"Grand Machine No. 12" as written by and Benjamin P Cooper Alexander P Kane....
This damn machine, this damn machine, this broken head doesn't work.
So they're selling it off again.
These crooked legs, these twisted arms, these tired feet lost their worth.
Soon they'll dismantle them.

But we're all just part of some giant grand machine.
Too big to really understand.
But we'll do our jobs till we break down and fall.

Now we just sleepwalk. We drift through the week.
A dead procession always dragging its feet. Well, come on.
Our hands are swollen. We all need to sleep.
But there's no time, just stitch us up so we'll keep.

We're all just part of someone's elaborate plan.
Chess pieces in some grandiose scheme.
But we'll do our jobs till we break down and fall.


Lyrics submitted by dulcitablue

"Grand Machine No. 12" as written by Benjamin P Cooper Alexander P Kane

Lyrics © THE BICYCLE MUSIC COMPANY

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Grand Machine No. 12 song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commenti think its just describing americans as a whole
    we are all workaholics and just live to work
    and in that sense we arent really living life to the fullest like we should be. we arent experiencing everything to be experienced because all we are worried about is our damn blue collar job

    thats the literal meaning i get from it

    im not deep enough to figure out any analogies haha
    SealedFateon April 12, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentS/T is an album with a strong theme around a very controlled, drone-like society, and this is one of the songs where this theme is most evident. The "Grand Machine" referenced is the society created by an all powerful goverment, or ruling force.

    The first verse, talking about "this damn machine (that) dosent work" is talking about possibly some aspect of the society that is failing, and the way that the government is dismantling and reconstructing it coldly, as if it was a lifeless machine, not made of people.

    The chorus goes "We are all just part of some giant grand machine,
    Too big to really understand.
    But we'll do our jobs till we break down and fall."
    This insinuates a sense of being a small part of something huge, controlled by someone else, with no freedom, only the job to do that you have been given by the mysterious force that controls the machine. The people have been trained to just do their jobs like obedient robots until they die, with no hopes or dreams other than to help power the machine.

    The second verse shows the true extent of the brainwashing that these people have endured, "sleepwalking through the streets", only acknowledging their pain because it may make them physically unable to do their jobs. It also brings to light the evil of the government, the "controllers of the machine", as they let their people work themselves to the bone, and make them keep working ceaselessly, even though they desperately need sleep.

    The second chorus ends the song with a taste of the complete passivity and defeat of the people in the society. They know that they are just being used for someone else's good. And they are letting themselves be, because they don't care about anything anymore than doing their jobs like they've been told.

    Overall, I think that this song is also about the susceptibility of man to the words of others. These people are treated like machines, so they start thinking of themselves that way, accept it as a fact and live their lives that way instead of questioning it. Anyway, amazing song, amazing lyrics.
    draugurrinon April 01, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI havent really taken the time to understand the lyrics, but the song is absolutley awesome.
    mattreateon March 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah i agree with sealedfate, this song sounds as if it's mocking they way most middle class people live. too worried about their job and money to really care about living life properly.

    yet another cool song from Alex Kane and Ben Cooper.
    littlestar3on September 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt means to me that being an individual is important, otherwise we all just become "chess pieces in some grandiose scheme."
    unvdatlvion January 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentvids.myspace.com/…

    i love this video. watch it :]
    annnaon April 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsorry it didnt all fit...

    vids.myspace.com/…
    ids.individual&videoid=1854343552
    annnaon April 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really like this song... It was on The O.C. =P ... I need the line "We all need to sleep" ... Like he says "We're tired of this life" ... But then he says "But there's no time", which is a little sad... But after all, great song.
    FoRevEr_SPooNeron October 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSorry ... It was "I LIKE the line" XD
    FoRevEr_SPooNeron October 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is such an amazingly beautiful song. I think the lyrics talk about the uselessness of just one person. The machine breaks without peace, and without everyone working together.
    wildone8822on June 24, 2008   Link

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