The Anthropology Song: A little bit Anthropologist

Wow, so two years later, and 100,000 views! I had no idea when I wrote this that it would take off like it did. I was invited to Philadelphia to play this song at the AAA meeting in 2009, and interviewed by Lorenz Khazaleh for antropologi (which you can read at… if you like). By far the best part is, I still am getting amazing messages from you folks from all over the world! Thanks so much, everyone; it’s been really fun to be part of this 🙂

I graduated with a BA in Anthro and Religious Studies in May ’09 from the University of British Columbia. I wrote this song while pursuing my Masters at the University of Toronto, which I completed in 2010. During that time I also worked as an Anthro TA and won a teaching award from the university, in part because of this song.

If you leave a comment, especially if you’ve watched this in a class, I’d love to know where/what school you’re from.

The chords are super simple: Am, C, G, D. Feel free to learn it, play it, reappropriate it, share it, and add your own verses! Also, any video responses are welcome.



Hey Mom & Dad, I’ve got to come out and say,
I’ve got to tell you, it’s the only way
Something I’ve learned about myself since I was away (at college)
I really think that I might be a little bit — of an Anthropologist

Mom & Dad, I’ve been led astray,
I’ve been experimenting with archaeolog(a)y
On an excavation, tried C-14 dating
And ground penetrating radar for the first time — (if you know what I mean)

I see the visions in your head of me digging up dino bones
Or do I study insects in a laboratory all alone?
But I’m just looking for the story of our people as a whole
Wanting to learn about and understand all cultures as our own …

The World seems to increasingly need, Anthropology
Now we’re exploring, asking Who Why and How we be People
The difference between us, is not so much
Tell me your story, your piece of what is Humanity.

Mom & Dad, I think you should know,
I do fieldwork, everywhere I go
I want to travel, see Peru and Vietnam
My heroes are Margaret Mead and Barack Obama’s mom
— (did you know she was an Anthropologist?)

If you think of natives on an island painted up singing war songs
It’s misleading though historically you’re not totally wrong
But you can do Anthropology reading graffitied bathroom stalls
Or in a war zone … or a December shopping mall.

Then there’s Linguistics — I think that’s how we use our tongues;
Physical Anthro says what body parts we all have in common,
You can even study monkeys, I hear that part’s really fun
All these fields tell us part of what it means to be human …


Hey Mom & Dad, it wasn’t how you raised me.
Anthro professors, they’re all kinda crazy
Got their agendas, trying to recruit our P-O-Vs
Deep down inside they’re all in love with — Malinowski

At the same time, I think it’s what my heart has always known
Do you remember Hallowe’en when I was Indiana Jones?
The other kids they stopped coming around, I had to play alone
I guess they didn’t like my kinship charts, of all their homes.

Some cross-cultural connexions might just help us all relate
Misunderstanding’s at the root of so much global hate
How many wars, metaphors or literally,
Could be avoided if the world was “us”, instead of “you” and “me”?

  • Landon Canida

    This was really well done!