Interpretations:I Am A Human Head

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What a sad, sad song, illustrating the human desire for independence and need for companionship.

The narrating head decides that he no longer needs his companion floating head. He tells him to go away, since he doesn't need his best friend. One by one, he removes all the parts of himself he feels he doesn't need anymore, leaving himself with a scalp, and finally a lone human hair. This is the turning point. He declares, "I'd be glad if I had a head." So he takes back his scalp, the rest of his hair, and his whole head, who, although maybe not necessary, make his life complete. He's glad now. To restore things to the original condition, he looks for his friend head. However, this other head had been forsaken before and will no longer be with the formerly haughty narrator. "I thought you said you didn't need me," you can almost imagine him say. The uncalled-for desire for independence yielded, in the end, a broken friendship that, like the nerve connections in My Man, can't be reconnected. -TimMierz

-- I totally agree with this interpretation, save the end. It could be as Tim said, but I never assumed the other head wouldn't come back. I just thought the last line was the next step in (let's call it) Head 1's journey of redemption. But I do think Tim's version also has merit, as I said. -- RichardAshkenazi

-- My feeling is that it was intentional that we never actually know if our protagonist the head finds his friend, the other head. It's sometimes possible to reconcile your differences with friends you have betrayed, but not always. It may just be a matter of time before the two are rejoined. Or maybe out of anger over the breaking, the other head has reduced himself to a single hair, possibly even less, which is why the first head can't seem to find him. The point is that with effort, your own self-inflicted wounds are recoverable, but there is no guarantee when you hurt another. --Brian Q

-- I think the point of this song is that through his quest for image and material posessions, the narrator is forgetting what he really *needs* in order to be happy (which would be symbolized by an actual body). Tgies


If he does find the other head, and the other head is happy to reconcile, and I hope so, our friend the head will have friendship and wisdom, and so will be a better head.

What a beautiful song. It's in my best of TMBG compilation. -- Balb Kubrox


I agree with the last Interpretation a bit. He tries to be indipendent, by taking away his best friend, his head, and his scalp. He then relaizes that he cannot function without these, and takes them back. He takes back the head, and the scalp. Sadly, his friend is nowhere to be found. -Zero R. 13:03, 21 October 2006 (UTC)


If taken in a slightly different light, it could be taken metaphorically, as a geek (head, brain, brainy, geeky, geeks) who tries being cool by changing his friends, attitude (head) hobbies (scalp) and decides to keep part of his look as "geek chic." He decides it's not worth it, but only after he lost his friends. In fact, I smell concept album..

Hall of Heads
Under the interp of the lure of the academic and/or geeky life.
Whistling in the Dark
Under the interp of geeks and the social structure.
I'm a Human Head
My interp.
Through Being Cool
Though technically not a song of theirs, it fits.

Also see my similar "rock opera" about an evil twin under the new interp page of Counterfeit Fake.


what if[edit]

What if the other "head" refers to the band Ween? In a way both bands are very similar and have been ongoingly compared since the beginning of their careers. It makes sense, huh?

Um...no. It doesn't, actually. How does that even...no. (And IIRC Ween has outright said they hate TMBG.) --Self Called Nowhere 14:43, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
WHAT‽‽‽ How can anyone say that? >:( I shall boycott Ween now. -- DidgeGuy (आ ज) 15:04, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
I have since had people insist to me that what they must have actually said was that they resent being compared, or something, and I don't have the source quote around anymore, but considering it sent me into my own Ween boycott at the time I don't think I'm off about this. (I don't understand why you would resent being compared to SHEER GENIUS, anyway.) But aside from all that, it still makes no sense whatsoever in relation to this song, and I can only hope the OP was making some attempt at a joke. --Self Called Nowhere 15:10, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
"Stupidly, I mention I saw TMBG opening for Hootie (ack!) And the Blowfish at Skydome a week earlier. 'That sounds like a nightmare. Goddamn. Why am I even talking to you?' " - An excerpt from an interview with Gene Ween. Yeah, he hates them.

Vanity[edit]

The man is obviously very unhappy with his appearance, particularly his head. He notices that his best friend is much more handsome than he is, and he becomes so overtaken by his vanity and jealousy that he kills his friend so that he can replace his head with theirs.

—G