Physical Address

304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124

Are We Human or Are We Dancer

The Killers’ iconic song ‘Human’ has been a subject of intrigue and debate since its release in 2008. The lyrics, ‘Are we human? Or are we dancer?’ have sparked curiosity and confusion among fans and critics alike. Let’s delve into the story behind these troublesome yet thought-provoking lyrics and explore their meaning.

Day & Age, The Killers’ third studio album, introduced ‘Human’ as an instant indie anthem. Over a decade later, the song remains a popular track during their live performances. However, the immortal question posed in the lyrics continues to puzzle listeners. What inspired these famous lines, and why do they still stir controversy today?

The Killers’ frontman, Brandon Flowers, drew inspiration for the lyrics from a quote by the renowned author and journalist, Hunter S. Thompson. The quote, ‘We’re raising a generation of dancers, afraid to take one step out of line,’ resonated with Flowers, who incorporated this idea into the song. Despite the initial source of inspiration, the story behind the lyrics doesn’t end there.

The Meaning Behind the Lyrics

While Flowers intended to pay homage to Thompson’s quote, the unconventional use of the word ‘dancer’ instead of ‘dancers’ led to widespread misinterpretation and criticism. The grammatical peculiarity of the lyrics sparked confusion and debate, with many questioning its intended meaning. Flowers, however, defended his choice, asserting his artistic freedom and the significance of the message he aimed to convey.

Addressing the backlash, Flowers expressed his frustration at people’s failure to grasp the essence of ‘Human.’ He revealed the extensive effort he invested in perfecting the lyrics, emphasizing the depth of thought behind the seemingly enigmatic lines. Despite the initial skepticism, the song’s enduring popularity and resonance with audiences have solidified its place as one of The Killers’ most beloved anthems.

The Legacy of ‘Human’

Despite facing criticism and being labeled as having the weirdest song lyrics, ‘Human’ has triumphed as a timeless and cherished track. Surpassing iconic songs by legendary bands, the enduring appeal of ‘Human’ attests to its profound impact and the band’s ability to provoke contemplation through their music. The Killers’ unwavering commitment to artistic expression and thought-provoking lyricism has cemented their status as a pioneering force in the music industry.

Exploring the Meaning

The lyrics of ‘Human’ continue to evoke curiosity and interpretation, prompting listeners to contemplate the dichotomy of humanity and conformity. The juxtaposition of being ‘human’ versus being a ‘dancer’ serves as a metaphor for individuality and societal expectations. The enduring relevance of these lyrics lies in their ability to spark introspection and discourse, transcending the confines of conventional songwriting.


What is the origin of the lyrics ‘Are we human or are we dancer’?

The lyrics are inspired by a quote from Hunter S. Thompson, where he expressed concerns about a generation of individuals conforming to societal norms and hesitating to challenge the status quo.

Why did Brandon Flowers face criticism for the lyrics?

Flowers faced criticism due to the unconventional use of the word ‘dancer’ instead of ‘dancers,’ leading to confusion and misinterpretation. However, he defended his artistic choice and emphasized the depth of meaning behind the seemingly perplexing lyrics.

What is the enduring legacy of ‘Human’?

Despite initial skepticism and criticism, ‘Human’ has emerged as one of The Killers’ most beloved and enduring anthems, resonating with audiences and prompting contemplation on the complexities of human existence and societal conformity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *