Have you ever seen a monkey dance? It is a joyful and laughable occasion that makes everyone happy. However, in the context of the song, “dance monkey” has a very dark meaning. It is an informal term for puppets or submissives. Dance monkey describes the dynamic between the slave and master. The meaning of the song becomes clearer after watching the video but more on that later.
How to Download Tones and I – Dance Monkey
You can download the Dance Monkey single from Apple Music. Click on the Download button located at the end of this review.
The Song Review
Dance Monkey by Tones and I – the Lyrics Interpretation
The song begins by separating the feeling of life from being caged. Even though you are in love, you feel complete. You are struck with the habits and personality of your lover and everything else becomes bleak. However, if it is misplaced love, you will scream internally, feeling unable to escape.
“Take your hand, my dear, and place them both in mine,” the lyric implies following the leader without any second thought. The person is extremely encapsulated by their lover, so much so “You know you stopped me dead while I was passing by.”
The leader feels submerged into the beauty of the lover. They seem to lose themselves as the beauty makes them want to cry. However, they can’t pull away either. The beauty is beaming and they wish to take it all in.
In the chorus, the leader asks the slave to dance repeatedly. Beauty in the eyes of the beholder is further amplified by giving instructions. Master will continue asking the submissive to perform asks repeatedly until it pleases them.
Have you ever considered the situation of your everyday life? You go to work on time, you attend meetings, and listen to your boss. You have no choice but to comply and then you return home tired, like the monkey which couldn’t stop dancing.
The second verse emphasizes the master-slave idea because the song clearly mentions “Just like a monkey I’ve been dancing my whole life.” The master is clear about their intentions to keep slaves as monkeys who only listen to them.
The song concludes by going into the chorus again. It ends with “And now I beg to see you dance just one more time.” We can assume the master is still not pleased with their lover, employee, or pet, and continues to demand more from them without an ounce of consideration.
Dance Monkey by Tones and I Video Interpretation
An elderly person sits in a comfortable chair, looking outside. He is wearing a blanket over his legs with a walking stick in his hand. In a few moments, the caregiver arrives to give the aged his regular medicine.
As soon as the caregiver leaves, a few gentlemen enter the room. It appears they were missing their friend and decided to say hi. The friends hug and decide to do something rebellious.
One by one, they leave the room and drive outside flirting with the opposite gender. The friends drive a red Cadillac deciding to re-route to a bar. They make quite an entrance with the bartender in complete shock.
There is a lot of back and forth in the video. However, the majority of the song is shot on a golf course with the band performing the song on luscious greens. They brew quite havoc to feel young again while the young players at the golf course roll their eyes.
The Bottom Line
The meaning of the song is very evident—to break the cycle. Life is very short and before we know it, we realize we spent decades doing what society expected us to do rather than prioritizing our health and hobbies. The next time you hear the song playing in the background, think twice about its meaning and how it forces you to be your own leader.