“I Eat Cannibals” by Toto Coelo
Apparently, “I Eat Cannibals” is some type of amorous love song. And if taken as such, the phrase “I eat cannibals” can be interpreted as indeed pointing to the vocalist consuming human beings, though in a romantic/metaphorical sense of the consumption.
In other words ‘eating’, in context, would be a metaphor for erotic activity. The reason the addressee is referred to as a ‘cannibal’ is because he too likes ‘eating’ (women), or something like that.
And if all of this sounds convoluted or overly poetic, keep in mind that this track was dropped during the early 1980s, at a time when overt sex songs such as we know them today didn’t exist. So this is one of those tracks which any adult listener would know that the vocalist is referring to getting it on. However, the lyrics are so colorful – for lack of a better word – that you find yourself kinda giggling at the same time.
Or more simply put, the wording of “I Eat Cannibals” is based on a motif whereby food-related metaphors are used to allude to sex. But that said, this piece isn’t necessarily raunchy, at least not by today’s standards.
If a track with these lyrics came out in the here and now, it’d probably be taken more as comedic content. In fact when you also take the title into consideration, this song was probably intended to be humorous, to some degree, from the onset. But back when it made its debut, “I Eat Cannibals” was obviously accepted more along the lines of legitimate musical erotica, thus explaining in part why it proved so popular.
Toto Coelo was a short-lived new wave band that was around when said genre was popular, i.e. during the early 1980s. Within that time they only dropped a handful of singles and one album. The said album was 1983’s “Man o’ War”. It is from this album that “I Eat Cannibals” can be found. The song actually served as the album’s lead single.
The group was made up the following:
- Anita Mahadevan
- Lacey Bond
- Lindsey Danvers
- Ros Holness
- Sheen Doran
Success of “I Eat Cannibals”
This song, which was released in 1982, also stands as the girl band’s debut single and signature piece, in that, by reaching 8th place on the UK Singles Chart (and also breaking the top 10 in places like Australia, Sweden and South Africa), it performed much better than any other track they ever released.
Owing to this, Toto Coelo’s sole compilation album, which came out in 1996, is titled “I Eat cannibals & Other Tasty Trax”.
In the American superhero TV series “Doom Patrol”, the track was featured. It was used in the show’s pilot. To be specific, it was played when the group takes a trip into town in the absence of the Chief (Timothy Dalton).
This track’s music video was directed by one Mike Brady, who was apparently a heavily-utilized filmographer in the music industry around the time the song was dropped.