King Crimson: Dinosaur Meaning
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When i was a dumb young guy
Fossilized photos of my life then
Illustrate what an easy prey i must have been
Standing in the sun, idiot savant
Something like a monument
I'm a dinosaur, somebody is...
The title of the song is a bit of a self-referential joke. Robert Fripp broke up the original band King Crimson in 1974, in part because he thought the art-rock/prog-rock movement was becoming pompous and excessive. He thought King Crimson, like Yes and ELP, were becoming slow and dull and unimaginative and even stupid. Fripp used the dinosaur as a metaphor- the dinosaurs couldn't adapt and change, and so they were replaced by smaller, smarter animals, like the mammals and birds.
That explains the title- the song itself is simpler. The song is about a middle-aged man looking back on his younger self (as many middle-aged folks do), shaking his head, and wondering "How could I have been so stupid when I was young?"
We now know that real dinosaurs WEREN'T necessarily stupid, but when we were kids, schools taught us that dinosaurs had tiny, pea-size brains.
But when we're young, we know almost nothing about life or love or the world at large. We're naive and sometimes even dumb, and we get into trouble as a result.
In this song, Adrian Belew is looking back on his own life, and examining his younger self the way an archaeologist examines old fossils. And just as an archaeologist may look at an oddly shaped dinosur skeleton and wonder "How the heck did this thing survive," Belew laughs at his younger self, and all the mistakes he used to make.
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