Daydream Believer

The Monkees - Greatest Hits
I was listening to Daydream Believer (or Beleeevah) on the The Monkees’ Greatest Hits album but couldn’t understand the dialog before the song starts. Google revealed a raging debate on the subject and naturally I had to listen to it over and over again in order to form my own theory.

Chip: “7A.”
Davy: “What number is this Chip?”
Monkees: “7A!”
Davy: “Okay, don’t mean it, don’t get excited man. It’s ’cause I’m short, I know.”

Listen to it here

I’m still not sure about the words in italics. It sounds like a word starting with “n” like “not”, but I’ve listened to it over 50 times now and still can’t figure it out. There are a few other versions but none of them seem to fit.

During the search I found, a free question answering service. I submitted my question to the Monkees category and anxiously await a reply. Can you believe there were 20 Monkees experts? Most of the other categories I checked only had three or four, though The Simpsons had an impressive showing of 55. It appears to be a prime resource for answering obscure questions regarding anything from pulling your eyebrows and eyelashes to duct tape. I looked for a Honda repair expert for Carly but only found a lone expert who asks how to adjust the headlights on a 2000 Honda Civic LX. I think he inadvertently signed up as an expert when trying to post his question. He was a mechanic for 16 years though, so he might be able to help.

Well, that was more of a tangent than I had planned. Back to the Monkees. Here’s the meaning of the song and here is a bit of trivia: Mike Nesmith’s mother (Mike was a member of the Monkees) invented liquid paper.

An eyebrow-pulling expert? What the…?


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  1. Oh, believe me, Dan, it takes years of practice to finely hone the technique of removing stray hairs from eyebrows.

    Speaking of which, since most parts of our bodies seem to serve a purpose, what is the point of eyebrows? I have known kids who shaved them off and suffered torment but I don’t know that anyone would get teased if none of us had eyebrows.

    And if you ever happen to see “Look Who’s Talking” on tv, stick around and watch for the grandfather in the nursing home. His eyebrows are scary! I think he could catch critters with them.

    Comment by Renee on June 19, 2003 @ 5:25 am
  2. Also, regarding the Monkees, don’t know if you recall but they had quite a resurgence in popularity in the 80s. MTV started broadcasting the shows and that spawned it. (Come to think of it, they did the same thing with Batman around that time.) My friends and I adored the 60s Michael Nesmith,who wanted nothing to do with it anymore. We saw them here twice on tour and I procured Davey Jones autograph at a booksigning in ’87.

    “Daydream Believer” is okay. But the really grooving ones that jump to mind are “Last train to Clarksville” and “Not your stepping stone”.

    Comment by Renee on June 19, 2003 @ 5:33 am
  3. As far as the purpose of eyebrows goes, someone asked Yahoo that very question. The two major answers seemed to be to keep sweat and rain out of your eyes and to aid in communication. I know I talk with my eyebrows all the time. I’d be crippled without them!

    And I never wondered what any Monkees songs meant. They’re Monkees songs; why should they mean anything? I used to wander around singing ‘Daydream Believer’ to myself, though, when I was a kid.

    Comment by Levi on June 19, 2003 @ 9:09 am
  4. Listening to the monkeys really chaps my hide. It sounds like he’s saying “I know ya don’t mean it” vs. “don’t mean it”. But he’s mumbling and the accent makes it less apparent. Either that or he’s saying “You are Satan’s play thing, worship your dark master!”. One of the two.

    Comment by jason on June 19, 2003 @ 12:37 pm
  5. Whoa…that interpretation of “Daydream Believer” is just waaaaay too deep for me.

    Comment by David on June 22, 2003 @ 10:04 pm
  6. Only one thing to say…
    “Sam was sell’n watches from a suitcase on a tv tray…”

    Comment by lordzoltron on October 6, 2003 @ 7:08 pm
  7. I love the song “Daydream Believer”. It is the best oldies song ever! I like other songs from the Monkees too but this is my favorite. Infact, this is my favorite song of all from my point of view. Anybody who doesen’t like the Monkees are crazy.


    Comment by Jarrett on April 10, 2004 @ 2:14 pm
  8. I was able to slow it down using Windows Media Player 9.
    Here is the dialogue as I hear it at the beginning of Daydream Believer.

    Chip: 7A
    Davy: What number is this Chip?
    Other 3 Monkees: 7-A!
    OK!, know what I mean, like don’t get excited man.
    It’s cause I’m short I know.

    “Ya know what I mean” was a common expression at that time.
    Also “Like ——- man”

    Comment by Jim Allegretto on December 22, 2004 @ 8:09 pm
  9. A few more thoughts on the subject here.
    I used to watch the Monkees show a lot as a kid.
    If I remember right, one of the big running gags on the show was the fact that Davy was short. Oh Davy, that happened because you’re short, the other Monkees would say. So Davy is just kind of beating them to the punchline by saying I know, I know, the reason I didn’t hear Chip is because I’m short.

    “Ya know what I mean” was a common expression used by the tough guys in the old movies in those days as well. They would always being saying, “Ya know what I mean, see…..” It was so common that people in those days would always would follow whatever they said with “Ya know what I mean?”
    “Like, far-out man” was also a common expression.
    Today that expression has been kind of shortened to “Like, ya know?”

    That is my overly long reason why I think, “OK, know what I mean. Like don’t get excited man. It’s cause I’m short, I know.” Makes sense.

    Comment by Jim Allegretto on December 23, 2004 @ 5:30 am
  10. Jim: Thanks for the explanation. I listened to it again with your guess at what he said, but it sounds like he says less than that. Maybe he’s just saying it very quickly, but it seems like too many words for what I’m hearing. I’ll have to slow it down like you did and try it again.

    Comment by dan on December 23, 2004 @ 12:07 pm
  11. Did you try it slowed down yet? (Although you might have had more important things to do with the holiday and all.)

    Comment by Jim Allegretto on December 26, 2004 @ 9:38 pm
  12. I haven’t tried it yet, but I still plan to.

    Comment by dan on December 28, 2004 @ 10:49 am
  13. I slowed it down and I can’t see how he can be saying all those words. From what I hear, there are three syllables after ‘ok’ and before ‘don’t get excited man.’

    Here’s the clip I made of it slowed down.

    Comment by dan on December 29, 2004 @ 11:03 am
  14. I listened to your clip. It sounds pretty good. I happen to like listening to people who have British accents. I have watched a lot of British shows and have even stayed in London for a week. One thing I know is that they can really clip their words off. One of my favorite bands is The Who. They always pronouce it tha-oo. Almost as one word. I have the Kids are Alright on DVD and have watched it alot. If I were to type what I hear it would be like this.

    Comment by Jim Allegretto on December 30, 2004 @ 11:21 pm
  15. Jim: Maybe that’s the explanation. He’s clipping the words off so it sounds like he’s not saying them all.

    Comment by dan on December 31, 2004 @ 2:12 pm
  16. I always wondered what they were saying at the beginning!
    I’m still in the dark about the whole meaning of the song though…
    We go from alarm clocks that don’t work to cold razors to homecoming queens…
    Maybe I’m over thinking a pop song…

    Comment by Anonymous on January 19, 2006 @ 2:55 am
  17. Greetings chaps and chapesses, stumbled across this site after having become addicted to Daydream Believer for the umpteenth time in my life.

    As an Engglishman and a northerner at that(same as Davy Jones), I’m 99 percent certain he’s just slightly rushing the words as we have a tendency to do ‘okknowhaddameanlikedon’getexcitedman’

    The fact he has a slight mancunian/livepudlian twang to his voice also means he’s likely to pronounce what as’wot’ or ‘wad’ so you’ll get knowaddamean, although I think he’s actually clipping the word into know wo’mean


    sorry if that’s all completely useless but I tried to give a phonetic rendering. I can always record it for demonstration purposes if you like!

    Comment by Gav Powell on August 21, 2006 @ 6:34 pm
  18. Gav: A recording would be great. I keep listening to it but I still have a hard time hearing how he manages to fit all that into such a short space.

    Comment by dan on August 22, 2006 @ 6:47 am
  19. Gav Powell from England vindicates my explaination of the comment. Thanks Gav. The only correction I would make in your pheonetics is this okayknowwo’ameanlikedon’tgedexcitedman’.

    Not bad for an American eh? : )

    Comment by Jim Allegretto on April 12, 2008 @ 4:06 pm
  20. Does micky where a wig in the first season of their t.v. show?

    Comment by jim mueller on January 26, 2011 @ 2:27 pm
  21. Now that I’ve considered it, I’d say Jean, or Gene, is telling in first person of unrequited love.

    On the Monkees first album there’s a song, sung by Davy:

    I guess I should have stayed in bed
    My pillow wrapped around my head
    Instead of waking up to find
    A nightmare of a different kind
    She went away
    This just doesn’t seem to be my day…

    Comment by Betty on March 7, 2012 @ 8:07 pm
  22. The last part of Davy’s sentence is “just cause I’m sure if I know” – nothing about being short. I have no idea how you got that idea…

    Comment by Bonnie on September 10, 2013 @ 4:27 pm

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