菅野よう子 (Yoko Kanno) – “Cats on Mars” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

“Cats on Mars” by Yoko Kanno is a playful, enigmatic piece. It uses whimsical, nonsensical lyrics to evoke a sense of otherworldliness. This song isn’t about a person or a traditional story. Instead, it’s about creating an atmosphere. Kanno seems to want to transport us to a different reality – one that is carefree and boundless, much like the way we imagine cats on Mars would be.

There’s a joy in the absurdity here. Kanno challenges us to find meaning in the meaningless, inviting us to a world where conventional rules don’t apply.

Ever wondered what it would be like to drift in a world unbound by logic, where the whimsical reigns supreme? “Cats on Mars” offers just that – a musical journey to a fantastical cosmos. It’s a song that doesn’t just play to the ears but dances with the imagination.


“Cats on Mars” Lyrics Meaning

Yoko Kanno’s “Cats on Mars” is a fascinating puzzle. The lyrics, a series of nonsensical phrases like “Ba-tu bah” and “Ih da coh,” don’t translate to any known language. This linguistic choice is key to understanding the song’s appeal and meaning. It’s not about the words themselves, but about the feelings they evoke.

Though seemingly random, each phrase carries a rhythmic, almost hypnotic quality. They mimic the playful, curious nature of cats, creatures known for their whimsy and unpredictability. The repetitive structure – “Ahn du sei, ahn du seila” – mirrors the repetitive, often inscrutable actions of cats. It’s as if the song is an ode to their mysterious, carefree existence.

As the song progresses, the phrases “In no no la moh tic biz ehr” and “Ahn jis toh sih tu shehr” further add to this playful, otherworldly atmosphere. It’s like Kanno is creating her own language, one that’s understood not through words, but through emotions and imagination. The song doesn’t just tell a story; it creates an experience – one that’s free from the constraints of reality.

The Story Behind “Cats on Mars”

Yoko Kanno’s inspiration for “Cats on Mars” seems rooted in a desire to explore the unexplored, to break free from conventional songwriting. At the time of its creation, Kanno was known for her work that often pushed the boundaries of music, blending various genres and sounds.

“Cats on Mars” stands as a testament to her creative ethos. It’s a song that doesn’t fit neatly into any category. Instead, it carves out its own niche – one that’s as enigmatic and captivating as the idea of cats roaming the red planet. Kanno’s state of mind, it seems, was one of fearless experimentation, of wanting to challenge her listeners to think and feel beyond the ordinary.

This song, therefore, is more than just a collection of sounds and phrases. It’s an invitation to let go of our preconceived notions of what music should be. It urges us to embrace the unknown, and to find joy in the nonsensical. In a way, it’s a reflection of Kanno’s own artistic journey – constantly evolving, endlessly curious, and always surprising.