A few months ago a cousin of mine told me about the song “Human”, by The Killers: “Are we human or are we dancer? Dancer? Come on! The song is just stupid.” This post is a reply to precisely that comment.

Thing is, the song is not stupid. As a matter of fact, the song poses a philosophical and ethical question of the utmost importance: Are we beings capable of virtue, or just animals subdued by the laws of nature, which can’t control what they really are in the most profound way?

The term ‘dancer’ in the chorus line “are we human or are we dancer?” makes reference, according to Brandon Flowers (composer of the song), to american author Hunter S. Thompson’s quote, of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas fame, about “how America was raising a generation of dancers (people who follow a pattern and choreography instead of thinking for themselves)“.

The song, of course, doesn’t give us the answer to the question, but manages to state the problem in an almost religious way, which is not surprising due to Flowers’ personal faith.

About the singular ‘dancer’ instead of the proper ‘dancers’, which apparently annoys more than a few, Flowers said you can go fuck yourself, it just sounds better that way.

The song, both the original and the superior live version.

Lyrics can be found here, by the way.

For another post written in english on this blog, check: An honest definition of contemporary society.

[1] Este blog es y seguirá siendo un blog de filosofía en español, si bien ocasionalmente ensayaré algunas entradas breves en inglés, por lo general relacionados a temas de cultura popular de lengua anglosajona.



  1. Interesting post, though I must disagree. I never said the word “dancer” (singular) annoyed me, I just said -as you very well remember – that the song is completely stupid. I recall having mentioned another verse, “your sign is vital, my hands are cold”, and in my humble opinion such a phrase and the whole lyrics, along with that awful beat behind it, deserve physical punishment. I still think the same after reading this post; if you put your mind to it any song will seem to pose “a philosophical and ethical question of the utmost importance”, but as a song, Human doesn’t accomplish anything but confirming that The Killers are The Fercos Brothers of music.

    P.S.: Try replacing “almost religious” for “ultimately ridiculous”; it just sounds better that way. And, of course, it’s true. Nice blog, by the way.


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