Interpretations:Tiny Doctors

From This Might Be A Wiki

I'm glad it remains as a small song, because chances are that if it were on an album it would go a bit to far, that being said, I wouldnt be surprised if it were on here comes science

A wonderful little song. I am baffled why it has never made an album. (Mr Tuck)

I think this song is about Nanites. Nanites are tiny microscopic robots, and one of the main fields of nanite research is in medical fields. They're sort of like "Little Tiny Doctors / swimming in people's veins / taking care of business inside people / clearing up the illness and pain." Since they're robots, they will be "very concerned," as they can't be any other way.

8-July-2003:Hmmm... Judging from Linnell's past lyrical efforts, particularly from the Flood era (from whence we have Tiny Doctors), I'm of the opinion that the above interpretation is a touch over-analytical. Rather than Nanites - a technology about which very little is known or concrete today, let alone 1988-1990 - I find the song to be about the human body's own innate natural healing process. We get sick; our bodies restore us to health of their own volition. In Linnell's typical child-like whimsy, he envisions those mechanisms of the body that internally fight our illnesses as little tiny doctors that work tirelessly to keep us well. As Linnell has admitted himself on several occasions, if one is confused as to what he might be driving at lyrically, it's a safe bet just to take him at face value.

I agree - I think this song is about the immune system.

The "tiny doctors" are obviously white blood cells. They are the "doctors" of the human body, fighting off diseases and such.

Could they be pills or other medicine?

The idea of medecine occurred to me, but I really think that it's just talking about the immune system. Maybe this song and Bloodmobile came from the same creative vein. Pardon the pun.

I originally was content with the "immune system" interpretation, but the line: "Now I know that I have a thing in me, I can say I'm in denial," has never seemed to fit. Until it dawned on me that this song is about medication, specifically anti-depressant medication. Now, other lines become much clearer, especially the opening lines: "I'm never sad anymore / since the day I found out / something about myself" (the speaker was diagnosed with clinical depression.)


I've always thought that this song was about somebody who was depressed or wanted to forget his or her problems. I don't think that drugs are necessarily incporporated, I just think that the person is an escapist and doesn't want to think about negative things in his / her life, so they are "in denial" about it and they falsely state that everything automatically gets fixed in their life. It reminds me a bit how I used to be.

Since this was the very first swing at it, a musical sketch so he didn't forget, he might have been yah-yahing words in to fill it out, so the denial stuff might not have meant anything in particular, or the words might have been in there to help him remember a larger idea he had about where the song might go if it got expanded and refined. As a sketch, it might not cohere internally at all.

Anybody notice this is one of a number of songs in which the body is pictured as a place? These seems to be a Linnell-specific lyrical bent - My Man ( body as an ocean), Bloodmobile (body as a city), Senssurround (from inside Mom's body), and in State Songs, bunch of songs in which a person is conceptualized as a state - Iowa is a witch, Montana is a leg, Michigan is a place we go to eat it's brain, West Virginia is a lover. ~Christina Miller December 2005

I don't think drugs or depression really come into it. The part about being in denial sort of reminds me of Destination Moon, specifically the line "there's nothing wrong with me." The person in this song finds out about his immune system, the "tiny doctors" helping him get well again, so he doesn't really see why he should be in the hospital or whatever. This sort of thing has come up in Linnell's songs a fair few times. Montana, Destination Moon, My Man, etc.

I always thought that this song is about realising that you are terminally ill. The thing inside him could be cancer, or some other thing along those lines. He's never sad anymore because he is still in shock/denial, thus putting him in a sort of never ending apathy.

He's clinging to the fond hope that maybe his body is going to pull through for him. So he keeps talking about his 'Tiny Doctors' and how they're gonna make him all better, almost as if he thinks that repeating it will make it more truthful.

I suppose the depression/drugs interps work also, but I like my theory.

I used to think that they said "I've never sat" instead of "I'm never sad". I thought that the narrator was normal and happy until he found out that he had tiny doctors swimming in his veins. To me it made sense. I wouldn't like having doctors in my veins and I thought the narrator couldn't sit down because he was like terrified. The "I'm never sad" line completely changes the story for me. -- Buzzmusic100 ("Keep your voice down...")

This is kind I'm not even sure how to begin to respond to this, so I won't even try, but I just am SO curious that I have to ask, how exactly does...not sitting down help to deal with fear? --Self Called Nowhere 06:05, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't. He's just SO terrified that he has doctors inside him so he can't sit down and relax. He has so much fear. But now I know that it's the wrong lyric. -- Buzzmusic100 ("Keep your voice down...")
But why would "clearing up illness and pain" be something you would be...ok. I'm not gonna...ok. That's an interesting take on it, I'll just leave it at that. --Self Called Nowhere 13:06, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
At the time, I didn't know they said that either. -- Buzzmusic100 ("Keep your voice down...")