Top Ten Bo Burnham Songs From “Inside” and the Lyrical Genius Behind Each One.

Hello! If you’re a Bo Burnham fan just like myself, you would know that his most recent special was probably the most musically diverse works of them all. If you haven’t seen or heard of the special, PLEASE go watch it. You can find it on Netflix and probably some other sites wink wink. Anyways, I decided that for my first blog I would rank my personal top ten songs from the special here. This blog will be biased due to my love of this special, which means that my interpretations and opinions will be included.  Enjoy!

10. “Sh!t”

Okay, listen to me here, the comedic aspect of this song is absolutely amazing. A song about feeling like c0mplete garbage, but has this happy and sarcastic tone to it makes the song come together for me. I rate the jam-ability of this song is a 9 out of 10. Obviously everyone has those days where they… you know, feel like… the title, which gives this masterpiece a sense of reliability. A verse of this song was also sang by a famous Minecraft twitch streamer and YouTuber that goes by the name TommyInnit. This definitely boosted this song’s popularity.

My Favorite Verse: “Are you feeling what I’m feeling?
I haven’t had a shower in the last nine days (ah, ah)
Staring at the ceiling and waiting for this feeling go away
But it won’t go away!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn8TL12lXR0&list=OLAK5uy_k90oyL9rMAHPNupVRm4P3Ed2zBJrKAbT8&index=13

9. “Comedy”

This one’s reasoning to be placed here should be pretty obvious. Bo sings and shares about his feeling towards wanting to help the world in some way during this pandemic. Though, its not strictly about the pandemic. It contains some ideas about systematic oppression and his own self doubt. On the other hand, these deep meanings are overshadowed with comedic punches like “the world needs direction from a white guy like me.” 

My favorite verse: “I know what I’ve got to do, healing the world with comedy making a literal difference metaphorically.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3byzgVCdRSw&list=OLAK5uy_k90oyL9rMAHPNupVRm4P3Ed2zBJrKAbT8&index=2

8. “30” 

       This one kind of gives me anxiety about getting older. Bo talks about how he feels about turning 30 years old. He sings about how active he used to be and he compares his life to others his age and feels that same sense of self doubt that really makes me feel for him. He also brings in a darker aspects as well. Though, in this special Bo has been really good about covering the depressing parts of the song with jokes and funny lines. 

My favorite verse: “my stupid friends are having stupid children”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n57aQQsQiwc&list=OLAK5uy_k90oyL9rMAHPNupVRm4P3Ed2zBJrKAbT8&index=11

 

7. “problematic”

      I love this song in particular just because of how Bo talks about the small and big things that he’s done when he was younger and his life when he was that age that can be considered problematic. He talks about how he wants people to hold him accountable for his actions. That’s what the whole song is about. One of the biggest segments of the song is about how he dressed up as Aladdin for Halloween when he was a kid. He kind of has a mini crisis and panic about what to do with the costume that is now in his mothers attic. Towards the end of the song he keeps repeating about how sorry he is, but again, this song isn’t one of those sad toned ones. He definitely has a skill in making more serious subjects sound comedic.

My favorite verse: “I’m problematic (he’s a problem)”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsTG1ETKkHo&list=OLAK5uy_k90oyL9rMAHPNupVRm4P3Ed2zBJrKAbT8&index=10

 

6. “Look whose inside again”

This song is one of the only ones that is sang seriously, and is about serious subject matter. In this song, Bo talks about how he kind of felt trapped inside of a room. He wanted to be funny, he wanted to make jokes, but he felt like he was encaged in a box. He talks about things that he did to try to cope with that feeling as well. Later in the song he sings “Well, Well, look who’s inside again” meaning that he now feels placed back in that room. That box. Or maybe that’s just how I interpret this song. It really makes me feel for him, and everyone else who has experienced that type of feeling.  Although this one lacks the comedic aspect, it really has the power to impact people. 

My favorite Verse: “Went out to look for a reason to hide again. Well, well, buddy you found it, now come out with your hands up we’ve got you surrounded”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3FnqD1UqwM&list=OLAK5uy_k90oyL9rMAHPNupVRm4P3Ed2zBJrKAbT8&index=9

 

5. “Don’t Wanna Know”

We’re going to start getting more into the meaning full songs as we get higher on the list. In the special, this song starts during the intermission. He asks how his watchers are feeling and if they like the show. He asks if its boring or if he has our attention. After each question he says he doesn’t want to know. I think this symbolizes how he is doubtful of his own importance and the acceptance of his work. He says he doesn’t want to know because he would rather not know anything than hear something negative. 

My favorite verse: “Do I have your attention? Yes or no? I bet I’d guess the answer but I don’t wanna know”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APGBRDeqsSI&list=OLAK5uy_k90oyL9rMAHPNupVRm4P3Ed2zBJrKAbT8&index=12

 

4. “Goodbye” 

        “Goodbye” is the last song, and one of the most vulnerable ones on the whole special. The ending. It contains a lot symbolism and is one of the more sad ones. There are a few comedic lines but the whole song revolves around something more serious. It has a sense of many different aspects of his personal issues. For example, he sings about how he thinks he’ll be stuck in this “box” forever, even when he’s irrelevant and broke. The pressure of this whole special. The pressure he’s had to endure to even reenter the comedic environment. This special had been distracting him for almost a year and half. He doesn’t really want it to end, he’s afraid of what his life will be after it. 

My favorite verse: “I’m slowly losing power, has it only been an hour?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TA9deCtUNGM&list=OLAK5uy_k90oyL9rMAHPNupVRm4P3Ed2zBJrKAbT8&index=19

3. “Welcome To The Internet”

On the surface, this song just goes through some of the contents of the internet and some things you can find there. Though, like every other song on this special, it contains an undertone. Internet addiction and its affects on our brains. He takes on a villain-like voice, narrating from the internet’s perspective and talks to the listener as if he did this on purpose. “It did all the things we designed it to do… now look at you.”

My favorite verse: “Apathy’s a tragedy and boredom is a crime”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1BneeJTDcU&list=OLAK5uy_k90oyL9rMAHPNupVRm4P3Ed2zBJrKAbT8&index=15

2. “That Funny Feeling”

Nostalgia. Nostalgia is the biggest feeling that I get from this song. It feels cozy. It gives me campfire vibes, yet its also mostly nostalgia from quarantine, which is something I think we can all agree that we don’t want to go back to. During the verses between the choruses Bo sings about different events and some internet trends that went on during the past. 

My favorite verse: “The surgeon generals’ pop-up shop, Robert Iger’s face
Discount Etsy agitprop, Bugles’ take on race. Female Colonel Sanders, easy answers, civil war.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPB6u1BqZqU&list=OLAK5uy_k90oyL9rMAHPNupVRm4P3Ed2zBJrKAbT8&index=17

1. “All Eyes On Me”

This is one of the more straightforward songs in terms of theme and subject matter, but in my opinion this is the most meaningful song. From what I hear in the song, it’s about Bo’s anxiety, the pressure he holds onto and how he describes that sinking feeling. Even the title of the song speaks out about the surrounded, paranoid feeling he gets. I believe that there is some dialogue with himself when he sings not just when the actual dialogue comes in during the middle of the song. During the speaking segment Bo talks about his five year break from doing his performances due to the panic attacks he had on stage. He asks for people to pray for him. I don’t necessarily think that this is a cry for help, but more of a way for him to let everything out. A coping mechanism. 

My favorite verse: “You say the ocean’s rising like I give a sh!t
You say the whole world’s ending, honey, it already did
You’re not gonna slow it, Heaven knows you tried
Got it? Good, now get inside”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Rx_p3NW7gQ&list=OLAK5uy_k90oyL9rMAHPNupVRm4P3Ed2zBJrKAbT8&index=18

 

Thank you for reading this far! Feel free to leave your top ten songs in the comments and maybe something that I missed when reading into the songs!

3 thoughts on “Top Ten Bo Burnham Songs From “Inside” and the Lyrical Genius Behind Each One.”

  1. Okay, can I just say.. THIS IS AMAZING!!!!! I love how you categorized each song and even named your favorite verse from each. You also provided links to them which was something I had not considered previously but is very smart for the reader to easily reach said songs. Also, the dialogue between himself when he was singing All Eyes On Me was something I had not considered, but now that I know about it I can’t stop thinking about it. Amazing first blog!! So excited for the next one.

  2. I have to agree with the placement of “All Eyes On Me”. The deeper meaning within the song, the feeling of everyone watching you in a moment. How, as an artist, when you’re given the spotlight, have to talk about all of these important issues, and how some people don’t even actually care, they just say what people want to hear.

  3. Locklyn, this was so fun to read! Your analyses of the songs in his special is so immersive that I feel like its summer again and I just finished watching it for the first time. I applaud you for taking the time to rank and review ten of the songs; it takes a lot of skill to not lose momentum when you’re writing a long piece like this, and you kept me engaged the entire time. Excellent work!

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