"Clockwork" as written by and Richards....
It's too hot, babe, pull the covers back
Don't touch me, babe, I don't remember ever liking that
Don't touch me, babe, roll over

O brother, you don't know what you've got
Only time flies
O brother, you don't know what you've got
Only time flies

You've gotta do some clockwork

Sometimes you hear the broken bell
Sound up on the whore's hill
The ladies clamor for the Salvo's sale
Bickering like little girls
For second hand women's things
For countless prying man's hands

O working girl, you don't get 'round enough
It's like your daddy says
O working girl, you don't get 'round enough
It's like your daddy says

You gotta do some clockwork.

In a berth of the port wharf
The song of the penitent sailor upon what stage?
A slab in the gut of a Japanese whaler
A material blue and tailored and time is a tailor
Both brief and slow

Now I can hear the broken bell
Now I can hear the clockwork
It has me reaching for the hidden rail
It has me listening for the song bird
But I hear it very minor
But I hear it very minor

O singer, I don't believe your song
Or your lying lines
O singer, I don't believe your song
Or your lying lines

You've gotta do some clockwork
You've gotta do some clockwork
You've gotta do some clockwork

The Pneuma, Cecilian, the Metzler
Angelus, Virtuos, Apollo
Paragon, Minerva, Stella

Clockwork, all clockwork
Clockwork, all clockwork
Clockwork, all clockwork

O but I didn't sing this song
And I don't know how to stop it from its accidental purpose




Lyrics submitted by Hydrargyrum

"Clockwork" as written by

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Clockwork song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentWHY ARE THERE NO COMMENTS??

    THIS IS THE GREATEST SONG OF ALL TIME!!

    OH MY GOD!
    worlds_best_grandmaon April 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou're not far wrong. There's a great acoustic version as a b-side on the One Crowded Hour single. (Incidentally it doesn't include that killer closing couplet about the "accidental purpose).

    I'd be interested if anyone could explain the lyrics:

    "The Pneuma, Cecilian, the Metzler, Angelus, Virtuos, Apollo, Paragon, Minerva, Stella"

    Are these all classical Greek/Roman mythological entities? What's the connection?
    esquimoton May 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPneuma means interaction with God, Cecilian was a Catholic reform movement having to do with music, Metzler is a type of organ (also a surname), Angelus is angel, Virtuos is virtue, paragon is essentially perfection (I've heard it mostly used in religious themes), continuing with the religious theme, Diego de Stella was the name of a Spanish Christian/Mystic who wrote on the subject of Luke. Minerva and Apollo go without saying, though they are from opposing mythologies (neither Christian, further Minerva's Roman, Apollo Greek).

    The meaning I'd like to think is hidden in there there, as it's preluded by "Oh singer, I don't believe your song and your lying lines. You've gotta do some clockwork" I'm guessing, and only guessing that it has to do with a combination between technology (signified by clockwork), and religion (the final lines).

    We can also perhaps look at clockwork as a sign of religion, when you take into consideration clocktowers and bells on top of churches? Perhaps its about interaction with God through music (Cecilian and Metzler are preluded by the Pneuma, and followed by Angelus, Virtuos and Paragon)?

    On the other hand it could be more cynical, maybe the line "O singer I don't believe your song or your lying lines," could refer to the church?

    You're all right though, it's a fantastic song. I'd really like to hear some other takes on it though, it is rather hard to interpret. This is one of the things I truly most enjoy about Augie March, their lyrics are fantastically poetic and intelligently written. It makes interpretation all the more enjoyable.
    Wohngespenston August 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"The Pneuma, Cecilian, the Metzler, Angelus, Virtuos, Apollo, Paragon, Minerva, Stella"

    These were all the names of clockwork music boxes, I think Glenn has said. I don't think there was any religious intent there.
    blackrockbound1on June 30, 2008   Link

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