Your Emotions

Album: Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables (1980)

Songfacts®:

  • This frantic 1:20 punk rocker is part of the first Dead Kennedys album, Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables. Written by guitarist East Bay Ray, it's one of the few songs in their catalog that lead singer Jello Biafra didn't write or co-write.

    The lyric is a rapid-fire rant about a "planless and mindless" person who is also boring. In a Songfacts interview with East Bay Ray, he explained: "That was inspired by a person who was just very difficult to deal with. Their rational mind would leave the building, and you'd get these weird, angry emotions, so, 'Your emotions make you a monster.'

    And the thing is, it's not that they wanted to be that way, but it's how they were brought up – how their caregivers treated them. It's a psychological song, actually."
  • On later Dead Kennedys albums, Jello Biafra wrote all the lyrics, which went after specific people or types of people in no uncertain terms. This song is an example of one of their early ones with a different tone. The lyric is scathing but vague - we're not even sure if the subject is male or female.

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