Debaser by Pixies Lyrics Meaning – Unraveling the Surrealist Anthem of Rebellion


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Pixies's Debaser at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning

Lyrics

Got me a movie, I want you to know
Slicin’ up eyeballs, I want you to know
Girlie so groovy, I want you to know
Don’t know about you

But I am un chien andalusia
I am un chien andalusia
I am un chien andalusia
I am un chien andalusia

Wanna grow up to be
Be a debaser (debaser)
Debaser (debaser)
Debaser (debaser)
Debaser (debaser)
Debaser (debaser)
Debaser (debaser)

Got me a movie, ha-ha-ha-ho
Slicin’ up eyeballs, ha-ha-ha-ho
Girlie so groovy, ha-ha-ha-ho
Don’t know about you

But I am un chien andalusia
I am un chien andalusia
I am un chien andalusia
I am un chien andalusia

(Debaser)
Debaser (debaser)
Debaser (debaser)
Debaser (debaser)
Debaser (debaser)
Debaser (debaser)
Debaser

Full Lyrics

At the intersection of surrealist art and punk rock ethos, stands ‘Debaser’—a musical grenade lobbed by the Pixies from their 1989 masterpiece, ‘Doolittle’. The song is a wild, frenetic showcase of the band’s signature style, blending together jagged guitar riffs, erratic rhythms, and the unbridled energy that defined the late 80s’ alternative rock scene.

But what lies beneath the surface of this unchained melody? ‘Debaser’ is famously cryptic, offering a pastiche of images and phrases that are at once vehement and esoteric. It’s this concoction of the abstract and the intense that beckons a deeper dive into the meaning behind the madcap lyrics penned by frontman Black Francis.

Slicing Up The Mainstream: A Cultural Decapitation

The declaration ‘Got me a movie, I want you to know’ is more than a playful introduction; it’s a statement of artistic intent. The ‘movie’ in question is Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí’s 1929 surrealist film ‘Un Chien Andalou’. Known for its shocking opening scene featuring an eyeball being sliced with a razor, the film is a touchstone for ‘Debaser’ and an emblem for the song’s spirit of subversion.

Through the act of ‘slicin’ up eyeballs’, the Pixies assert their goal: to act as debasers of culture, challenging the audience’s perceptions and the norms of society much like Buñuel and Dalí did with their avant-garde work, aiming to disrupt the clean-cut façade of the contemporary music scene.

The Andalusian Dog: Unleashing Anarchic Identity

By proclaiming ‘I am un chien andalusia’, Black Francis aligns himself not just with the film’s title, ‘Un Chien Andalou’, but with a certain spirit of rebelliousness and autonomy. The repeated line is a dogged statement of personal and artistic determination, casting the narrator as a creature untamed by conventional standards.

It’s not just about being different—it’s about becoming a cultural force that questions and debases existing structures of power and representation, much like a dog that refuses to be leashed or domesticated, ‘Debaser’ is agritprop in aural form.

Shattering Expectations with Every Strummed Chord

The Pixies’ musical style is as vital to the song’s message as the lyrics themselves. The angular guitar work and the propulsive bass lines are a sonic embodiment of the band’s determination to break apart musical norms. Each element is a cog in a well-oiled machine aimed at shaking the listener from complacency.

Furthermore, the dynamic shifts in the song—from verse to chorus, from calm to hysteria—parallel the unsettled and unpredictable nature of the surrealist films that the Pixies so admired, becoming a form of auditory disorientation meant to provoke and perturb.

Unveiling The Hidden Meaning: Autopsy of a Lyric

There’s an intriguing dimension to ‘Debaser’ that often eludes first-time listeners, and it lives within the context of Black Francis’ songwriting. At its core, the song is a nod to the power and absurdity of art itself, to its potential to disrupt and to reconfigure thought patterns.

Artistically, ‘Debaser’ functions similarly, operating on a level that resists being fully deciphered and instead thrives on its capacity to incite response and interpretation. It becomes a lyric-sized Rorschach test, wherein what one sees or hears is as telling of the listener as it is of the song itself.

Iconic Lines and Infectious Refrains: The Lasting Impact

Beyond the rich texture of its meanings, ‘Debaser’ leaves a potent legacy through some of its most memorable lines. ‘I wanna grow up to be, be a debaser,’ stands as a rallying cry for a generation that desired to tear down the gilded curtains of phony decorum.

This line encapsulates the pervasive longing for authenticity and raw expression prevalent among the youth of the late 80s and early 90s. It’s a sentiment that resonates profoundly even today, a testament to the song’s enduring influence in the lexicon of rock and beyond.

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