Mr. Roboto
by Styx

Album: Kilroy Was Here (1983)
Charted: 3
  • Domo arigato misuta Robotto
    Mata au hi made
    Domo arigato misuta Robotto
    Himitsu wo shiritai

    You're wondering who I am-machine or mannequin
    With parts made in Japan, I am the modern man

    I've got a secret I've been hiding under my skin
    My heart is human, my blood is boiling, my brain I.B.M.
    So if you see me acting strangely, don't be surprised
    I'm just a man who needed someone, and somewhere to hide
    To keep me alive, just keep me alive
    Somewhere to hide to keep me alive

    I'm not a robot without emotions, I'm not what you see
    I've come to help you with your problems, so we can be free
    I'm not a hero, I'm not a savior, forget what you know
    I'm just a man whose circumstances went beyond his control
    Beyond my control, we all need control
    I need control, we all need control

    I am the modern man, who hides behind a mask
    So no one else can see my true identity

    Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, domo, domo
    Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto, domo, domo
    Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
    Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
    Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
    Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto

    Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto
    For doing the jobs nobody wants to
    And thank you very much, Mr. Roboto
    For helping me escape to where I needed to
    Thank you, thank you, thank you
    I want to thank you, please, thank you, oh yeah

    The problem's plain to see, too much technology
    Machines to save our lives. Machines dehumanize.

    The time has come at last
    To throw away this mask
    Now everyone can see
    My true identity
    I'm Kilroy! Kilroy! Kilroy! Kilroy! Writer/s: DENNIS DEYOUNG
    Publisher: Wixen Music Publishing
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 47

  • Stukka63 from St.augustine, Fla.The great daze.
    Used to crank Styx on the drive home from the beach.
    We would always detour through the town of Cassadaga.
    It’s a witch town, near central Fla. little paths into the woods to get to some type crazy church.
    Don’t drive back there!
  • Shandroise De Laeken from Davao City, PhilippinesLike Linda, I grew up believing this was performed by Queen and didn't bother to research it because I assumed its title is Secret. Then while I am listening to the radio today, I realised TODAY (2015-06-19) that the Secret, Secret song is the Mr. Roboto song by Styx! O_O
    I'll get to the meaning... amazing. Dennis' observation/reflection on the future regarding dehumanisation of humans is something
    I can relate to the "conspiracy theories" I read about - the New World Order - that one world government planning to control human minds by installing something inside their brains... My heart is human, my blood is boiling, my brain IBM...see that line. It reflects what is spoken of in the Bible (Revelations 13:16- And he [the antiChrist] caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark IN their right hand or IN their forehead - King James version) When the humans receive that, they'll be controlled, they will not be free as they used to be. This song explains what's going to happen when that time comes. They'd yearn to get their freedom back again. Great imagination, DeYoung - I thank God for that. I wonder if Mr. DeYoung knows this Biblical prophecy. He totally nailed it!

    People's tastes vary. I belong to the ones who like this song, now even more after knowing its message. It's sad this is one of the songs which led them to their "worst of times". This song is really awesome!
  • Mary from Indiana@Jameson and Shell: Kilroy was indeed a shipyard worker in WWII who counted the rivets and signed "Kilroy was here" with a cartoon drawing of himself. The whole story is fascinating. He won a jeep by proving he was the one and only Kilroy. Later on, when soldiers would overtake enemy posts they would write Kilroy was here, as a testament to American victory.
  • Russ from Lincoln, NeHey people. I attended a Three Dog Night concert at the old KRNT theater in Des Moines, Iowas in 1969. I was in row 3 and some girl wanted me to exchange seats with her boyfriend located 30 rows back, yeah right. I also remember white helmeted police lined the stage and I remember Chuck Negron taunting the cops (from behind) throughout the concert. Can anyone verify that and is so do you know the exact date of that concert?
  • Neal from Grand Rapids, MiWeird techno-rock fusion. Completely out of character for Styx, but somehow it works. Hate me if you wish, but this is one of my favorite Styx tracks.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxBands that attempt to take political stands often find them blowing up in their faces. I liked the song, but its message was a pile of CENSORED.
  • Randy from Marshalltown, IaSo Styx had to wait for the sun to go down before it could start. And everyone there was getting antsy and yelling "Styx Styx Styx", it was quite the commotion. But nothing compared to after the show started. My wife (or soon to be wife) and I left our seats in the balcony and burrowed our way through the crowd on the stage floor as close as we could get to the stage during the delay, and then we did the whole show standing about 5 people back from the center stage and Dennis DeYoung was terrific, those opening riffs of Mr. Roboto still take me back to there. The crowd went crazy!!!!!!!!! And it was like the best time I ever had. I was a Styx fan since 1975 when they played backup band for Three Dog Night concert I went to in Des Moines. And "Lady" was their hit tune at the time.
  • Randy from Marshalltown, IaI was present at the Styx Roboto tour concert in Cedar Falls, Iowa in 1983 or 1984. I am trying to track down the exact date of that concert. I know it was during warm weather so it was like summer. Some interesting facts from that concert. It was held at the UNI Unidome. This structure was basically a huge pressurized balloon, you had to move through a blast of air blowing out at you when you went through the entry doors. And the show was supposed to start at 7:00 PM but was delayed until after 8:00 PM for a reason that the band did not realize would happen. And this also reinforces my thought that it was high summer when Styx played there. You see, the roof of the Unidome let too much sunlight pass through it, and the concert show utilized big screens that movie clips were projected onto during the songs. Cont'd
  • Cheryle from Columbus, OhInteresting dichotomy with this song. For many people who were around in '83 when this came out, "Roboto" is cringe-worthy and the death knell of a once-great rock band. Younger folks seem to love this song and are disappointed it is not performed live (although this year, 2010, they sing a snippet during their opening medley). I'm sure Tommy and JY would probably live out the rest of their lives quite happily never having to hear this song again, but they also know they need to please their fans. The whole Kilroy album and tour are what put the final nails in the coffin of Styx, a process that began in 1979 with Cornerstone and "Babe." Dennis turned a great rock band into a Broadway act. Personally, I prefer them as they are now. More rock, less sap.
  • Rob from San Antonio, TxNevermind. I found it. It was the "Haunted World of El Superbeasto" a Animated Comedy from Rob Zombie.
  • Rob from San Antonio, TxI am trying to find out a newer movie I recently saw that I cannot remember and it had a guy with the Mr. Roboto Ringtone... it was a comedy.
  • Luna from San Diego, CaThis song is amazing and I love the story it tells. Not only is the music and the lyrics catchy but this song has a lot of memories tied to it. Did any other hots come from this album?
  • Chace from Colby, KsACTUALLY, Chase of Miami, FL, Queen DID use synthisizers, but not until their album "The Game." You are right in the respect that they created a bunch of synth-like sounds from their debut "Queen" to their seventh album "Jazz." In fact, on their first seven records every one of them included in the liner notes a phrase saying "No Synthisizers!" in one variation or another. On "The Game" album, they used an Oberheim. From that album on, every one of them featured a synth in one way or another. But HEY.......who's looking at techincalities, right?? :)
  • Chase from Miami, FlActually Ryan Eaton Queen did not use synthesisers, they relied on the amazing guitar tecknique of Brian May to do all synth like sounds wich apparently influents Tom Morrello.
  • Drew from B'ham, AlI like how this one starts out sounding peaceful & celestial and then eases into the '80s style. Someone mentioned dancing the "Robot" to this one. Yeah, that would easily fit in! The end which states the name Kilroy reminds me of Toy Story II in which Zerg speaks a robotic chant command "Kill Buzz Lightyear." "Kilroy" sounds like "Kill Roy". Is that a little bit of slick humor? I like it!
  • Eric from Mentor, OhJim Carrey performs the movements to "Mr. Roboto" in the 2005 movie "Fun with Dick and Jane."
  • Eric from Mentor, OhTo comment on Randy from Colerain Township, Ohio: John Panozzo did have a speaking part in the "Kilroy was Here" movie. Just before the riot in the lunch room, a prisoner [Panozzo] notes to a Roboto, "Hey, Roboto! You're mudder was a Toyota!" The prisoner starts to dance a mocking of Travolta, "Ain't got no rythmn! Ain't got no rythmn!"
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiI love this song! I wish I had the chance to see them perform.It's about Robots taking over the world after WW2.
  • Stormy from Kokomo, InI agree with Jami from Redding, CA. My girlfriend at the time Diane (Wilson) Peterson took me to see the 1983 stage show of Mr. Roboto by Styx at the old Market Square Arena in Indianapolis for a graduation present from college and it was great!
  • Jami from Redding, CaOh yeah I forgot to add that this nice roadie guy invited me to go backstage to meet the band. I was married at the time so I had to go home. Bummer
  • Jami from Redding, CaI saw Styx do this show at the Cottonbowl in Dallas Tx June 18th 1983, my 23rd b-day. I was surprised by the movie video but it was pretty cool. Styx put on one hell of a show that night. Thanks for a great birthday memory guys.
  • Ryan from Eaton, InSomeone below said that their sister told them the lead singer (or someone in the band) got AIDS and died...

    There's a common confusion among casual fans between Styx and Queen songs....I don't know why, as they really sound nothing alike (no massive guitar harmonies in Styx, no massive synth in Queen); Queen would be the band where the lead singer died of AIDS-related pnuemonia.

    HOWEVER--Chuck Panozzo (former bass player) does currently have AIDS, however, he still joins the band for the occasional show if he's feeling up to it. John Panozzo (his brother; original drummer) died, but of cirrhosis of the liver, NOT AIDS.
  • G from Potomac, MdActually Joe's Garage came after 2112 and Kilroy is a rip-off of both.
  • Jake from Columbia City, InThis song is really wierd but awesome.
  • Michael from San Diego, CaAnother classic "early 80's" song with a video that tells a story. Hearing it takes me right back to high school!
  • Ryan from Farmer City, IlI personally love this song, and wish I had the album. It really makes me want to dance like a robot. I wish this song went on for a little bit longer, though.
  • Tim from Denver, CoThis album is, sadly, where Styx jumped the shark.
  • Jeffrey from Dowagiac, MiThis song is about 15 years ahead of it's time.
  • Jeff from Greenville , NcNot a killer song, but a kill me now! song
  • Chelsey from Patton, PaOMGS!! I LOVE THIS SONG!! I'm playin it for Marching Band and it's awesome!!! haha...sry about that....my sister told me that this was like a comin out song cuz I think she said that the lead singer was gay and died of AIDS...well maybe not the lead singer but someone in that band was....so yeah
  • Linda from Ranger, GaUp until a few days ago I thought this song was performed by Queen, Did Queen make a remake of it or something?
  • Miind Gamezz from Brooklyn, NyI always thought Dennis DeYoung wrote "Mr. Roboto" about a hairstylist by the name of "Mr. Roberto" that he knew & apphreciated and it got distorted as part of an inside joke, hence n forth i.e. "Mr. Roboto". If u look at Dennis DeYoung's hair, its flawless.lmao.

    Anyways,*kudos* & props to the great greatttt voice of Mr. Dennis DeYoung & my condolences to Phil Bonanno.
  • Randy from Colerain Twp., Oh Although Chuck and John Panozzo played Lt. Vanish and Col. Hyde, respectfully, in 'Kilroy Was Here' neither one had a speaking role in the movie.
  • Randy from Colerain Twp., Oh I personally thought that the 'Kilroy Was Here' concert was awsome. The first 11 minutes of the show had shown the story on a large video screen on stage of how Robert Orin Charles Kilroy, (Dennis) and his band (STYX) was performing at the Paradise Theatre when the MMM, lead by Dr. Everett Righteous (JY), stormed the stage and arrested the band. In the process, a fan was killed by a MMM member, but Kilroy was accused and sentenced for the crime and sent to prison. Kilroy and the other prisoners were forced to watch video of Dr. Righteous in their prison cells, as well as being served 'Dr. Righteous Fried Chicken', which was at the time a facsimile to KFC. Meanwhile, Johnathan Chance, (played by Tommy), had broken into Dr. Righteous's cable station and jammmed the airwaves with concert footages of Kilroy's band. Kilroy was able to break out of prison by overpowering a 'Roboto', which were used as prison guards, and meet Johnathan at the old Paradise Theatre. After Johnathan encounters wax figures of Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix at Dr. Righteous' Museum of Rock Pathology, he approaches the display of Kilroy's band which shows the violent death of the MMM protester. And this is where Kilroy, dressed as a Roboto, appears. As Kilroy removes his mask to Johnathan, the video screen and curtain on stage lifts up to expose Dennis and Tommy on stage as their characters in the movie, and Dennis begins to perform 'Mr. Roboto'. I thought at the time the whole show was excellent. But unfortunately, most people weren't accustomed to STYX performing in this manner. Sadly, this is what broke the classic STYX lineup. Despite what people say about Dennis, I think STYX just isn't the same without him. I think 'Cyclerama' is a piece of garbage. And coincidently, I thought 'Brave New World' was about as good as 'Pieces of Eight', which may be one of STYX's best albums. And for those of you who thinks that Tommy is the driving force behind STYX, 'Edge of the Century' was an excellent album, without him. Glen Burtnik did the right thing by leaving the band.
  • Sharon from Ottawa, CanadaI'm a die hard Styx fan and have to admit, I HATE this song and album. I own every Styx ablum but this one. I'm with the rest of the group, Dennis should have done this as a solo and not shoved this album down the rest of the bands, and fans, throats.
  • Aaron from Des Moines, Iathis song is about techno being outlawed in the future...check the booklet of their first greatest hits
  • Sarah Floyd from Bloomingdale, Ilmy brother got me listening to rock'n'roll music. and i like this song. and i dont know why i like this song. and i usually dont like rock'n'roll music i like popular music like michael jackson.
  • Dean from Pune, IndiaGreat album, though it seems to be a ripoff from Rush's 2112.
  • Dee from Indianapolis, InI've heard numerous stories over the years about who Kilroy is and such, but does it really matter? I've always liked this tune. If nothing else it's fun. I saw Styx some years ago with Kansas. They both put on killer shows, but they didn't perform Mr. Roboto. Dennis was even with them at this time. They hit every other major song they had but no Mr. Roboto. I was looking forward to that too. Oh well........
  • Daniel from Bellingham, WaI'm not sure, but I heard that this song is about the lead singers cleaning-man, a mexican named Mr. Roberto. Supposedly, Roberto helped him out of some tough emotional situations and did jobs no one else wanted to do, thus the part in the middle of the song.
  • Christopher from Greenfield Center, NyI think it was a GREAT concept LP. I mean, they talked about censorship in music before Tipper Gore even started her "crusade" against "devil music"
  • Jameson from Lexington, KyTurns out that Kilroy was actually a *supervisor* at an East Coast port during WWII. He supervised a guy whose job it was to count the rivets that each worker had riveted when building ships, as the men got paid by the rivet. Kilroy found out that his subordinate was over-counting the number of rivets riveted, and then sharing the extra money made with the workers. Kilroy nipped this in the bud by doing the rivet counts personally, and then writing "Kilroy Was Here" over the areas he'd checked, to keep everyone honest. His writing on the ships' hulls survived after the ships' departures, as it was written on the inside of the hulls, and thus the legend. I also read that Kilroy had a LOT of children, as in at least eight; I don't remember the exact number.
  • Shell from Riverdale, GaLegend has it that Kilroy was a shipping supervisor at a port on the East Coast (probably NY) during WWII who would chalk his name on items he had checked to show that they were ready for shipment. Someone added "was here" and the caricature of someone peering over the edge. GIs started using the image and words to mark their passage across Europe, some who shipped over to the Pacific Theatre continued the practice, and a pop culture icon was born.
  • Dimitri from Lima, Peru"Mr Roboto" es la expresiÃ?n artÃ?stica que expresa magistralmente, utilizando el gÃ?nero del ROCK, tanto la incertidumbre por un futuro tan cercano, como la crÃ?tica a un modelo social desligado de lo verdaderamente valioso, lo que no compra el dinero ni se puede obtener ni de la llamada "tecnologÃ?a" ni de la supuesta "modernidad".
  • Horace from Western, MdProbably the most popular song to mention the IBM Corporation, with the line "My Brain IBM".
  • Robert from Chicago, IlThe song is great, but was the beginning of the band's downfall. Dennis DeYoung crippled the band's spirits after taking their following tour into a scripted stage rock opera.
  • Patrick from Conyers, GaStyx tried to create a "Rock Opera" like The Who's "Tommy." However, it flopped big time, because the audience members wanted to hear Styx singing, not a bunch of talking dialogue that made no sense.
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