"The Maker Makes" as written by and Rufus Wainwright....
One more chain I break
to get me closer to you
One more chain does the maker make
to keep me from bustin' through

One more notch I scratch
to keep me thinkin' of you
One more notch does the maker make
upon my face so blue

Get along little doggies, get along little doggies

One more smile I fake,
'n try my best to be glad
One more smile does the maker make,
because he knows I'm sad

Oh Lord, how I know,
Oh Lord, how I see,
that only can the maker make a happy man of me

Get along little doggies, get along little doggies, get along


Lyrics submitted by badnitrus

The Maker Makes song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThe Maker is God, obviously. I don't agree with any of the above comments that there is any reference either in the song or the film to God forbidding the relationship. You cannot know this at all from the perspective of a heterosexual, sorry but as well-meaning as you may be, you just can't. Gay men as much have a relationship with God as anyone else, and most Gay men who believe in God are not really very likely to accept the fire and brimstone part. There is no religious conflict in the film. The only reference either man makes is a prayer of thanks when they are together again. It is about society and the pressure to conform and how that gets in the way of their love, whether they are gay, bisexual or whatever.

    The song is just a song about looking for love, although it resonates more I think if you are gay, because it is harder to form a long term relationship because of the way gay men are and the way society is.

    As to the Maker, the song is really saying that whatever I do I can't choose whether it will make me happy. That is decided for me. It is a song about accepting that the world is and I am the way God intended us to be. Personally - I think it would be nice if the world would sometimes realise that.
    aaronfromhastingson April 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song was written for the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack so, obviously, it relates to the relationship between the two main characters. I think it has to do with the fact that what they feel for each other is essentially forbidden by the maker (or God) and their society and no matter how hard they try, they can never really be together. So they have to continue living ("get along little doggies") and pretending to be happy ("one more smile I fake").
    ohdelilahon January 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is heartbreaking and beautiful. "One more notch I scratch / to keep me thinking of you" -- I interpret this as the person being in a sexual (or romantic) relationship with someone whom he should not. He's had encounters that are frowned upon... so he scratches another notch (in his belt), makes others think it was another (woman, perhaps, instead of a man). I dunno. Obviously the song was written for the film but I'm sure there are many a' folk in a relationship frowned upon by society who can identify with this song. Like Rufus Wainwright... haha.

    "One more smile I fake / 'n try my best to be glad / One more smile does the maker make / because he knows I'm sad". Yeah.
    orangemilyon January 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really love this song. I think you both are absolutely right. I love the whole soundtrack to Brokeback Mountain (love the movie!) and the fact that all the songs (the ones that were written for it anyways) fit in with the story so well. They're heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time. I especially like the istrumental music, mainly The Wings. You can just imagine the two characters in the mountains when you hear them.
    Dawnie-7on January 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, the person singing (Jack or Ennis or a representation of anyone who can't have what they want because it's seen as wrong) is being sarcastic. He feels that every time he tries to be just a little bit closer to happiness, his maker makes it a little harder for him to reach what he yearns for. Like the phrase of taking one step forward and two steps back. He even feels like God is taunting him, creating smiles on others to contrast more sharply with the pain he carries around with him. He has been taught over and over that these feelings he has are wrong, that his love comes from the devil and that God will hate him for what he cannot help but feel.

    The last verse, to me, states the irony of the whole mentality:
    Oh Lord, how I know,
    Oh Lord, how I see,
    that only can the maker make a happy man of me

    He obviously is not happy and has not 'seen the light' about how to live. If you look at the song from Ennis' perspective, which probably makes the most sense to do, he winds up in a little trailer with only memories and the two shirts intertwined in his closet to comfort him. This is what his Maker has brought him in teaching him the "right ways" to be a good man.
    It is a painful sad song, and I think it captures the overriding emotions of the movie very well.
    been_the_oneon February 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe beautiful, lullaby sort of quality of this songs makes one think of a ditty being sung by old wranglers to calm the cattle on a trail somewhere in the old west. The hymn-like harmony makes the “maker” in the lyrics seem to be God. However, this causes the lyrics to seem like the punishment of God for Jack and Ennis doing something wrong. I note that the way the lyrics appear on this website, “maker” is spelled with a lower case “m”. If this is the way Wainwright wrote the words, then he clearly did not “the maker” as God. I think of this song as Jack’s song, not Ennis’ song. Sing the words as though they were being sung by Jack, and the song will take on a whole different meaning. Nothing that Jack can do will get past the barriers that Ennis has placed to “protect” himself. Jack knows that only “the maker”, Ennis, can make them both happy men.
    ancientageon February 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAt first, I thought this song was about God (Maker with a capital M) keeping the two people apart. But then I thought maybe the Maker can mean society in general. But after reading ancientage's notion, I have to agree that the song does not mean God as the maker at all. The song must be from the perspective of one of the characters, but which? I agree with ancientage that it makes the most sense that this song is sung by Jack about Ennis. Let's examine the text:

    "One more chain I break" - This verse tells how Jack tries to get closer to Ennis but Ennis keeps putting up the walls.

    "One more notch I scratch" - This verse reminds me of someone in jail scratching marks on the walls to count the days. Jack had been waiting for Ennis to drop those chains for over 20 years.

    "Get along little doggies (?)" - "Get along" I guess means just keep on living as someone else here has said. When I first heard the song, I had a bit of trouble understanding a couple of lines, but this wasn't one of them. I am still certain that Rufus sang "lil' darlings", not "doggies". Maybe "doggies" is the official lyric, but I don't know. "Lil' darlings" would tie to the story more because in the book, Ennis uses this term for both Jack and his daughters, the only people he really loves in the world.

    "One more smile I fake" - This verse tells how both men are unhappy. Ennis also fakes being happy for Jack's sake. The last time they were together, they had a fight to expose their fake smiles.

    "Oh Lord, how I know" - This verse says it all, that Ennis alone can make Jack happy, but Ennis woldn't allow himself to do that.
    lostpuppyon February 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe "Maker" in this song is definitely God. It totally fits the theme of Brokeback Mountain. It's so sad! In the movie, the love between Jack and Ennis is ruined by society's lack of tolerance. But, in true life, God frowns upon love between two men. He wants homosexuals to be truly happy and to find joy in him without sexual expression with each other. This seems unfair--and sure feels like it. The words, "Oh Lord, how I see, that only can the maker make a happy man of me" are so true. --Just ask anyone who keeps having brief encounters: they are searching in the wrong place. Homosexuals can discover happiness by letting God love them . . .
    LoveSong44on February 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with Ancientage. Dispense with the judgemental comments about God. Love does not insist on it's own way(through judgementalism). In fact, Love IS insisting on it's way in this story and it is Jack's song (more than Ennis') about the frustration of breaking through the strictures of society to experience love the way he and Ennis know it to be for them.
    b06sajon January 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti was flipping channels and the credits for brokeback mountain were scrolling down and i heard this song. it was so beautiful it almost made me cry, so i bought it off itunes then and there. it's such a sad love song, so tragic, but so amazingly beautiful at the same time.
    thelighthousestaleon February 17, 2009   Link

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