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Madness Mantra / Music

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Madness Mantras... Madness Mantras... Madness Mantras... Madness Mantras... Madness Mantras... in music.


  • I've been mad for fucking years, absolutely years, been over the edge for yonks...
  • Is there anybody out there?
  • The Vocaloid song Full Moon Laboratory by mothy has this chant: "La la la la la la la lu lu lu..."
  • COMMUNICATIONS Case One's final song, HOUSEWIFE RADIO starts off relatively innocuously, but as Nancy's day goes on things start to feel a little off, until BLACK AND WHITE AND BLACK AND WHITE AND BLACK AND WHITE AND BLACK AND WHITE- NO, BLUE AND GREEN AND YELLOW AND RED- THE RADIO ONLY PLAYS IN "BLACK AND WHITE AND BLACK AND WHITE AND..".
    • The song itself opens with Nancy's "Stich sew cut pull, stich sew cut and pull, stich sew cut pull, stich sew cut and pull...". This could double up as a Survival Mantra, but whether she's saying this to prevent her breakdown or as an early part of it is unclear.
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    • In COMMUNICATIONS: Case 2, Song 2 BROADCAST ILLUSION, we get Kennith's "We're screaming again! AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN! We're screaming again! AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN AGAIN! We're screaming again!"
  • In GHOST's vocaloid song, The Distortionist there's "You're making a wreck of broken glass, and leaving me a f*cking mess, bending light in a way that shows exactly how the story goes." played over and over backwards, as we see the character the song is named after turn into a monster of hands and mirrors.
  • Commonly heard in Denpa Song. They're often EXTREMELY catchy.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "Dare to be Stupid". Where he incites the audience to "Dare to be stupid dare to be stupid dare to be stupid", citing ridiculous examples such as microwaving your head, to define "stupid".
  • Kylie Minogue's Love at first sight.... it was love at it was love it was love it was love it was love at first sight. etc etc. A song about a love struck light headed Kylie as she staggers back and forth in a love struck delirium on another planet, complete with futuristic dancers (aliens, clones, robotic men). Kylie's song "Wow" composed mainly of chanting "wow. wow. wow. wow. wow. wow. wow. wow. wow.* infinity).
  • Napoleon XIV, from side to side and straight down the middle.
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    • "They're coming to take me away - ha-ha, hee-hee, ho-ho..."
    • They're trying to drive me sane...hee-hee...they're trying to drive me sane...ho-ho...they're trying to drive me sane...ha-haa...they're trying to drive me sane!...hee-hee!...they're trying to drive me sane!...ho-ho!...THEY'RE TRYING TO DRIVE ME SANE!...HA-HAAAA!...THEY'RE TRYING TO DRIVE ME SANE!!!"
  • Emilie Autumn:
    • "Are you suffering?"
    • "God help me!" sung 48 times! Clearly she was keeping herself sane while what happens in that song happens to her....
    • "I want my innocence back, I want my innocence back, I want my innocence back..."
    • Liar...Liar...Liar...Liar...Liar...Liar...Liar...Liar...
    • "4'Clock" definitely..
  • "Bodies" by Drowning Pool: "Let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the floor..." "One - nothing wrong with me, two - nothing wrong with me, three - ..." "One - something's got to give, two - something's got to give, three - ..."
    • "All Over Me": "All over me! ALL OVER ME! All over me! All over me. All over me! ALL OVER ME! All over me! All over me."
  • "Psycho Killer", by Talking Heads: "Psycho Killer! Qu'est-ce que c'est? Fa-fa-fa-FAH-fa-fa-fa-fa-FA-FA better, run, run; run, run, runaway."
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  • The song "Flee!" by The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets gives us "Pain! Death! Insanity! Death!"
  • "AKA Driver" by They Might Be Giants. "It just a full day's drive awaaaaaay. It's just a full day's drive awaaaaaaaaaaay..."
  • Though there are many examples in the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, the quartet from The Gondoliers featuring the Duke and his entourage's entry stands out. "And... if... ever ever ever they get back to Spain, they will never never never cross the sea again; they will never never never never never never never never never never never cross the sea again - they will never never never never never never never never never never never cross the sea again!" - And they sing that chorus twice!
  • Tool's "Rosetta Stoned" features the (maybe) insane narrator repeatedly saying "Don't know, won't know" at the end of the song.
  • The song "He Knows, You Know" by Marillion has the word "problems" repeated many times, with the last one shouted - "Problems,problems,problems,problems,PROOOBLEEEEEMS!!". This might have something to do with the lyrics being about a man going insane, and committing suicide in a bathroom. The song also ends with a phone call, with the man shouting to a woman at the other end "Don't give me your problems!" and slamming the phone down.
  • "Three Evils (Embodied in Love and Shadow)" by Coheed and Cambria. "Pull the trigger and the nightmare stooooops! Pull the trigger and the nightmare stooooops!"
  • The song "Echoplex" by Nine Inch Nails ends with Trent Reznor repeating "You will never, ever, ever, ever, get to me in here. You will never, ever, ever, ever, get to me in here...."
    • "The Becoming" also qualifies: "It won't give up. It wants me dead. Goddamn this noise inside my head..."
    • "Piggy": "Nothing can stop me now!". Not exactly a conventional example, but it is an example of the narrator losing his grip on reality. A variation on this one also shows up in "Ruiner".
    • "Big Man With A Gun" qualifies as well: "Me and my fucking gun, me and my fucking gun, me and my fucking gun..."
    • "Satellite (so very high), I know you're up there somewhere".
    • His remix of David Bowie's song "I'm Afraid of Americans" fades out with Bowie repeating the line "God is an American" over and over.
  • The ending of Motel of the White Locust by Glassjaw: "Pack your shit and leave and take my memories of her with you..." It then concludes with the variation: "Pack your shit and leave and take her fucking with you."
  • Sufjan Stevens inverts this with a sort of Sanity Mantra: "I want to be well I want to be well I want to be well I want to be well..."
  • The lyrics to Information Society's "Ending World 1.1" are either three mantras chained together or one long one—either way, it does not end well for the narrator.
    I am absolutely right. I am absolutely certain I am absolutely right. I am absolutely certain I am absolutely right. I am absolutely certain of all the mistakes I've made.
    And I was born in a world that's ending. Tell me you're gonna fall down any day now. Eternal change outside me howling—and inside everything stays the same.
    And it's the end of the world once again, and things are never gonna change when I die. As the circle comes to an end in my room—and everything stays the same—
  • "She won't stop me/ Put it down!" in "Hang 'Em High" by My Chemical Romance.
    • "Just sleep... just sleep... just sleep... JUST SLEEP!
    • "DESTROYA - DESTROYA - DESTROYA -"
    • "Headfirst For Halos" features the phrase, "Think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts..." before bringing the song to a subtle stop, "...think ha-Woah!"
  • Alice in Chains' "Love Song" is one long stream of these:
    My gums are bleeding! My gums are bleeding!
    Rae Dong Chung, Rae Dong Chung, Rae Dong Chung...
    Get the midget! Get the midget! Get the fucking midget!!!
  • Gorillaz's "Feel Good Inc". The music video shows the band apparently trapped in a creepy tower, 2D staring out the window with an expression of complete hopelessness and chanting "feel good, feel good, feel good" through the instrumentals.
  • "Blunt" by Canadian industrial band Econoline Crush begins with the repeated shouting: "Nothing...Nothing...Nothing...Nothing...Nothing...NOTHING!!!"
  • Alice Cooper's Ballad of Dwight Fry (though it could possibly be more of a Survival Mantra):
    "I gotta get out of here. I gotta get out of here. I gotta get out of here."
    • In Cooper's song, Vengeance is Mine, he repeats the song title a lot. And at one point in the song he starts repeating (getting louder each time), "What I want, what I need, what I want, what I need."
      • "I just can't live without it, I don't wanna think about it" from Cooper's song Some Folks.
  • "Traffic Lights" off of Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album.
  • Malcolm McLaren has a song on Fans where he starts saying 'All work and no play makes Mac a dull boy', but it's more light-hearted than in The Shining, and he varies it a bit.
  • Steely Dan's "The Fez": No, I ain't gonna do it without the fez on, oh no, I ain't gonna do it without the fez on...
  • The Beatles has one on "Revolution 9":
Number nine... Number nine... Number nine... Number nine... Number nine... Number nine...
  • Memetic Mutation gives us the likes of "THE BEST! THE BEST! THE BEST! THE BEST!" and "Fran-TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK".
  • In The Decemberists's "The Mariner's Revenge," a man constantly hears his mother's final words, begging him to take vengeance on the man who left them destitute: "Find him! Bind him! Tie him to a pole and break his fingers to splinters! Drag him to a hole until he wakes up, naked, clawing at the ceiling of his grave!" In the end, it's implied that the man whispers the mantra into his prey's ear, but the song only plays an increasingly manic, instrumental version of the mantra's tune, implying that he's doing some pretty unspeakable things.
  • Pet Shop Boys' "I Want To Wake Up" has the title line repeated increasingly desperately through the song as it becomes clearer the narrator is going crazy from unrequited love: "Now, I want to wake up. How I want to wake up. I, I want to wake up, I want to wake up, wake up, wake up with you..."
    • From the following track on the same album: "Beat, beat, beat, heart beat..."
  • Vocaloid Miku's "Wide Knowledge of the Late, Madness": Watashi watashi watashi watashi watashi watashi watashi watashi watashi...
    • "I'm Sorry, I'm Sorry" could fit as well, going by her staring expression at the end of the video.
  • American Music Club's "In My Role as The Most Hated Singer in the Local Underground Music Scene":
    Oh God I love you
    Oh God I love you
    I should have killed you when I had the chance
  • Radiohead has a lot of repeated phrases that can be interpreted this way.
    • From Kid A, special mention goes to "How to Disappear Completely" ("I'm not here, this isn't happening... I'm not here...") because the line comes from a way Thom Yorke coped with the pressures of touring (so it overlaps with Survival Mantra). And "Everything in Its Right Place" is practically built out of them, and also inspired by breaking down on tour.
    • Also "Karma Police": "For a minute there, I lost myself, I lost myself..."
    • "2+2=5": "You have not been paying attention, paying attention, paying attention, paying attention..."
    • "Sit Down Stand Up" is a far more clear-cut example: "The raindrops. The raindrops. The raindrops. The raindrops. The raindrops. The raindrops. The raindrops..." As the music gets ever more frantic.
    • "Separator", possibly: "wake me up, wake me up"
    • "Where I End and You Begin also definitely qualifies, in fact it's one of the creepiest of these that Radiohead has done: "I will eat you alive/I will eat you alive/I will eat you alive/and I will eat you alive/then there'll be no more lies/there'll be no more lies/there'll be no more lies/I will eat you alive..."
  • Linkin Park does this a lot. In "given up" we have Put me out of my mis-er-y! Put me out of my mis-er-y! Put me out of my! Put me out of my fu-cking mis-eryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy and in "one step closer" we have SHUT UP WHEN I'M TALKING TO YOU!!! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up when I'm talking to you! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! SHUT! UP!
    • In "A Place For My Head", we get "You. Try to take the best of me. Go away." repeated until an eventual Metal Scream breakdown.
  • "In between of where only edges can be seen from the spaces in between..."
  • Neutral Milk Hotel indulges in this trope fairly often, often to very different effects. A few examples:
    • "Three Peaches": I'm so happy, I'm so happy that you didn't die...
    • "Rubby Bulbs": Beautiful babies / Are filled with angels!
    • "Sailing Through": You are a liar, you are a liar, you are a liar, you are a liar and YOU ARE A LIE!!!
  • Nick Cave knows this trope well. "How much longer?" from Loverman is one example.
  • The World/Inferno Friendship Society turns the end of "Canonize Philip K. Dick, OK?" into one of these, sung as a round: "You can't change the system from within the system changes you, you can't change the system from within the system changes you, you can't change the system from within the system changes you ... and that should make you PANIC!"
  • Kate Nash's "Mariella": "Yeah, I'm never ever ever ever ever ever ever evereverevereverevereverevereverevergonna unglue my lips! From bein'! Together! Ha ha ha ha..."
  • Mercury Rev's "Very Sleepy Rivers". "Very sleepy rivers a very sleepy place very sleepy rivers a very sleepy place VERY SLEEPY RIVERS A VERY SLEEPY PLACE!"
  • VNV Nation's "Fearless": "I am not alone. I am not afraid. I am not unhappy." Could also be a Survival Mantra, but it sounds more like denial.
  • PJ Harvey's "Down by the Water" from To Bring You My Love: "Little fish, big fish, swimming in the water. Come back here and give me daughter."
  • The Residents: "Smelly tongues look just as they felt. Smelly tongues look just as they felt. Smelly tongues look just as they felt. Smelly tongues look just as they felt. Smelly tongues look just as they felt."
  • Ling Tosite Sigure's "am3:45" is just one line repeated throughout: "Sekai kiete, wasurete, mujuuryoku no yue."
  • Refused's "New Noise": "The new beat! The new beat! The new beat! The new beat! The new beat! The new beat! The new beat! The new beat! Thank you."
  • Invoked in King Crimson's "Indiscipline": "I REPEAT MYSELF WHEN I'M UNDER STRESS! I REPEAT MYSELF WHEN I'M UNDER STRESS! I REPEAT MYSELF WHEN I'M UNDER STRESS!"
    • Pre-Crimson group Giles, Giles & Fripp also did one with "Just George", where, in between the songs in the second half of the album, the band would repeat "I know a man and his name is George" in various ways.
    • In "Thela Hun Jinjeet" Adrian Belew, who had just been assaulted by gang members on his way to the studio, repeats "This is a dangerous place" several times.
  • A good chunk of Frank Zappa's "Help, I'm A Rock" has the band chanting the title. Helps that the title of its parent album is Freak Out!.
  • Nirvana's Lithium: "I like it, I'm not gonna crack. I miss you, I'm not gonna crack. I love you, I'm not gonna crack. I killed you, I'm not gonna crack!"
    • Also Breed: 'I don't care I don't care I don't care I don't care I don't care, I don't care, care, care if it's old, I don't mind I don't mind I don't mind I don't mind, mind, don't have a mind...
  • In Radical Face's "Kin", after Virgil gets a blood transfusion he starts to hear ghosts and slowly loses his mind: "I hear them al the time, I hear them all the time, I hear them all the time".
  • Disturbed does this in Perfect Insanity. I've Lost My Mind I've Lost My Mind I've Lost My Mind I've Lost My Mind I've Lost My Mind...
  • Swans' 2012 album The Seer contains a few excellent examples of this.
  • Edge of Dawn - Falling: "Destroy as much as you can, you're not an angry man / You're lost, you're lost, you're simply lost / You're lost, you're lost, you're lost [...] But you're lost, you're only lost"
  • Doo right, yoo doo right, doo right, yoo doo right, Doo right, yoo doo right, doo right, yoo doo right, Doo right, yoo doo right, doo right, yoo doo right, Doo right, yoo doo right, doo right, yoo doo right. from their debut "Monster Movie" (1968).
  • Rage Against the Machine gives us a protest variation in "Killing in the Name" from Rage Against the Machine'': FUCK YOU, I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!
  • In "Din-Torah" from Leonard Bernstein's "Kaddish," after the Speaker rebels against the Covenant, the orchestra explodes in a barbaric frenzy punctuated by anguished choral exclamations of "Amen." This culminates with the chorus breaking up into sections chanting "Amen, amen, amen" without regard to each other. As this chanting dies down, the Speaker pleads: "Forgive me, Father. I was mad with fever. Have I hurt You?"
  • This may be the year that I disappear...This may be the year that I disappear...This may be the year that I disappear...This may be the year that I disappear...
  • Project Pitchfork's "Timekiller" video has Peter Spilles repeatedly typing "My confusion creates your universe!" on a typewriter. The mantra also appears as a lyric in "Solitude", the single's B-side.
  • ASP's "Coming Home" has nigh unto endless repetitions of "The tiles the tiles the tiles the tiles the tiles."
  • Canadian metal band Structures have one in their song "Tunnel Vision" that repeats until the song fades away and only the drums remain:
    We're not the only living thing in the world (OPEN YOUR EYES)
    We're not the only living thing in the world (OPEN YOUR EYES)
    We're not the only living thing in the world (OPEN YOUR EYES)
  • "Born Slippy.NUXX" by Underworld'' has "Lager lager lager lager" and "Mega mega white thing". The lyrics were intended to sound like an alcoholic's Inner Monologue, since Karl Hyde was a real-life alcoholic at the time.
  • The end of "Assimilate" by Skinny Puppy: "DEATH! DEATH! DEATH!"
  • The Dead Kennedys' "Holiday in Cambodia" has "Pol Pot!"
  • Primus sums up the main idea of "Lacquer Head" with the chant of "Keep on sniffin' till your brain goes pop!"
  • "Company Town" by The Silent Comedy is about a revenge plot against a corrupt mine foreman. Repeated continually throughout the song are the words "I'm not angry. God forgive me."
  • The Offspring's Special Delivery is about a Stalker with a Crush, and it ends with the character saying "But you can't kill a man when he's got no hope! You can't kill a man when he's got no hope! You can't kill a man when he's —GOD HELP ME!
  • The song Coded and United by Nerdcore hip hop group Optimus Rhyme is an excellent example.
    • The song is written around one: "Reboot, Work, Recharge, Work, Walk home, Recharge, Shut Down, Reboot, Repeat." This is expanded during the chorus.
    Reboot, Work, Recharge, Work, Walk home, Recharge, Shut Down, Reboot, Repeat.
    I am not Unique. I am not distinctive, Not inimitable. Reboot, repeat.
    Reboot, Work, Recharge, Work, Walk home, Recharge, Shut Down, Reboot, Repeat.
    I am not me. I am not reflective. Not inimitable. Reboot, repeat.
    • The same song also describes one experienced by a robot.
    When they let me loose, I knew that I was doomed
    Dug through CPU, couldn't find a clue
    Ran twenty miles then I stopped
    Couldn't take a step, couldn't think
    Every process was blocked
    Spent 10 years stuck in the same spot
    Repeat directive, it seemed that I forgot
    And since I don't recall: I repeat directive
    That's a loop, y'all. Lost, got no objective!
  • Counting Crows have several examples, likely a reflection of singer-songwriter Adam Duritz' depersonalisation-derealisation disorder. For instance, the character Maria in "Round Here" repeats the phrase "It's only in my head", which is her way of reminding herself that her mental issues don't reflect external reality and that she's not in any physical danger, thus making it double as a Survival Mantra. Despite this, as we see later in the song, this isn't enough to stop her from entertaining suicidal ideations. Duritz has noted on several occasions that Maria is his Distaff Counterpart Author Avatar.
  • Cursor Miner: "I was The Man with the Transparent Face. I was The Man With the Transparent Face. I was The Man With the Transparent Face. I was The Man With the Transparent Face. I am The Man with the Transparent Face. I am The Man with the Transparent Face. I am The Man with the Transparent Face."
  • The Vocaloid song Blood-Stained Switch by Music/Mothy features the singer repeatedly saying "I am not evil" (because she is being accused of killing her father, which she did, but not by choice.


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