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Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Coin-Operated Boy on Wikipedia
"Coin-Operated Boy"
Coin boy.jpg
Single by The Dresden Dolls
from the album The Dresden Dolls
ReleasedDecember 13, 2004
GenreDark cabaret
Writer(s)Amanda Palmer
The Dresden Dolls singles chronology

"Coin-Operated Boy" is a single by The Dresden Dolls duo, taken from the self-titled debut album The Dresden Dolls. It was produced by Martin Bisi and released on December 13, 2004 by Roadrunner Records. "Coin-Operated Boy" was written by Amanda Palmer. The song makes heavy use of staccato, and includes instruments such as a toy piano.


  • 1 Interpretation
  • 2 Music video
  • 3 Cultural impact
  • 4 Track listing
  • 5 Personnel
  • 6 Notes
  • 7 External links


Palmer expounds on the many advantages an artificial partner has over real ones in a tick-tock rhythm reminiscent of automata. The song has broad overtones of loneliness and a desire for a relationship with idealized physical affection but no personal sacrifice or chance of getting emotionally hurt.[1] Caroline Bologna of The Huffington Post writes that the song "suggests themes of masturbation as it explores the idea of the pleasure of love without the 'complications' of a real partner.'[2]

Music video

The music video was shot, cut and directed by Michael Pope; it features Amanda Palmer as the protagonist of the song who turns to a man who is literally coin-operated (Brian Viglione) after being disappointed with other relationships. The video has a strong focus on her disillusionment with the coin-operated man.

Cultural impact

In Australia, the song was ranked #12 on Triple J's Hottest 100 of 2004.

In July 2005, the Internet Sketch Comedy Show Moron Life released their parody of "Coin-Operated Boy" entitled "Beer-Activated Girl"[3][4] to the delight of both Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione. The song was also parodied by Voltaire in his version "Coin-Operated Goi".[5]

Since January 2007, "Coin-Operated Boy" is used in a commercial for the Austrian jam brand Darbo.[6]

In 2009, the song was used in an Italian television commercial for the backpack Double.

It was also featured in The Dresden Dolls Companion.

Track listing

German CD single
  1. "Coin-Operated Boy" - 3:33
  2. "Coin-Operated Boy" (Live) - 5:44 (This is the same version as the one found on A Is for Accident.)
  3. "Baby One More Time" (Live) - 3:20


  • Amanda Palmer - piano, vocals, lyricist, composer, songwriter
  • Brian Viglione - drums, guitar
  • Martin Bisi - Memory Man


  1. ^ "Contact Booking". The Dresden Dolls. 2006-01-15. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  2. ^ Bologna, Caroline (August 27, 2015). "22 Sexy Songs That Give Female Masturbation The Love It Deserves". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 13, 2016. 
  3. ^ Moron Life. "Beer-Activated Girl on". Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Moron Life. "Beer Activated Girl on YouTube". Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Voltaire sings his version of ''Coin Operated Boy''". Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  6. ^ "Darbo Homepage: Description of commercial". Retrieved 2012-01-01. 

External links

  • The Dresden Dolls official site including lyrics and downloads
  • Music Video Director's site including music video
  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics

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