It don't look right
In broad day light
It don't feel right to me

If you win the rat race
If you come in first place
Then a rat is all you will be

How long will this take?
How long must I wait?
My heart is sinking
What were we thinking?
I can't fake this anymore

In this moment of atonement
Can you ever forgive me?
Is there something hovering?
It seems to be governing
Everything once dear to me

Oh and how long........


Lyrics submitted by Starlight152, edited by Supearnesh

The Clockwise Witness song meanings
Add your thoughts

12 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, it's about a relationship where people have agreed to be friends but there is still something more there but admitting it may ruin the good friendship. Complicated :)
    Gruon March 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with gru, perhaps a friends with benefits thing that seems to be leaving nick(the singer) in the dark.
    DevotchkAFaNon May 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor me this is about the futility of working life in the modern world, and how you miss what's important when you focus on work, and he's realised this maybe too late.
    I like to think the "can't fake this anymore" is the artist saying he want's out of this life, and the "can you ever forgive me" is him having realised he's put work first over a friend or lover and missed what's important. He's had a moment of clarity that life it beautiful and free, and the rat race is no place to be.
    iamlanarkon July 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI saw this song as about conforming to group mentality and how there is no light at the end of the tunnel upon winning, after all, everyone else was just another rat.

    The bright, high-pitched instrument is most alluring in this song. And overall it is quite frantic and on pace the entire song, like, an endless march heading towards disaster.

    You know how people say, "I quit because I stopped having fun"? This seems to be the moment before one would say that.
    sherbear2345on December 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI wonder what the title, "The Clockwise Witness", means. For me, it refers to conformity again since clockwise is the direction society tells you to run on. But, it goes without saying in the song, that, the traditional views of society are off-kilter and leave most unsatisfied. Or maybe, the monotony of the beat is significant to how robotic society functions.
    sherbear2345on December 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBoth of the conclusions are good, the "rat race" doesnt apply much to relationships, and yet the next is very much about a relationship. I get a sense that it is these combined, the lack of enjoyment of a job, and quite possible at the same time a relationship issue that guru desribed.
    hayheatheron January 26, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI feel differently about the meaning now. It is about a relationship, and careers, but not HIS job, rather it is her job. He misses her, while shes off in the rat race. They most likely broke up for her career advancement, and he regrets it.
    hayheatheron January 27, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe title "Clockwise Witness" immediately makes me think of the hours spent watching the clock, waiting for the hands to move. When you combine that with the "rat race" lines in the 1st verse it sounds like the song is about work, waiting for quitting time, wasting your life away in a cubicle, etc.

    However the 3rd verse seems to suggest a deeper meaning here about a conflict in a relationship.
    crschoenon April 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentor maybe how everyone is saying the song is about work and relationship, what i am getting from you guys is just basicly combine both a relationship with work. in the begining its fine, you do it for a while, then you get to a certain point and its feels as he says how long does this take for somrthing as in marraige, sex, death, kids or till your happy with what you have the end just seems like he gaved up and ended it (quit) with who/what he was doing
    Dying_In_Vainon April 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with the Bear... in general I think the song is about conforming, and an apology for the way everyone involved has accepted the conventional without question ... even though a reconciliation is implied.
    postpunkgirlon July 12, 2010   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