The Killers' "Human" Lyrics Meaning - Song Meanings and Facts (2023)

Brandon Flowers and co. intended the song “Human” to be akin to a social commentary song, i.e. one that negatively criticizes the state of society at large.More specifically, the way the lyrics come off are as if the vocalist is, on a personal level, referring to the act of capitulation to the powers-that-be.

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And as confusing a line as “are we human, or are we dancer” may be to many listeners, therein lies the secret of deciphering the meaning of this song.That is to say that said linewas inspired by a quotewhich, in its entirety, reads that we are “raising a generation of dancers, afraid to take one step out of line”.

So with that idea in mind, it becomes more apparent that Brandon is not literally singing about the act of dancing.Rather the primary inspiration behind that quote centers on the masses being socialized to blindly comply, with the mention of dancers only being a metaphor or allegory.

Verse 1

So with that foreknowledge, we can say that in the first verse the singer is presenting himself as being akin to an object on a factory “line”, so to speak.And as he’s ‘brought up to the platform of surrender’ (i.e. compelled to capitulate), he is “kind”, in that he does not put up any type of resistance.

And there is also an unidentified addressee alluded to near the end of the verse.It’s not abundantly clear what Flowers is saying to this individual. But what is obvious is that he is “nervous” or concerned about their wellbeing, seemingly because they are on the verge of following the same path to robothood that he has.

Verse 2

The second verse is more critical of society itself.After all, if a person decides to give in to the powers-that-be, ultimately that’s their choice.But this time around, Brandon is drawing attention to society at large as being an institution which, most simply put, is devoid of any “good”.

To give an illustration, that line where he says “so long to devotion” was actually inspired by the fact that at the time, Flowers’ parents had been married for 45 years.But as for us younger generations, you rarely hear of people staying together for that long.So that is what he is speaking to, whatsome have referred to as as a reduction in moral values of people.

The Thesis Sentiment of “Human”

Some have also referred to the issue of moral decadence in today’s society as the thesis statement of this track. However, we really don’t think that this is necessarily the case.This isn’t only about modern society itself being messed up but also the fact that we, its citizens, tend to just go along with the flow.

Or phrased differently, “are you human”, i.e. someone who is able to make his own choices in the face of questionable mainstream practices, or “are you dancer”, i.e. a person who is afraid to step out of line?

And this is not to say that the singer himself is a model of revolutionary fervor, as he admits that he is in fact shook.But still, he’s “looking for the answer”.

So all in all it would seem that The Killers are encouraging the audience to be more critical of what’s going on around them, instead of merely doing what they’re socialized to do, as many of said acts and practices are actually contrary to the finer qualities of “human” existence.

The Killers' "Human" Lyrics Meaning - Song Meanings and Facts (1)

Credits for “Human”

The Killers, a band from Las Vegas, produced this track alongside British musician Stuart Price.And the members of the Killers are individually credited as the writers of“Human”. We therefore have the full songwriting credits to this track looking like the below:

(Video) Are We Dancer? Finding Meaning in The Killers' song "Human" | AmorSciendi

  • Brandon Flowers
  • Dave Keuning
  • Mark Stoermer
  • Ronnie Vannucci Jr.

When did The Killers release “Human”?

Island Records put this track out on 22 September 2008. It served as the lead single from“Day & Age”, i.e. The Killers third studio album.

Song’s Success

This song proved to be a really big hit critically and commercially. It charted in at least 25 countries. One of these countries was the United States. Here, it did exceptionally well, where it appeared on seven different Billboard charts. In doing so, it topped the USDance Club Songslisting.

“Human”also blew up across the pond, peaking at number three on the UK Singles chart. Furthermore, it also went double-platinum in the United Kingdom, its highest certification thus far.

More Facts about “Human”

The Killers and Stuart Price put this song together while they were working onSawdust, a Killers’ compilation album that came out in 2007.Therefore,this is actually the first songthe band put together that was featured on“Day & Age”.

Despite“Sawdust”being a compilation album, apparently it featured a couple of previously-unreleased numbers.However, Flowers did not want to include“Human”on that project, as he deemed“it was too good”to be included.

Pop music fandom being what it is,a big deal was madeout of a line in the chorus that reads “are we human, or are we dancer?”Of course that is an unorthodox or more specifically grammatically incorrect question, but Brandon was unpleasantly surprisedat how some listeners made such a major issue out of it.Either way,he went on to elaboratethat said line was inspired by a quote by the late journalist Hunter S. Thompson, with said quote being, in its entirety, that American society is “raising a generation of dancers, afraid to take one step out of line”.

The music video to“Human”features artwork by Paul Normansell, the same individual who put together the cover art to“Day & Age”.Included in the clip is a footage of The Killers performing in a part of Utah known as Golden Valley State Park.Additionally, the unique black tuxedo Brandon wears thereinwas fashioned byone Fee Doran.And the director of the clip is Danny Drysdale.

Spotify came out in 2008.And during that year,“Human”was actuallythe most patronized songon the streaming service.

The Killers' "Human" Lyrics Meaning - Song Meanings and Facts (2)

8 Responses

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  1. Michael says:

    February 21, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    Excellent article. Thank you.


    (Video) "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers Deeper Meaning! | Lyrics Explained

  2. Anonymous says:

    April 17, 2022 at 4:04 pm

    Good research= good article, worth reading!


  3. Wayne Grow says:

    July 27, 2022 at 8:00 pm

    (Video) The Killers Open Up About Writing ‘When You Were Young’ | Song Exploder | Netflix

    Aside from all the b******* you can’t comparing yourself to Hunter s Thompson it’s f****** b******* you’re a disgrace to the American people you’re a disgrace to the state of Nevada and to the city in town of Green valley Las Vegas your song so homosexual has nothing but gay tendencies and innuendos all throughout it and you’re f****** idiot land dude if you weren’t a rich fake Rockstar you’d be a broke homeless homosexual thanks for coming out live a gypsies tonight the killer
    (I purposely left the S off)


  4. Deborah says:

    August 14, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    Great article and deciphering of the meaning of Human. I’m so happy to read this as I’ve played this song over and over, dancing to it, becoming inspired to do what I want to do in my life. I just made a HUGE decision regarding change this morning, and then went right to this song… I actually weeped with relief about my decision while listening… Thank you!



What is the killers famous song? ›

Brightside has evolved into a phenomenon of the digital age. Mr. Brightside has the edge on Human when it comes to sales with 1.01 million; by far the best-selling Killers song.

Are the killers Mormon? ›

Brandon Flowers might be the most famous Mormon in the world — or tied only with Senator Mitt Romney. As the lead singer of the famous rock band The Killers, he had a lot to focus on, but there was never a time where faith wasn't on the schedule. On Tuesday, Dr.

What was the killers first hit? ›

Mr Brightside was The Killers' debut single released on 29 September 2003 and the second track on their first album Hot Fuss. The initial single release did little in the charts, but on its re-release in 2004, it hit the UK top 10 and has been hugely popular ever since.

What is the short story The Killers about? ›

The basic plot of the story involves two hitmen who enter a restaurant seeking to kill a boxer, a Swede named Ole Andreson, who is hiding out for reasons unknown, possibly for winning a fight. Historians have some documents showing that the working title of the piece was "The Matadors".

What are The Killers fans called? ›

The Killers fandom is called the 'The Victims'.

Can Mormons dye their hair? ›

Hair should be kept "relatively short and evenly tapered." Faux-hawk, crew cuts, mullets, spikey styles, and messy hair are prohibited. They can't bleach or dye their hair.

How many wives can a Mormons have? ›

Polygamy is condemned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Latter-day Saints believe that monogamy—the marriage of one man and one woman—is the Lord's standing law of marriage.

Do Mormons believe in Jesus? ›

Latter-day Saints are Christians on the basis of our doctrine, our defined relationship to Christ, our patterns of worship and our way of life. What Do We Believe About Christ? We believe Jesus is the Son of God, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh (John 3:16).

Why are The Killers called The Killers? ›

The band's name is derived from a logo on the bass drum of a fictitious band portrayed in the music video for the New Order song "Crystal".

What made The Killers famous? ›

The Breakthrough: In 2004, Lizard King released The Killers' debut album Hot Fuss. Since its release, the album has been certified four times platinum. The album spawned the hit singles 'Mr Brightside' and 'All These Things That I've Done'.

Is The Killers lead singer LDS? ›

He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 2012, he discussed his religion on Scandinavian television show Skavlan. He and his family are featured in a promotional video on the church's website.

Who's the oldest serial killer? ›

Samuel Little (born McDowell; June 7, 1940 – December 30, 2020) was an American serial killer who confessed to murdering 93 women between 1970 and 2005.
Samuel Little
BornJune 7, 1940 Reynolds, Georgia, U.S.
DiedDecember 30, 2020 (aged 80) Los Angeles County, California, U.S.
13 more rows

Are Killers born or made? ›

In The Anatomy of Violence, criminologist Dr. Adrian Raine says that, “Genetics and environment work together to encourage violent behaviour.” Therefore, it seems like there are various factors namely, genetics, environment, trauma and personality traits that contribute to the making of a serial killer.

Who is the oldest serial killer alive? ›

Gary Ridgway

The 73-year-old serial killer mainly murdered sex workers and women in vulnerable situations. Gary got his Green River Killer alias because his first victims were found in Green River. By the time he was arrested, he had murdered about 80 people.

What is the message of the killers? ›

Fear is Dominant Theme of Ernest Hemingway “The Killers”:

Fear dominates the whole situation from very beginning of story. When Max told George that he along with AI came in the town to kill Ole Anderson, he became afraid. Similarly, other characters of the story i.e. Sam and Nick Adams also become afraid.

What are the 4 types of serial killers? ›

Four types of serial murderers are identified: the 'visionary,' the 'mission-oriented,' 'hedonistic,' and 'power/control-oriented.

How does the killers end? ›

The movie ends showing Spencer and Jen's father working on some wires near Spencer and Jen's baby's crib. Spencer and Jen then leave to let Jen's mom and dad babysit. They all leave the room and when they close the doors lasers turn on to protect the baby.

What are Billie Eilish's fans called? ›

Fans now call themselves 'Eyelashes' after the singer's stage name.

Are Killers emo? ›

If you're referring to Hot Fuss then it could fall under post-punk revival, synth-rock, synth-pop, new wave or indie. I wouldn't describe them as emo at all though.

Do Mormons wear bras? ›

I hear a lot of weird misconceptions among LDS women and wearing their garments. Some of these include you can only wear white bras and you can only wear your garments against your skin and bra over. Well, I'm here to tell you both of those are ABSOLUTELY FALSE.

Can a woman wear pants to a Mormon church? ›

The church did not — and does not — have any rule about clothing at church, but the cultural expectations of dresses and skirts on women have been strong and fairly uniform. The 2012 pants promotion was intended as the first act of All Enlisted, a group dedicated to increasing gender equity in the church.

Can I be Mormon if I have tattoos? ›

Tattoos Are Strongly Discouraged in the LDS Faith

Body art can be a way to express yourself and your personality. It can even be a way to express your faith. Other faiths may allow tattooing or take no official position. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints LDS/Mormon strongly discourages tattoos.

Do Mormons use birth control? ›

In keeping with the Mormon belief that heaven is full of millions of spirits awaiting an earthly body, birth control and abortion are also forbidden.

Can Mormon have girlfriends? ›

Do not date until you are at least 16 years old. Dating before then can lead to immorality, limit the number of other young people you meet, and deprive you of experiences that will help you choose an eternal partner.” For the Strength of Youth, 24. “The Lord has made us attractive one to another for a great purpose.

Why can't Mormons drink coffee? ›

The Word of Wisdom is a section of the Doctrine and Covenants, one of the church's four volumes of scripture. Mormons believe God revealed in 1833 the foods and substances that are good and bad for people to consume. Liquor, tobacco, tea and coffee were prohibited.

Do Mormons wear crosses? ›

We may wonder why we Latter-day Saints don't place a cross on our churches or wear a cross to show that we are Christians, thereby making it easier for others to identify in whom we believe. Is the cross important to our faith? The answer is an unequivocal yes!

How do Mormons view death? ›

Latter-day Saints believe that when a person dies, the soul separates from the body and goes to paradise or a spirit prison depending on the life lived. Because of this belief in life after death, funerals have a mournful yet celebratory tone.

Are Mormons truly Christians? ›

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints unequivocally affirm themselves to be Christians. They worship God the Eternal Father in the name of Jesus Christ.

Why do Killers wear masks? ›

According to Dr. Carole Lieberman, forensic psychiatrist and expert witness, killers not only wear costumes to keep the victim from making an identification later, but also to intimidate their victims.

How do Killers get their names? ›

In the video for their 2001 single Crystal, New Order were replaced by a group of attractive teenagers, who were supposed to be members of the fictional band "The Killers”. Their name was emblazoned on the drum kit, which caught the eye of young Brandon Flowers, who needed a name for his new rock band.

What are the two types of Killers? ›

While no two serial killers are the same, everyone can be classified into one of two large groups: an organized, or a disorganized serial killer. Former FBI profiler Roy Hazelwood helped create the FBI's dichotomy approach to better understanding serial killers.

Who was the best killer ever? ›

The following list explores some of the most notorious serial killers the world has ever known.
  • Jack the Ripper. ...
  • Jeffrey Dahmer. ...
  • Harold Shipman. ...
  • John Wayne Gacy. ...
  • H.H. Holmes. ...
  • Pedro Lopez. ...
  • Ted Bundy.

Who is the first killer? ›

According to Genesis, Cain was the first human born and the first murderer.

Who is the most horrifying serial killer? ›

Top 10 Gruesome Serial Killers
  • Jack the Ripper.
  • Richard Ramirez, The Night Stalker.
  • Ahmad Suradji, The Sorcerer.
  • Tsutomu Miyazaki, The Human Dracula.
  • John Wayne Gacy, The Killer Clown.
  • Edward Theodore Gein, The Butcher of Plainfield.
  • The Zodiac Killer.
  • Ted Bundy, The Lady Killer.
13 Aug 2022

Can Mormons drink alcohol? ›

In the Word of Wisdom, the Lord commands Mormons to abstain from harmful substances. Mormons are taught not to drink any kind of alcohol (see D&C 89:5–7). Mormons are also taught not to drink “hot drinks,” meaning coffee or any tea other than herbal tea (see D&C 89:9), and not to use tobacco (see D&C 89:8).

How are Mormons different from Christians? ›

One of the preeminent responses given by non-Mormons of why Mormons are not Christian is they do not believe in the Trinity. Ostling and Ostling state that the LDS Church rejects the Jesus Christ of Christian orthodoxy in that they believe that God the Father is greater than Jesus.

Is Ryan Gosling LDS? ›

He and his family were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Gosling has said that the religion influenced every aspect of their lives.

Who is the youngest serial killer alive? ›

Sada committed the first murder at the age of 7. "Born in 1998 in the village of Mushahar in Bihar, India, Amarjeet Sada is believed to have murdered three people, including family members, by the time he was eight years old in separate incidents between 2006 and 2007," the Daily Mirror reports.

How many serial killers are active right now? ›

The FBI estimates that there are between 25 and 50 active serial killers in the United States at any given time, and many of them have never been caught. Here are just a few more notorious serial killer cases in the United States.

Who is the first black serial killer? ›

1- Samuel Little

Samuel Little (June 7, 1940 – December 30, 2020) was an American serial killer who confessed to murdering 93 people, all women.

What do serial killers think? ›

It may seem to be counterintuitive on the surface but many serial killers are actually insecure individuals who are compelled to kill due to a morbid fear of rejection. In many cases, the fear of rejection seems to result from having been abandoned by their mother in early childhood.

Do serial killer genes exist? ›

As I said before, there's no “serial killer” gene–there's a gene that can influence someone's level of aggression and emotional control. Classifying people as “serial killer gene carriers” is a terrible idea for several reasons.

Are all killers psychopaths? ›

And not all serial killers are psychopaths or sociopaths. But America's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has noted certain traits shared between known serial killers and these anti-social personality disorders.

Who is the first youngest serial killer? ›

Born in 1998 in the village of Mushahar in Bihar, India, Amarjeet Sada is believed to have murdered three people, including family members, by the time he was eight years old in separate incidents between 2006 and 2007.

Are there serial killers alive today? ›

While this all seems comforting the reality is there are still serial killers alive and well today. Even some of the most well-known murderers who have been caught, such as Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., a.k.a. the “Golden State Killer,” is still alive.

How long is a life sentence? ›

However, someone convicted of murder will always receive a life sentence. This doesn't necessarily mean that they will spend the rest of their life in prison. Depending on how serious the crime was, the offender will be forced to spend many years in jail before they are allowed to apply for parole.

What music do The Killers song? ›

The Killers

What are some songs by The Killers? ›

  • Mr. Brightside. The Killers. 02.12.05. ...
  • Human. The Killers. 10.18.08. ...
  • When You Were Young. The Killers. 08.26.06. ...
  • Somebody Told Me. The Killers. 09.04.04. ...
  • Read My Mind. The Killers. 03.03.07. ...
  • All These Things That I've Done. The Killers. 08.27.05. ...
  • A Great Big Sled. The Killers Featuring Toni Halliday. 12.23.06. ...
  • Runaways. The Killers. 08.04.12.

What song did The Killers play on Jimmy Fallon? ›

The Killers performed live from the top of 30 Rock for The Tonight Show, unleashing renditions of two songs, “Dying Breed” and “When You Were Young.” The group gave a raucous performance for a small crowd of fans, who gathered on the New York City rooftop alongside host Jimmy Fallon.

What song is UB40 famous for? ›

1. 'Kingston Town' Originally a 1970 song by Lord Creator, it became a classic when covered by UB40 in 1990 on their Labour of Love II album. The song gave another UB40 another top 5 hit, and was a particularly massive success in France.

What do Killers sing? ›

The Killers

How did The Killers get their name? ›

The band's name is derived from a logo on the bass drum of a fictitious band portrayed in the music video for the New Order song "Crystal".

Is Mr Brightside about cheating? ›

Brightside" is actually the first song the band ever wrote. The song is inspired by a real-life girlfriend of Brandon Flowers' who cheated on him. In an interview with Q Magazine in 2009, Brandon Flowers elaborated that he caught his girlfriend cheating in the Crown & Anchor Pub in Las Vegas.

What are psychopaths favorite songs? ›

Researchers at New York University played 260 songs for 200 people and found that those with the highest psychopathic scores were big fans of Blackstreet's “No Diggity” and Eminem's “Lose Yourself.” Volunteers who were fans of The Knack's “My Sharona” and Sia's “Titanium” had the lowest psychopathic scores.

Do The Killers drink alcohol? ›

The Killers frontman - who is a practising Mormon - doesn't really enjoy drinking alcohol and has no desire to get intoxicated in the future, despite booze being so prevalent in rock 'n' roll. He said: ''I have been drunk. I haven't drank in five or six years. And I will probably never be drunk again.

What should I listen to if I like killers? ›

  • Brandon Flowers. 537,227 listeners. Related Tags. ...
  • Kings of Leon. 3,937,387 listeners. Related Tags. ...
  • White Lies. 1,293,526 listeners. Related Tags. ...
  • Keane. 2,811,578 listeners. Related Tags. ...
  • Franz Ferdinand. 3,612,287 listeners. Related Tags. ...
  • Arcade Fire. 2,943,902 listeners. ...
  • Editors. 1,784,650 listeners. ...
  • The Vaccines. 1,098,779 listeners.

What does UB40 mean? ›

UB40 took their name from the British unemployment benefits card, a form they replicated as the cover of their 1980 debut album Signing Off.

What is the meaning behind UB40? ›

The name "UB40" was selected in reference to an attendance card issued to people claiming unemployment benefits from the UK government Department of Employment. The designation UB40 stood for Unemployment Benefit, Form 40.

How much is UB40 worth? ›

Ali Campbell net worth: British singer and songwriter Ali Campbell, best known as the former songwriter of the band UB40. Ali Campbell has a net worth of $2 million.
Ali Campbell Net Worth.
Net Worth:$2 Million
Profession:Musician, Songwriter, Singer, Actor
Nationality:United Kingdom
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