Entertainment & Media
Spiral of Ants by Lemon Demon
By Stephy Varughese
Volume 1 Issue 6
March 18, 2021
Image provided by Onedio
Over and over The pheromones, the overwhelming harmony Consuming the colony The Circle rules your life
Chop, chop! Don't want to be late Lift up and carry your weight You've got no choice but to dance in a spiral of ants True bugs might laugh in your face Don't fret, you're leading the race Don't let the bastards step on your hands in a spiral of ants
You can't remember where you came from (In a spiral of ants) You can't remember where you're going (In a spiral of ants) You can't remember knowing You are one ant Over, it's over The pheromones, the self-avoiding odyssey Consuming the colony The Circle rules your life
Now, now! Don't run out of breath Don't feel surrounded by death, no Take the wheel, this could be your chance, in a spiral of ants False bugs, you'll soon be alone See how they drop like a stone You're free now forever to dance in a spiral of ants.
Now you remember where you came from (From a spiral of ants) Now you remember where you're going (To a spiral of ants) You've got to keep it flowing.
You are one ant (Over, over, over) Over and over The pheromones, the overwhelming harmony
Consuming the colony Creating its own gravity Before we knew it, we became a hurricane. And the bugs who laughed got blown away. As we proclaimed: The Circle rules your life
Lemon Demon is a band made by internet star Neil Cicirega. Cicirega had been on the internet making funny videos like “The Harry Potter Puppet Pals,” Ultimate Showdown, random skits, and of course, Lemon Demon, since the late 2000’s and as a teenager. The song “Spiral of Ants” comes from one of his more recent albums, Spirit Phone, which focuses on strange phenomena in history, mixed with a story. I highly recommend listening to his music if you like weird indie songs and overall randomness with upbeat tunes. Spirit Phone is a great starter album if you are interested.
The title “Spiral Ants” is a natural phenomenon that happens in real life to a certain species of ant. There are ants called Army Ants who, unlike other species of ant, are completely blind. This is because of their compound eyes that are used to sense light activity instead of sight. However, because of this, these army ants have a tough time sensing each other out. The solution to this problem is releasing specific pheromones so that the ant before them can sense their pheromone and vice versa. When the scent of the last ant gets lost, the ant before that ant gets confused and get cut off from the main pack. The ants then look over and over, following the wrong trail which makes them walk in a never-ending spiral. Because they aren’t aware that they are walking this spiral, they keep walking thinking that they are reaching their destination. This leads to them walking till they eventually die. This is called the Death Spiral or, in this case, the Spiral of Ants.
The speaker is never mentioned in the song, but we can assume that the speaker is a high being or just a disembodied figure. This is proven by the speaker speaking directly about you especially in line 20 “Now, now! Don't run out of breath” and the constant use of “you’re” in the chorus. Repeatedly in the song, the speaker tells “you” which is to assume is the listener. Also, in the song, they refer to the listener as “one ant”. This would mean that we are considered “ants.” The tone of the song sounds repetitive, mysterious, and collected in the beginning then goes into a very upbeat tune while still keeping the same unsettling vibe. “Before we knew it, we became a hurricane” is a metaphor that compares ants to a hurricane. This whole song in itself however is a metaphor in itself because it's comparing us people the spiral of ants.
The song’s theme or the message is that despite living in and endless death loop, you’ll always be part of society. What I mean by this is that the “spiral” represents society, and the ant, you. The song starts you off with an omen-type tone as if you were not there at all, yet everything is still in shape.
In lines five though eleven, the song hurries you up as if to say, “Come on, it's time to start your life!” Everything in the tone feels like you are new, unfazed by death or harm. This is supported in the lines when “you can’t remember where you are going” or “you don’t know where you came from.” This proves that at this stage, you simply are naïve about how the “spiral” is. Like how they, “you are one ant” like, you are only just a person existing. Then when it says “true bugs might laugh in your face”, they are referring to people outside of your life or people who try to weigh you down. This is confirmed later in the song where it says, “And the bugs who laughed got blown away.” This shows that despite people weighing you down and making fun of status, they aren’t in a worse situation as you. This also shows the change you felt before about the outside bugs changed when you got more engulfed into the spiral for in the beginning, these bugs were called “true bugs” while later in the song, these true bugs were now called “fake bugs.”
By the second verse, the sudden realization that you are being controlled by society kicks in. Especially when the speaker says, “don’t feel surrounded by death.” You are now realizing the reality of it all, yet you try to get ahold of yourself and be a leader since “it could be your chance in the Spiral of Ants.” Later on, as stated previously, all the true bugs become false bugs as you realize that the true bugs you looked up to aren’t the same bugs anymore. The chorus of the song, however, brings this statement farther up by saying that you know where you are going and doing yet all in all, you are still just an ant. Yet you work and work to keep that spiral going. Then the repetitiveness of “over” really hits hard on this sad outcome of life.
Then reaching the last chorus, we see the noticeability of the destruction of life. The overwhelming harmony of society that “consumes” the colony still goes on and on from the moment you were born till now. The remaining lines reflect how chaotic and crazy everything is to you as even society makes “its own gravity.” Everything is swirling around like a hurricane and all scattered in a mess. However, in the last two lines, it shows that despite it all, the circle still rules your life and repeats itself over and over again.