"Human Wheels" as written by and John/green Mellencamp....
This land today, shall draw its last breath
And take into its ancient depths
This frail reminder of its giant, dreaming self
While I, with human-hindered eyes
Unequal to the sweeping curve of life
Stand on this single print of time

Human wheels spin round and round
While the clock keeps the pace
Human wheels spin round and round
Help the light to my face

That time, today, no triumph gains
At this short success of age
This pale reflection of its brave and
Blundering deed
For I, descend from this vault
Now dreams beyond my earthly fault
Knowledge, sure, from the seed

Human wheels spin round and round
While the clock keeps the pace
Human wheels spin round and round
Help the light to my face

This land, today, my tears shall taste
And take into its dark embrace
This love, who in my beating heart endures
Assured, by every sun that burns
The dust to which this flesh shall return
It is the ancient, dreaming dust of God

Human wheels spin round and round
While the clock keeps the pace
Human wheels spin round and round
Help the light to my face
Human wheels spin round and round
While the clock keeps the pace
Human wheels spin round and round
Help the light to my face


Lyrics submitted by SuZ

"Human Wheels" as written by John Mellencamp George Michael Green

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

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Human Wheels song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentYou know, It dissapoints me a bit to see no comments on such an amazing song.
    The first verse, to me, is making a statement about the vastness of the world, and how insignificant a single human life is to it. "Unequal to the sweeping curve of life,stand on this single print of time."
    The meaning I take from the chorus is a sort of realization of the difference the human race in general does make, stating that "human wheels" keep the world moving forward."While the clock keeps the pace" I guess could refer to the keeping of history;but seeing how humans keep the world going does "help the light to my face"
    I am not quite sure about the second verse, though it seems almost to refer to a dissapointing or dismal part of the timeline.
    The meaning of the third verse seems like a simple enough meaning.
    Keep im mind,this is simply my opinion,I would love to hear other people's interpretations of the lyrics.I have another theory about the point of view the song is coming from, but I want to read other people's ideas.
    Midknighton April 13, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI always took the "human wheels" to be about alienation of labour - Peoples lives tick away, just wheels in the machine, while the world sweeps around, huge and incomprehensible and wonderful, which the narrator grieves at, but refuses to relinquish the idea. I may be strongly influenced by knowing of Mellencamps general leftist tendencies though.
    tdpon June 06, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree that this is a great song, and I'm surpirsed there are not more comments.

    I think the song is written from the perspective of someone who is mourning the death of someone they loved and admired, possibly a "larger than life" father figure. This loss is causing him to reflect on the nature of life and death. He experiences a feeling of insignificace. There is also a recognition that life goes on (human wheels spin round and round) while our time on earth always grows shorter (while the clock keeps the pace).

    The lyrics are full of images of death and burial ("draw its last breath" "vault" "pale reflection" and "dust to which this flesh shall return").
    GeneralDisorderon May 26, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFrom the first time I heard this song, I thought of the Eastern Religions (or philosophies), with their emphasis on rebirth and the endless cycle of life. Too me, the song speaks of a person understanding their place and time.
    nealmortonon May 25, 2015   Link

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