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The Meaning of Mac DeMarco’s “Preoccupied”

Mac DeMarco’s “Preoccupied” is one of the most musically chill tracks on his 2019 album Here Comes the Cowboy. With its slow, meandering groove, you get the sense of floating along without a worry or care.

While “Preoccupied” may be a laid-back listen, the lyrics actually paint a dystopian picture of the modern world. With this song, Mac suggests that society has gone too far already, because we’re caught up in the world that exists within our cell phones instead of the one right before our eyes.

“Preoccupied” Lyrics Meaning

Let’s highlight some of these lyrics to see how Mac does this.

Verse One

“Passin’ around, your blood and your body”

The opening lyric reminds one of a mindless existence, with life reduced to just blood and body. It also suggests a feeling of being used, or “passed around.” Just a generally negative, listless feeling, which all of us must be familiar with these days.

“No conversation to ease up your mind”

Not talking to anybody, you’re left to fester in your own mind.

“And nobody seems to see the outside of it”

Worse yet, nobody is looking outside of their own mind, so the festering is left to the internal devices.

“Preoccupied, and nobody’s hiding it”

At first, perhaps we would try to hide our preoccupation. But eventually, things progressed to the point of this being the reality of life.

Verse Two

“Opened your mind, filled it with bullshit”

This is the most powerful lyric in the song. It’s a play on the common idea of opening your mind. However, DeMarco flips this idea on its head, suggesting the open mind just becomes vulnerable to the bullshit that gets stuffed inside of it. This is pretty clearly about social media and its toxic effect on society.

“Locked up your heart, without even knowing it”

The unintended consequence of this is that you close yourself off to the wonders of human connection, including love.

“It must be a sign, the days that we’re living in”

He ties everything together, and says that all of the aforementioned observations must just be a sign of the times we’re living in.

“Preoccupied” offers both a laid-back listen and a compelling-yet-subtle commentary on modern society that makes it a fan-favorite from Here Comes the Cowboy. Listen below.

Mac DeMarco – “Preoccupied” (2019)

Mac also released the lofi demo tapes to Here Comes the Cowboy. Hear that version of “Preoccupied” below.

Mac DeMarco – “Preoccupied” (Demo)