What does Animal mean?

Pearl Jam: Animal Meaning

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Album cover for Animal album cover

Song Released: 1994

Animal Lyrics

one, two, three, four, five against one
five, five, against one
said one, two, three,
four, five against one
five, five...five,
five...five against one
torture from you to me
abducted from the street
i'd rather be...
i'd rather be...

  1. anonymous
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    Aug 24th 2023 !⃝

    Five against one: Stacey Koon, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno and Rolando Solano ... the LAPD officers who beat up Rodney King.

  2. anonymous
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    Mar 6th 2020 !⃝

    I think I read or heard somewhere that this song is about Eddie feeling the rest of the band, as well as the record company all being against him.

  3. anonymous
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    Mar 2nd 2018 !⃝

    This song is about masturbation.

  4. anonymous
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    Jan 27th 2015 !⃝

    It's about the band against the record label, or the band against the world. You guys took it to a pretty dark place.

  5. anonymous
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    Sep 15th 2013 !⃝

    I think this song is actually about gang rape because of the reference to "five against one" but when I listen to "Animal", I feel deep within my gut the rage and frustration of our faltering humankind in general. It's the haunting reminder of the vicious circle where the abused becomes the abuser time and time again. I know I'd rather be with an animal over a human being any day of the week. Plain and simple, people just suck.

  6. Vindog
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    Feb 14th 2013 !⃝

    "5 against 1"
    "Torture from you to me"
    "Abducted from the street"

    Five thugs, (can be interpreted as "bullies") walking down the street looking for there next target. They find a guy who appears "weak". Then it begins.... They attack. But it's different this time. This "victim" is not a so easy target. He fights. He fights so viciously that these thugs can't help but to think "oh shit, We picked the wrong guy this time.....I'd rather be with an Animal" (maybe they all started targeting easy dogs in the neighborhood that they would torture or maybe they mean they would actually rather be beaten and killed by an animal rather than this guy) -I tend to think the ladder.

    "Why would u want to hurt me"
    "So frightened of YOUR pain"

    This is what the once victim, now aggressor is thinking about his five attackers...Why would these strangers want to hurt another human being??? As they attack he knows they made a mistake.....he blows, he loses it.....and starts beating the living shit out of all 5 of them........he actually is frightened, not of them.....but the pain they are going endure.

    You can think this song is about a gang rape, police beating, animal cruelty.......I believe it's about fighting back, underestimating someone, karma, eye for an eye.I live in Chicago so we have been dealing with these thugs walking around in groups targeting solo people and beating them and robbing them. One day they will mess with the wrong person.

  7. Raiha
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    Jul 2nd 2012 !⃝

    this song is about gang rape. "1,2,3,4,5 against 1", "i'd rather be with an animal", these two lines paint a pretty clear picture. eddie also kinda plays around with the lyrics when he sings. it's either "torch her from you to me" or "torture from you to me", either way it still makes sense that it would be about gang rape.

  8. anonymous
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    Jun 18th 2011 !⃝

    this could be a love song... this could be a love song gone bad. one two three.. could be one mans fight for a woman amongst many
    he fights and is tourted from her lack of commitment to him. so he says f///k u your not who i want your not who i need id rather be with an animal they dont play mind games or expect any thing from me apart from what i give

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