulge in, will result in a lifetime of sadness)
and as far as the chorus, it's basically just stating that love and genuine happiness are what makes the world go around, not the artificial, short-term, happiness that you get from indulging in temptation and pleasure.
anonymous Oct 24th, 2018 10:19pm report
I see it as talking about how modern society has shifted towards instant gratification and how some of the most basic forms of happiness can get glazed over, because they aren't as easy to achieve or that they don't grab our attention.
My evidence for this is that the song has two very distinct parts that it alternates between. The first being the Feel Good Inc., with a fast beat, maniacal laughing, and dark or sexual references. Sex, drugs, and 'quick' pleasures are often addictive or controlling, the controlling aspect the song makes note of (especially if you watch the music video).
Then there is the 'Windmill' part. It is slower, calmer, and more poetic. It literally states how love is 'free' there are no drawbacks to true love. In the video you can also see 2-D staring out the window of Feels Good Inc., longing to simply love without being controlled by other, more corrupting pleasures.
However, 2-D eventually gets sucked back into Feels Good Inc. and thus the message of the song is twofold - one can find happiness in both a pure and wholesome way (such as love) and also in the instant gratification that darker, addictive pleasures have, which are more controlling as well.
anonymous Jun 24th, 2017 6:45am report
Feel good inc is about everyone being locked up in “Feel Good Tower“ (a.k.a media) unaware of what types of hell are going down in actual city. Feel good inc is about all the bigwigs, billionares, and media trying to hide thier demons from Anerica by cramming them into a false illiusion which is Feel Good Tower (they're blocked by a cloud).
anonymous Jun 27th, 2012 6:06am report
I think this song is a jab at the music industry as a whole.
Lines such as "You got a new horizon it's ephimeral style" Point to the new music coming out that wont be remembered, the boy bands, a lot of the throw away rap, etc.
And this whole part of the rap section:
"Yo, we goin' ghost town,
With yo sound, you in the blink,
Gonna bite the dust
Can't fight with us
With your sound
You kill the Inc
So don't stop
Get it get it
Until you jet ahead
And watch the way I navigate
I believe it's saying that their style, will kill off the bad bands, and destroy the industry standard of crap that we have now.
anonymous Jun 24th, 2012 6:10am report
FEEL GOOD INC: Two of the main themes of the video are MENTAL FREEDOM and the "DUMBING DOWN" of mass culture by the MEDIA. There are also the themes of escape versus imprisonment and the personal power to choose between the two and being trapped by the things you make. The themes in the single, like those of the entire album, are based on Albarn's observations on the state of the world. 2-D is depicted surrounded by many distractions, but as he gazes out the dusty, barred windows, all he appears to want is to be free and join Noodle on her floating island. The tower represents the mental prison that the people are in. Those lying on the floor represent those who have already been "dumbed down", while 2-D, Murdoc, and Russel are the ones who have awakened. 2-D is trying to wake all the people from their half-dead state by yelling at them through his megaphone, like an activist. The floating island is chased by ominous helicopters that closely resemble Korean War era Bell H-13s as it drifts through the clouds. The helicopters chasing after the floating island are monitoring the behavior inside
and ensuring that no one escapes. It is unclear whether they are preventing Noodle's escape or are chasing her away.Back in the tower, De La Soul appear as ghastly, larger-than life, seemingly omnipotent images on surrounding television screens, laughing at the lonesome 2-D, the content Murdoc, and the seemingly ambivalent Russel. Through their singing, they taunt 2-D about how he is not strong enough to fight them; that his attempts to wake everyone up and to escape the prison are futile; that he should not resist them; and that they are the ones in control ("With your sound you're in the blink/ Going to bite the dust/ Can't fight with us/ With your sound you kill the Inc./ So don't stop get it, get it/ Until you jet ahead / Yo, watch the way I navigate, ha ha ha ha"). Their taunting also forces 2-D into a wild, hypnotic frenzy as he tries to resist the now-carnal urge to succumb and be dumbed down. They represent both the voices of the "corporation" — the media, which can brainwash people into believing certain things and convince people to follow the mainstream —and the "false icons" of the media, a reference to how some people seem to idolize and over-emphasize celebrities. This can be seen most especially in the fact that they claim 'Your sound' (individualistic thoughts) will 'Kill the Inc' (destroying the tower). Noodle stated: "Many people in life seem drawn to the insane figures, who throw their weight around, seemingly oblivious to the effect that they have on people's feelings. Maybe they see this attribute as a sign of strength. However, I believe it's a downward spiral in which everyone gradually has their soul eroded."This is part of the band's Reject False Icons campaign. At the end of the video, 2-D appears emotionally beaten by his surroundings, and returns to the state he was in when the video began, repeating "Feel Good" until the video finally ends (in an exact reversal of the intro, apart from the movement of 2-D's mouth). The repetition of "Feel Good" represents that 2-D is convincing himself that everything is OK (as if he is brainwashing himself to believe it), instead of facing the harsh truth of the situation.The music video for "El Mañana" is a continuation of this video, depicting two helicopter gunships, this time being RAH-66 Comanche's, different ones from the Bell H-13's from the first video, catching up to Noodle's floating windmill island and attacking it, although nothing is seen of the tower nor the other three band members. The impression is that Noodle's island is under observation while orbiting the floating brothel in "Feel Good Inc." and then attacked when it breaks free in "El Mañana".
anonymous May 15th, 2012 5:04pm report
I think the song is about wanting freedom and love. The windmill symbolizes as peace.
anonymous Mar 7th, 2012 3:52am report
The song Feel Good Inc. is veiwing capitalist veiw of the word as a means of supressing the people, we are the voices that break it down as it states in the song. The wind mill shows a force or group of people tha need the support to bring the Inc. down. That support is in being happy and yourself and be self reliant to the point that the Inc. falls. “Love forever love is free,
Let's turn forever you and me,
Windmill, windmill for the land,
Is everybody in?” Windmill, Windmill for the land”. We the people will fight for the land
anonymous Aug 7th, 2011 8:12am report
I reckon this song is about a dystopian world where everyone relies on advertizing and consumerism to feel good about anything (Feel Good Inc). Everyone's slaving away at work, filling the streets travelling to and from work, and only finding ephemeral and temporary happiness which is the new style (drugs and consumerism becoming trendy and popular). It's causing everyone to lose sleep and long for something more meaningful than drugs or consumerism like love, which is free for everyone. And not just love as in relationships and stuff, I mean love as in an alternative to the hateful ways of society that cause them to trap themselves further and resrtict them from finding true happiness. The Windmill represents an open mind free from negativity and turning of the blades on the windmill (turn forever) symbolizes inner piece. Everyone has the ability to find true happiness deep within themselves at any given moment in time (which is why the windmill turns forever). However, this happiness gets covered up by the negativities of city life. 2-D is searching for his windmill but can't find it in drugs, meaningless sex or consumerism.
The rapper in the 2nd and 3rd verses can be interpreted as either the perfect person in this dystopian world; rich, famous and powerful (don't stop, get it get it until you Jet ahead (which is never gonna happen with consumerism, although they want you to think you can 'jet ahead') or someone who has risen above the hateful ways of this dystopian society (Laughing gas these hazmats, fast cats,
Lining them up-a like ass cracks) which explains the crazy laughing at the end of the song.
Anyway, this Dystopian world is what the world today is slowly turning into. More and more people find themselves slaving away and wishing to be the perfect human being with all the right drug habits and consumer accessories.
That's just one of my interpretations, there's heaps of them and this is just one. I hope I didn't sound too cheesy but it's hard to put the interpretation into words and that's my best shot
anonymous Aug 2nd, 2011 8:06pm report
This song is about how people can have "everything" (money, cars, etc.)and still feel awful because they have no friends or love. In the chorus it mentions that "love is free" which means that you can't just buy it. The windmill represents a new perspective, one where materialistic things are not all that matter.
anonymous Mar 28th, 2011 3:09pm report
I think that this song tells a story of our world in the future. Eventually, all of the terrible things in this world (disease, war, hatred, etc.) reach all of the people who have tried to ignore it before. Instead of trying to fix this world (which is now up in flames), however, they choose to keep ignoring it and build a tower (Feel Good Inc.), where they live a "happy" life away from all the bad things. "So all you fill the streets it's appealing to see" I think this says that people are lining up to get into Feel Good Inc., because they think that it's their only safety from the terrible world outside, and the singer thinks it's funny because he knows that life inside of the tower isn't any better than outside. While it may be safer, the people in the tower are basically living an artificial life, having things done for them, "feeling good," but not being able to stop and smell the flowers and TRULY enjoy life, and not just what they think enjoying life is. "You got a new horizon it's ephemeral style." The "new horizon" representing the people in Feel Good Inc. are trying to recreate things from the past world (the horizon) that they can't get back because it's been destroyed, and "ephemeral style" meaning that it can't be done, and even if it can, it would be momentarily, and then gone. In the rap part, the lines, "Yo we going ghost town, this motown, with yo sound, you in the blink" means that the owner (I'm assuming the owner) telling the singer to stop protesting or else he'll scare everyone away and the tower will "Go Ghost town." I think the windmill represents that the people who fled the world to the tower fled in fear of the bad things in the world, when they didn't realize that the world wasn't entirely evil, and there was still good (the windmill). So summing up, these people built a tower that would keep all the things in the world out like corruption, war, disease, lack of freedom, when they didn't realize they they had only trapped themselves IN the tower and recreated all of these terrible things, and kept all of the good things in the world (the windmill) out too. That is what I think the Gorrilaz are trying to say, that even if things seem terrible in the world at first, if we just stay to look a little harder at thnigs instead of fleeing to the safety of a tower, then we could find that there is still good in the world.
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