Given Johnson’s laid back persona and previous collection of songs, this particular song, “My Mind is For Sale” was taken by surprise by many of Johnson’s fans and critics due to its social critiques. However, Johnson makes these critiques in subtle ways throughout the song. I believe that it is only through the interviews with Johnson about the song, as well as the music video, that makes it a bit more obvious as to the main critique of the song: Trump and his wall.


Primarily, taking a look at the beginning lyrics, it is evident that Johnson is going to critique someone in particular, noted by “he”:


“I heard he likes to race

I heard there’s six or seven words he likes to use

Are always in bad taste”


Intrigued, this certain person is not named. Johnson continues on, stating,


“The cameras zoom into

His mouth begins to move

Those hateful words he uses”


From these lyrics, we can conclude that this person is a public figure, given the presence of cameras that zoom into his mouth while he talks. However, the words he uses are both “always in bad taste,” as well as “hateful.”


Johnson continues his critique of this man through the chorus, which seems to point to a tangible social issue, namely, “walls”:


“I don’t care for your paranoid

‘Us against them’ walls

I don’t care for your careless

‘Me first, gimme gimme’ appetite at all”


Through these lyrics it is evident that this man is paranoid, building walls to block and divide people against one another. These actions are also interpreted by Johnson as careless and selfish with the man’s “me first, gimme gimme appetite.”


Although Johnson is extremely subtle in his lyrics, he has been quite outspoken in several interviews about this song. To me, I think that Johnson made the subject of this song, Trump and his wall, a bit subtler for several reasons. One may be because Johnson is relatively new to the protest music spectrum. Another may be because his collective body of music, for the most part, has always been on a gentler note. In the past, Johnson’s music touched on subjects such as happiness, banana pancakes and Curious George. However, the last reason may be because Johnson wants this song to apply to not just one individual, but a collection. Perhaps Johnson wants this song to apply to all people of power who divide and carelessly create chaos in their power. Rather than serving for the good of the people, these public figures actively divide.


Leaving the subtlety of the subject aside, Johnson does not offer any clear or concrete solutions to this social critique. Toward the end of the song Johnson says,


“It’s absurd to believe that we might

Deserve anything

As if its balanced in the end

And the good guys always win”


This section of lyrics in particular confuses me – is Johnson saying that the good guys always win, or that it is absurd to believe that we might believe that this is the case? Perhaps deeper investigation into this song or further analysis of the lyrics will point to a clearer picture of what Johnson is trying to say with these lines.


I look forward to continuing my research and analysis of this song.