The Glory of Man

Album: Double Nickels on the Dime (1984)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Minutemen bassist, Mike Watt, wrote this song. The lyrics, though complex and abstract, reveal Watt's apparent desire to travel back in time "using cynicism, the time monitor, the space measurer."

    Watt told L.A. Record that this song was inspired by the Irish author, Jim Joyce and his 1922 novel, Ulysses: "That was the big thing in my mind right then. It had a big impact on me. It made me wonder so much about the world. Those days, when I wrote songs from that book, it was a big celebration! The glory of man! Now it's more like, the glory hole of man!"
  • Watt still performs this song live with his multiple post-Minutemen side-projects, including fIREHOSE and The Missingmen.
  • This song, one of Minutemen's longest, combines elements of funk and punk. Double Nickels on the Dime, Minutemen's third studio album, is renowned for its expansive sound palette. It is widely regarded as one of the most influential albums of the 1980s. In our interview with Watt, he reflected on the record with great pride: "Double Nickels... is probably the best record I've ever played on. I didn't realize it while we were making it. The way we were thinking was hills and valleys. People that are around for a while, the journey's full of valleys. That was definitely a hill, we thought. That was a peak of ours. And now looking back even more so."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Grammar In Lyrics

Grammar In LyricsMusic Quiz

Lyrics don't always follow the rules of grammar. Can you spot the ones that don't?

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"Songwriter Interviews

Ian talks about his 3 or 4 blatant attempts to write a pop song, and also the ones he most connected with, including "Locomotive Breath."

John Kay of Steppenwolf

John Kay of SteppenwolfSongwriter Interviews

Steppenwolf frontman John Kay talks about "Magic Carpet Ride," "Born To Be Wild," and what he values more than awards and accolades.

Andrew Farriss of INXS

Andrew Farriss of INXSSongwriter Interviews

Andrew Farriss on writing with Michael Hutchence, the stories behind "Mystify" and other INXS hits, and his country-flavored debut solo album.

Stan Ridgway

Stan RidgwaySongwriter Interviews

Go beyond the Wall of Voodoo with this cinematic songwriter.

Amanda Palmer

Amanda PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Call us crazy, but we like it when an artist comes around who doesn't mesh with the status quo.