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The Meaning Behind The Song: Amazon by M.I.A.

The Meaning Behind The Song: Amazon by M.I.A.


I first heard the song “Amazon” by M.I.A. on a late summer evening while browsing through music playlists at a friend’s house. I was captivated by its unique blend of rap, electro-pop, and dancehall influences, but what truly stood out to me was the deeper meaning behind the lyrics. As a music enthusiast, I believe it’s important to explore the stories and messages that artists convey through their songs. In this article, I will delve into the meaning behind the song “Amazon” by M.I.A., along with some additional information about its production.

The Lyrics

The lyrics of “Amazon” touch upon themes of identity, longing for home, and the search for freedom. The song starts with the lines, “I was missin’ in action on the side of a carton / I was taken in a Datsun from a street in Acton.” These lyrics suggest a feeling of being lost or missing, perhaps referencing M.I.A.’s personal experiences as a refugee. The mention of Acton, a district in London, adds a geographical context to the song.

M.I.A. continues to sing about sipping on a Rubicon and thinking about where she comes from, indicating a reflection on her background and roots. The recurring line, “Can I call home? Please, can I go home?” portrays a sense of longing and displacement.

The pre-chorus lyrics mention painted nails, sunsets, palm trees, and homemade lanterns in the Amazon, creating a vivid and dreamy imagery. These lines could be symbolic of the beauty and allure of nature, contrasting with the reality of being held captive or feeling lost.

In the chorus, M.I.A. repeatedly requests someone to come and get her. This plea for rescue adds another layer to the song, suggesting a desire to escape or be freed from a situation.

The second verse further explores the theme of wanting to be left alone and not seeking attention. M.I.A. describes smoking a Benson, which can be interpreted as an act of rebellion or self-soothing. The lyrics express frustration and a willingness to scream for a nation, potentially symbolizing a call for change or revolution.

The third verse introduces the concept of shared experiences and blurred boundaries. M.I.A. sings about minutes turning into hours and the merging of bodies, referencing intimate connections that transcend time and physicality. The ambiguous ending lines reveal a shift in perspective, pondering the well-being of another person.

The song concludes with M.I.A. affirming her identity and accepting the fact that she may be forgotten. This can be seen as a statement of resilience and self-assurance, embracing one’s own worth despite external validation.

The Personal Connection

Listening to “Amazon” brings back memories of my own journey of self-discovery and longing for a place to call home. Like M.I.A., I have also felt the weight of being disconnected from the familiar and searching for a sense of belonging. The lyrics resonate with emotions of vulnerability, longing, and the relentless pursuit of freedom.

Additional Information

“Amazon” is a track from M.I.A.’s 2004 album titled “Piracy Funds Terrorism.” The song was produced by M.I.A. and Richard X and released in December 2004. It incorporates elements of various genres such as rap, electro-pop, dancehall, and hip-hop. The mixing and engineering for the song were done by Pete Hofmann.

It is worth noting that the song “Amazon” interpolates another song called “KILL YOURSELF” by Operation Sodasteal, showcasing the influence and creativity of M.I.A. in her music-making process.


“Amazon” by M.I.A. is a powerful song that delves into themes of identity, longing for home, and the pursuit of freedom. Through its captivating lyrics and unique blend of musical genres, the song resonates deeply with listeners, evoking a range of emotions. By exploring the meaning behind this song, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the artistry and personal experiences that shape M.I.A.’s music.

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