Meaning of “Maneater” by Hall & Oates

Maneater is a song performed by the noted American musical duo Hall & Oates (also known as Daryl Hall and John Oates). Lyrically, the song tells a story about a man-eater, a woman who enters into relationships with men not because of love but because of her own selfish interests. She uses these men and dumps them after she has achieved what she wants from the men. The song’s storyline is pretty similar to the song Easy Lover by Philip Bailey and Phil Collins and another song of the same title (Maneater) from singer Nelly Furtado. In the song, the narrator warns his listener to be careful of her because she can chew him up.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Hill & Oates's Maneater at

But is that really the real meaning of the song? The answer to that is no. The above is just the ordinary man’s interpretation to the lyrics of Maneater as they appear. But there is more to the lyrics than meets the eyes. According to Daryl Hall, the lead vocalist and co-founder of Hall & Oates, while it is normal for listeners to conclude that Maneater’s lyrics are about a woman (a man-eater), the song was written about New York City in the 1980s – about things such as the extensive greed and spoiled riches existing in the city. According to the singer, the song deliberately uses a female (man-eater) so that it can be more relatable to listeners.

Hill & Oates

Facts about “Maneater”

  • Maneater was written by both members of Hall & Oates (Daryl Hall and John Oates) and American songwriter Sara Allen.
  • The song was released on October 31, 1982 and appeared on the duo’s eleventh studio album titled H2O – an album that sold millions of copies around the globe.
  • Peaking at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and number 6 on the UK Singles, the song is one of Hall & Oates’ most successful songs.
  • The song inspired Canadian singer Nelly Furtados’ 2006 smash hit song titled Maneater.
  • Over the years, Maneater has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, including Scrubs, Grey’s Anatomy, Will & Grace, and the 1999 comedy film Runaway Bride and the 2016 comedy-drama film Sing Street.
  • In addition to movies, this song has been used in a lot of video games, including Rock Band 4 and Grand Theft Auto.
  • In 2008, after an unidentified artist used the song unlawfully in a recording, Hall and Oates filed a lawsuit against Warner/Chappell Music Inc., their music publisher for failing to protect their intellectual rights after the publisher failed to sue the artist who unlawfully used the song in their recording.


7 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    So i want to write a song about my ex’s and i wanted to know what the name should be and how i could start it ?

  2. Anonymous says:

    How about “wish I’d never met you”.

  3. Anonymous says:

    All the suggestions are great so far and quite funny. I’d like to hear a song by any of them.😂

  4. ENGlishJELLo says:

    John Oates has stated that it was written about a foul mouth woman he met in New York City. And then later most likely not to catch heat from Feminist groups he said it was about how big cities can chew you up.

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