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Oh, boy, this is gonna be good.... gentlemen, start your interpretation engines! At first glance the homunculous is not literal, but stands for some part of the narrator or maybe someone the lyricist knows ... and GO! [Christina Miller, Nov 2006]

No takers, eh? I'll start then.

The image is a sensory homunculus, as opposed to other versions of the "little man" idea, and I assume that was intentional.

"Homunculus is by your side Ungrateful now and he's losing your trust"

You can't trust what your senses tell you anymore.

"Your old star map, a disco nap,"

A map to the stars tells you where celebrities live, but now it's old and out of date, just like your homunculus. The sensory homunculus maps the sensory input from your skin onto the surface of your cortex, but you can't trust him anymore, the map is out of date.
A disco nap as opposed to a disco dance?

"And when you change you can't always change back"

Some effects of aging are irreversible?

"Your headliner blues got 'em crying It stuck in your head and now you're crying"

A sensory homunculus is literally a head-liner - he lines the inside of your head, on the cortex, under the pia mater.

"You took a sip and lost your place Three many windows shining back in your face"

This might also indicate this is about a drug experience, because this suggests drinking alcohol, or LSD, in that one of the effects of it are sensory distortion.

- ~Christina Miller, November 2006

An interesting observation; TMBG's various unreleased songs often like to have some kind of pastiche style-parody. This one sounds a whole lot like early DEVO work, from before their debut album; things like what appear on various bootlegs and most notably the Hardcore DEVO album. They all featured very ackward, rigid arrangements with cheap-ish distorted guitars and lyrics about parts of the human nervous system. I suspect this might actually be a direct influence; They are DEVO fans (Through Being Cool), and assuming a John wanted to shell out seventy bucks for these rare out-of-print album from '91 (not as big a price tag as in their post-Flood era, I guess) this is intentional. Tenniru 05:13, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Ha ha! So what I hear you saying is that the idea is to mimic a Devo song, and the lyric doesn't mean a thing! And I have been intensely, minutely, pondering nonsense!  :) ~Christina Miller, Nov 2006
Post Script - actually, I'm relieved. My very first and kind of sad thought was the song was about his Pop, that it referenced a motor homunculus. I'm glad it's just nonsense. :/

Is the line "Your old star map, a disco nap" a nod to the game Kingdom of Loathing? The game is heavily laden with TMBG references, and features a star chart item and a disco nap skill ...

Which came first? The reference in the game or in this song's lyric?

ePeterso2 11:09, 01 January 2007

I like to think of the homunculus in this song as the alchemy kind, and not the sensory cerebral cortex kind. "Homunculus is by your side" refers to how the homunculus would help and protect its creator. "Ungrateful now and he's losing your trust" calls to mind Paracelsus' account of the homunculus turning on him and running away. Akagi 21:33, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

OOOooo! Good one; me like this better. ~Christina

Isn't a "disco nap" a little nap taken during extended partying? (Much like a "power nap" is a little nap taken during a long, hard day's work recharges you for more long, hard work.) --makebase 22:28, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Hi, makebase! Are you just makin' stuff up now? ;P ~Christina
In the Kingdom of Loathing game, a certain class (disco bandits) can learn the skill "Disco Nap" which, yeah, is just like a power nap. ;) It heals some missing HP. -- User:Ms Fernandez

So... nobody's going to talk about "Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood", then? -TheManWithManyNames

A Broken Marriage[edit]

So, I'm just to go lyric by lyric to explain why this is about a broken marriage.

"Homunculus is by your side. Ungrateful now and he's losing your trust"

The "homunculus" in question is our significant other. They are starting to suspect some foul play, i.e. cheating.

"Your old star map, a disco nap"

Your old star map refers to your current spouse, while a disco nap, which means a nap before a big event, is your new flame.

"And when you change you can't always change back" (this is my favorite lyric)

This speaks for itself. Your marriage is gone, shattered, after this one event.

"Your headliner blues got 'em crying. It's stuck in your head... the tiny fake tears..."

You tell your SO the "headline blues", they start crying, you join in, but you know, or think, what you've done is right, so they're just crocodile tears.

"Your slender grasp. Mobius strip."

You're trying to grasp onto your relationship with your spouse, thinking it's a bond that never ends (a Mobius strip). You're love though is just one-sided.

"The shiny things that you wanted to clip"

Same as before, the shiny things (rings), that you wanted to clip (keep together)

"You took a sip and lost your place. Three many windows shining back in your face."

You fell in love, but your bond weakened. And now, your bad choices are reflecting back at you. The three windows could also be you, your love, and your spouse all judging you.

That's all I've got. To sum it up, You had a great marriage, but you cheated on your SO, and your relationship was ruined. This is actually one of my favorite songs, so writing this was easy.

Robot Parade (talk) 20:59, 22 October 2019 (EDT)

The guitar riff sounds a lot like early Nirvana (the grunge group, not the 60s outfit). A "disco nap" is probably passing out on quaaludes, a popular drug during the age of disco. -- Thread Bomb (talk) 23:35, 28 June 2020 (EDT)