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The Porcelain Monkey

"Porcelain Monkey" is a song by Warren Zevon and Jorge Calderón from the album Life'll Kill Ya.

About the Song[]

The song itself is an homage to the singer Elvis Presley, specifically referring to his fall from grace. The song was inspired by a postcard possessed by Jorge Calderón that depicted Graceland's TV room as is mentioned in the song. While Jorge was working with Zevon on a never completed "violent and terrible song", Warren noticed the postcard and asked about it. In the center of the room, on the coffee table, was a white porcelain monkey figurine with onyx eyes. Coincidentally, the songs "Gorilla", "Gorilla, You're a Desperado", "Leave My Monkey Alone", and "Monkey Wash Donkey Rinse" also mentioned monkeys and other primates. The song "Jesus Mentioned" is also supposedly a homage to Elvis.

Song Lyrics[]

Note: the text of this song's lyrics is not under the same copyright license as the wiki's encyclopedic text, it is used under fair use/dealing.

He was an accident waiting to happen

Most accidents happen at home

Maybe he should've gone out more often

Maybe he should've answered the phone


Hip-shakin' shoutin' in gold lame'

That's how he earned his regal sobriquet

Then he threw it all away

For a porcelain monkey


He threw it away for a porcelain monkey

Gave it all up for a figurine

He traded it in for a night in Las Vegas

And his face on velveteen


From a shotgun shack singing Pentecostal hymns

Through the wrought iron gates to the TV room

He had a little world, it was smaller than your hand

It's a rockabilly ride from the glitter to the gloom


Left behind by the latest trends

Eating fried chicken with his regicidal friends

That's how the story ends

With a porcelain monkey


He threw it away for a porcelain monkey

Gave it all up for a figurine

He traded it in for a night in Las Vegas

And his face on velveteen


Hip-shakin' shoutin' in gold lame'

That's how he earned his regal sobriquet

Then he threw it all away

For a porcelain monkey


He threw it away for a porcelain monkey

Gave it all up for a figurine

He traded it in for a night in Las Vegas

And his face on velveteen

See Also[]

External Links[]

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