"One Crowded Hour" as written by and Glenn Richards....
Should you expect to see something that you hadn't seen
In somebody you'd known since you were sixteen
If love is a bolt from the blue,
Then what is that bolt but a glorified screw
That doesn't hold nothing together?
Far from these nonsense bars and their nowhere music
It's making me sick and I know it's making you sick
There's nothing there; it's like eating air
It's like drinking gin with nothing else in
That doesn't hold me together

But for one crowded hour, you were the only one in the room
And I sailed around all those bumps in the night to your beacon in the gloom
I thought I had found my golden September in the middle of that purple June
But one crowded hour would lead to my wreck and ruin

Now I know you like your boys to take their medicine
From the bowl with a silver spoon
Who run away with the dish and scale the fish
By the silvery light of the moon
Who were taught from the womb to believe to the tune
In as far as their bleeding eyes see
It's a pleasure pen, meant for them, built for and rent for them
Not for the likes of me
Not for the like of you and me

And for one crowded hour, you were the only one in the room
And I sailed around all those bumps in the night to your beacon in the gloom
I thought I had found my golden September in the middle of that purple June
But one crowded hour would lead to my wreck and ruin

Oh but the green-eyed harpy of the song land
She takes into hers my hand
She says, "Boy I know you're lying
Oh but then, so am I,"
And to that I said "Oh well"

They put me in a cage full of lions, I learned to speak lion
In fact I know the language well
I picked it up while I was versing myself in the languages
They speak in hell
That night, the silence gave birth to a baby
They took it away to her silent dismay
And they raised it to be lady
Now she can't keep her mouth shut

For one crowded hour, you were the only one in the room
I sailed around all those bumps in the night to your beacon in the gloom
I thought I had found my golden September in the middle of that purple June
But one crowded hour would lead to my wreck and ruin

One crowded hour, you were the only one in the room
Well I played a few songs for those bumps in the night
In fact I played this very tune
You said, "What is this six-stringed instrument but an adolescent loom?"
And one crowded hour would lead to my wreck and ruin


Lyrics submitted by beulah, edited by sunnie31, Sehnsucht, Dermott, macchimo, jock102726

"One Crowded Hour" as written by Glenn Richards

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

One Crowded Hour song meanings
Add your thoughts

42 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentThis guy I know filled me in on a story he was told just after JJJ Hottest 100. He knows a couple of guys in Melbourne who are big Dead Kennedy fans. Well, one of the guys from the Dead Kennedys owns this pub that they drink at regularly. Because Augie plays there once a year or so, he knows the guys well. They got onto the topic of Augie March one day and the owner said that this was actually a tribute song to the Dead Kennedys. That was were the line, "For one crowded hour, you were the only one in the room" came from, after one of the Augie guys watched a Dead Kennedy's gig when he was younger. I know this doesn't really fit in with some of the lyrics because they are so cryptic, but the "she" in the song could possibly be rock n roll, or music in general or maybe the realisation he was to become a musician. Either way, regardless if it is a true story or not, it really does make a beautiful tribute song.
    trentoson April 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSurprising nobody has commented, maybe that is because its relatively new.
    Nevertheless this is a great song and should be credited for, amazing and very well written and structured lyrics.
    I am not entirely show of the meaning, but at the very least, as a whole, I think it is about the doubting of love. Possibly the guy in this song thought he had found love but it wasn't there. Upon realising its' absence, his downfall began.
    I'd love to hear someone elses thoughts.
    Cheers.
    krispychic69on March 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell krispychick69... it is undoubtably up there with the best of Augie March. It'll be interesting to compare the album to Sunset Studies, which, i believe, is up there with the best of the best Aussie albums of all time.

    Anyway, i was just looking at the lyrics while listening to the song, and i think you're on the right path... but (and people i'm sure will disagree with this, i'm not sure myself) but i have an incling it could be about a teenage fling that went wrong, and perhaps he (not necessarily Glenn, who quite often rights from afar...e.g. Owen's Lament) didn't realise how wrong it went.

    I'm thinking that he had a child on a one night stand for few reasons and the girl gave it up (i.e. adoption) without ever telling him.

    1. 'Should you expect to see something that you hadn't seen in somebody you'd known since you were sixteen': a child that you didn't know about

    2. 'Far from these nonsense bars and their nowhere music it's making me sick. And I know it's making you sick': this could refer to the fact that they may have met in a bar, which led them to sleeping to gether which 'i know it's making you sick' and the fact that she is pregnant makes him feel sick... perhaps... it would have to link to point 4 below too..

    3. 'That night, the silence gave birth to a baby
    They took it away to her silent dismay And they raised it to be lady Now she can't keep her mouth shut': the most literal evidence i guess that there was this child who is now a lady and wants to find her parents.

    4. You said, "What is this six-stringed instrument but an adolescent doom?"
    And one crowded hour would lead to my wreck and ruin: i think this links everything together. The music, the band (perhaps she was a muso; 'green-eyed harpy of the songland'?) leads to the act which would create the baby... one crowded hour would lead to my wreck and ruin.

    As i said, i'm not too sure about this interpretation, but i thought i would explore it anyway... maybe? If it wasn't for that one verse about the baby it would all seem quite simple.. Simply, as krispychic said, 'the guy thought he found love and it wasn't there' and they both tried to keep convincing themselves of the fact that it was indeed real: She says, "Boy I know you're lying Oh but then, so am I," And to that I said "Oh well."

    Regardless, it's a fantastic song and i can't wait to see these guys in action again soon!
    podson March 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentInteresting uptake Ben. I really enjoyed reading your interpretation, my take was a bit different, I’m not sure whether I agree with the prescence of a baby but there are a lot of indications with the mentions of womb and birth.
    Anyhow,
    “Should you expect to see something that you hadn't seen
    In somebody you'd known since you were sixteen;”
    In my personal interpretation I took it to be the guy visiting the woman from his past sixteen years later, and not seeing the love there anymore.

    “Far from these nonsense bars and their nowhere music ...”
    As for this line, I took it to be describing the bars of a song.

    The chorus which describes “One Crowded Hour”, I took this as the guy who really liked this girl, had finally got her for one moment. She had finally given into him, sexually or not.
    krispychic69on March 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthmm, i like your interpretation pods. I didn't pick that up, but I agree with your assessment, it seems to match a lot.
    The 'one crowded hour' chorus is just awesome, as I can just imagine her being his friend, (knowing her well since they were 16) and him always wanting her, then for just that one moment he got her, and he was soo happy, then, because of the pregnancy, it all just crashed around him!
    From now on, when I hear this song, that is the interpretation i'm taking! thanks!
    p_nunanon March 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmm i agree with the foolish teen love pregnant notion... here's a few more ideas. tell me what you think:

    "They put me in a cage full of lions, I learned to speak lion
    In fact I know the language well..."

    He was thrusted into a frightening situation, in which he could not escape, but concurrently learnt to deal with as it consumed his life.

    "...I picked it up while I was versing myself in the languages they speak in hell"

    he had already felt such torment and dealt with it similarly from experience... in other words, hell consumed his life.

    an early line:
    "if love is a bolt from the blue, then what is that bolt but a glorified screw?
    and that doesn't hold nothing together"

    screw is a pun- a twist on love being a 'bolt' but also meaning sex (which should never have had such significance- but the conception made it so)
    in effect- love- a bolt should be firm, stable, strong and supporting- yet this 'screw' as sung, doesn't hold anything together (cannot hold together the fleeting relationship, let alone a family)
    JennieLon April 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits about two people that have known eachother since they were sixteen... so auto-matically u think.. its true love! ... and when he says "in one crowded hour, u were the only one in the room" - because he just sees her, in that moment, in a room full of other people... she stands out... BUT at the end of the day... really, they both just speak "lion" saying i love you... because in actual fact... they are lying!! -

    this is what i think anyway... i really like this song, it makes me feel a lil low, which is always good sometimes... :)
    is2blink182on April 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWooow, this is one song where the meaning doesn't particularly matter to me because I'm sure if i find out what it means I will like it less, because at the moment its just a gorgeous love song to me :)

    Its strange, I love the tune and the lyrics but I think one thing which made me particularly drawn to it is the fact that I think the lead singer of Augie March looks like the husband of Drew Barrymore in Riding in Cars With Boys. I am so wierd.
    blomon April 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHa that's actually kind of true blom!
    Augie March ae fantastic...this is definately one of their better songs, and it has led to more popularity with the younger people...i mean, i was in the teenm clothing department of myer the other day and this was playing.
    I'm wierd too.

    Adios.
    anaesthetiseon June 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat explaination pods.
    I must point out to is2blink182 thought that 'one crowded hour' doesn't have anything to do with a room full of people. Because in this case it is not the room which is crowded but the hour.. the moment so to say is full of emotions. The imagery is borrowed from Sir Walter Scott's quote (which is part of a poem, which I think is called 'Answer'), which goes, "One crowded hour of glorious life is worth an age without a name."

    So there you go.

    The song's on repeat for the last week or so. The longest for any song ever with me!
    schoujaron June 11, 2006   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain