They Might Be Giants: Particle Man Meaning
Song Released: 1990
Particle Man Lyrics
Doing the things a particle can
What's he like? It's not important
Is he a dot, or is he a speck?
When he's underwater does he get wet?
Or does the water get him instead?
Nobody knows, Particle...
Particle man: science
Triangle man: religion/Christianity (the Trinity)
Universe man: Whatever controls the universe (different from religion because religion is the belief, "universe man" is the actual controller of the universe, be that God or just the universe itself)
Person man: Mankind.
Triangle man hates Particle man --- that is, Religion hates Science. And no matter how much they "fight," Religion always wins out (there is no way to disprove a belief).
Universe Man is kind to smaller man (any man, really).
Person man is depressing --- lives his life in a garbage can --- and is further degraded by losing to Triangle man (Religion).
anonymous May 10th, 2020 5:16am report
I think triangle man probably represents the Government (the American government has three parts). Universe Man is obviously God, and Person Man is jus t plain man. Particle Man is the subatomic particle (Does it get wet? Does it wet the water?)
anonymous Sep 20th, 2006 9:01am report
To put this simply, you are all overthinking this.
Particle man is about exactly what they talk about. There is nothing the johns leave out for you to work out by yourselves. This has been stated many times, by the johns themselves. I suggest buying the dvd of gigantic, a documentary about they might be giants. The debate over the meaning of this song is ridiculous. This song is about a man who is a particle. Not everything they might be giants writes is full of meaning.
anonymous May 27th, 2006 5:40pm report
As a further elaboration on the previous one: If Triangle Man is change, then Particle man might be the original state of everything - disassociated particles - which succumbed to change and complexity. Universe Man is the only one that Triangle Man does not hate, because time goes on and the universe remains. Person Man represents the degradation of society as a whole, which will at the end be destroyed by change (their technology or weaponry).
I'm probably overthinking this.
anonymous Apr 5th, 2006 4:56am report
Another approach to triangle man he represents change (in most scientific notation, delta, meaning change, is often represent by a triangle. Okay acutally the greek letter delta looks a lot like a triangle.)
In all the battles, triangle wins. No matter how much we fight it, change is inevitable.
Just another approach
More They Might Be Giants song meanings »
Submit Your Interpretation
|Savage Love (Laxed - Siren Beat)||anonymous|
|You Raise Me Up||anonymous|
|Eyes Wide Open||anonymous|
|Little Lion Man||anonymous|
|Girl On Fire||anonymous|
|Black Horse & Cherry Tree||anonymous|
|Gone, Gone, Gone||anonymous|