Come neighbor, get ready to dance for your bread
My son, I was once where you stand
There's a beast with insatiable hunger
It's minions need crafters and skilled, working hands
Needs a fortress high in the hilltops
And we are the great, chosen crew
But I am a lowly carpenter, so, what have i power to do?

Oh, misery! Call us to rise up at dawn
To turn whey as fast as we can
We may be the mortar that cradles the brick,
but i am just one grain of sand.

And don't tell me i'm tossing the wretched
It only brings pleasure and pain
And we are all lowly carpenters, so,
Where we're taken is where we remain

And the master shall govern with unbroken backs
Look down from the top of the hills
You could cry through the night just as much as you like
There will always be towers to build

I coulda been more than some stone-dragging vessel
I could be more than their wood-cutting slave
But we are all lowly carpenters, so, what have we power to change?

And if you can't take no more, then get out of the way
For we've got a day to get through
We wire their castles, their prisons, and banks
Know their mansions from cellar to roof
We've got hammers, and wrenches, and chisels
We could destroy any great wall we come through
But I am a lowly carpenter, so, what have i power to do?



Lyrics submitted by BlissfulVanity

The Lowly Carpenter song meanings
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10 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentthis has nothing to do with jesus christ
    and that's obvious if you know his other songs

    it's one of the most obvious erik's lyrics, it talks about worker's power.
    ricardoffon November 08, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretationthis song is so fucking awesome. it's about workers who understand that they're being exploited by the capitalist system but just can't quite grasp the fact that they've got the power to change it.

    they know they're "the mortar that cradles the brick" but they're spirit has been so broken and capitalist media and academia indoctrinates workers into believing that they're isolated and powerless ("one grain of sand"). Fucking with the system ("tossing the wrenches") only leads to momentary "pleasure" followed by the "pain" inflicted by the cops and bosses when they're beaten up/sacked/chucked in jail.

    just as the lowly carpenter is on the verge of realising they've all in fact got the bosses and their system by the balls ("we could destroy any great wall we come to"), the nagging self doubt creeps back and in and convinces him he can't change anything.

    for me this song is like erik petersen just saying to workers " don't you see how dumb this sense of powerlessness is when you talk it through? wake the fuck up!"
    scatter_brainon January 11, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, its incredibly powerful. I feel that its about how workers feel that they have no power, and that they don't have the power to change anything, but if you look at the infamous 'lowly carpenter' (ie Jesus) he has changed the world, and many other people who have done manual labour have changed things. I think its about worker solidarity.
    JASolomonon May 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs a worker I feel that we are the backbone of so much but seem to have such little say, beautiful shit
    Harrisonkleboldon October 15, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJesus wouldn't have been lowly; a free carpenter would have been considered an artisan, while most of the labour intensive work would have been done by slaves. I love this song though :)
    ElegantMuleon December 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthere is obvious sarcasm in the line "i am a lowly carpenter, so what have i power to do?" and the other lines like it.. in the beginning of the song he is like describing how small and insignificant that their superiors see them. then at the end it describes how powerful they are becasue there are so many more of them and stuff like that.
    skamaster2590on March 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfirst off, this is an excellent song.i find myself singing it at work (being that i am a carpenter) almost every day.

    however i think this part "And don't tell me i'm tossing the wretched
    It only brings pleasure and pain" should read "And don't tell me of tossing the wrenches.." referring to union workers in the old days literally tossing wrenches into machinery to halt production when they wouldn't get proper wages etc.
    scarrednwastedon July 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about how The workers of the world are veiwed as lower class citizens and yet we are really the ones with the power, because without the workers there arnt banks, prisons, and mansions and if we all decided we were done we could destroy everything weve created for our bastard bosses.

    Its a song about the power of common people
    ChrisCardboard12on September 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah its the idea of being capable of doing great things with your labour but the labour doesn't belong to you, it belongs to your boss as he is the one paying for it.
    Saint Thomason February 22, 2009   Link
  • -1
    General CommentThe answer is obviously Jesus.
    JezusRoxon October 05, 2012   Link

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