Watch Dan Deacon’s trippy animated video for ‘When I Was Done Dying’

Electronic composer Dan Deacon has had a fruitful relationship with Adult Swim these past few years. His 2012 album “America” was the centerpiece of their inaugural “Off The Air” special, he helped score one of the creepiest things ever to play on any network, “cartoon” or otherwise, and he even made a cameo as a detective in said creepshow. Now he’s done yet another collaboration with Adult Swim’s “Off The Air” and it is truly a thing of beauty.

Taken from his recent album “Gliss Riffer,” “When I Was Done Dying” is a fantastical meditation on what happens to one’s consciousness after death that reads like Walt Whitman having an ayahuasca ceremony with Dr. Seuss. For the video, Adult Swim got nine animators to work on various sections of the song, then fused them together into one, long, psychedelic journey. In order of appearance, these masters of animation are: Jake Fried, Chad VanGaalen, Dimitri Stankowicz, Colin White, Taras Hrabowsky, Anthony Schepperd, Masanobu Hiraoka, Caleb Wood and KOKOFREAKBEAN.

As you can see, many of the animators took the lyrics quite literally, and it’s a pleasure to watch them follow the song’s “I” as he enters a cave, becomes a tree, and takes an extremely classic DMT trip through neon tunnels and alien cities and out into space. Whee!

Read the lyrics, watch the video, and ponder how much more connected you’d feel to everything if there was just a little bit of whatever Dan’s having in your morning coffee each day.

When I was done dying my conscience regained
So I began my struggle a nothingness strained
Out a flash made of time my new form blasted out
And it startled me so and I burst out a shout
At which my legs ran frantic like birds from a nest
And I ran until drained leaving no choice but rest
So I fell asleep softly at the edge of a cave
But I should have gone in deeper but I’m not so brave
And like that I was torn out and thrown in the sky
And I said all my prayers because surely I’ll die
As I crashed down and smashed into earth, into dirt
How my skin did explode leaving only my shirt
But from shirt grew a tree and then tree grew a fruit
And I became the seed and that seed was a brute
And I clawed through the ground with my roots and my leaves
And I tore up the shirt and I ate up the sleeves
And they laughed out at me and said “what is your plan?”
But their question was foreign I could not understand
When then suddenly I’m ripped up and placed into a mouth
And it swallowed me down at which time I head south
So I said
Hey ya e ya
Hey hey hey

Well I woke up to see them, these two mighty steeds
With their mouths grinning wildly expressing my needs
As they stood there above me, being flanked on each side
I felt no need to fear them, no reason to hide
So I reached up to touch but they faded too soon
Yet their mouths still remained and stacked up towards the moon
How that ladder of mouth waved so soft in the night
And I looked up in awe at that beautiful sight
And I dreamt about climbing into the night sky
But I knew had I touched them they’d mouth back ‘bye bye’
So I got up and walked down the path in the dark
And there deep in the distance my eye caught a spark
Of a crab twice my size with incredible strength
Oh it greeted me kindly and then we all drank
And we drooled out together right onto the ground
And the ocean grew up quickly right up all around
And the earth looked at me and said “wasn’t that fun?”
And I replied “I’m sorry if I hurt anyone”
And without even thinking cast me into space
But before she did that she wiped off my own face
She said better luck next time don’t worry so much
Without ears I couldn’t hear I could just feel the touch
As I feel asleep softly at the edge of a cave
But I should have gone deeper but I’m not so brave
I said
Hey ya e ya
Hey ya e ya
Hey ya e ya
Hey hey hey