"The True Wheel" as written by Phil Manzanera and Brian Eno....
We are the 801
We are the central shaft
And we are here to let you take advantage
Of our lack of craft
Certain streets have certain corners
Sooner or later we'll turn your.

We are the 801
We are the central shaft
And thus throughout two years we've crossed the ocean
In our little craft (row, row, row)
Now we're on the telephone
Making final arrangements (ding, ding)

We are the 801
We are the central shaft
Looking for a certain ratio
Someone must have left it underneath the carpet
Looking up and down the radio
Oh, oh, nothing there this time
Looking for a certain ratio
Someone said they saw it parking in a car lot
Looking up and down the radio
Oh, oh, nothing there this time
Going back down to the rodeo

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, here we go!
We are the table the captain's table let's get it understood
Let's get it understood
We are the losers we are the cruisers let's get it understood
Let's get it understood
We are the diners the final diners let's get it understood
Let's get it understood

Most of us are tinkers, some of us tailors
And we've got candlesticks and lots of cocktail sticks
We saw the lovers the modern lovers and they looked very good
They looked as if they could
We are the neighbors the nosy neighbors we think just like you would
We think just like you should.


Lyrics submitted by americancaesar, edited by OrionLenz

"The True Wheel" as written by Phil Manzanera Brian Eno

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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The True Wheel song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI once read that this song came to eno in a Psilociben dream. When I listen to eno I don't need drugs to see the most fascinating imagery.
    SnarkyYarbleson September 30, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBTW this song can proclaim itself progenitor of at least three band names:

    A Certain Ratio
    The Modern Lovers
    801

    ...though the latter may seem like a bit of a cheat.
    foreverdroneon January 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhoever contributed the lyrics, capitalizing each word was a Bold Stroke which enhances the atmosphere of shady conspiracies.

    Wonder whether the title refers to the unusual sound (following "here we go") which wobbles and takes on a more percussive feel as it develops. Feels almost as if it's spinning! If your amplifier happens to be old enough to have a "stereo/mono" switch, try switching back and forth during this passage.
    foreverdroneon January 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt has been pointed out before that "Eight Naught One" acrostically spells out E-n-o.
    mjoaon August 20, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNo, nothing to do with lobbers. Who looked as if they could ? The lobbers ? Wrong !

    "We saw the Lovers, the Modern Lovers,
    and they looked very good, they looked as if they could."

    It's a joke about a very cool band The Modern Lovers inspired by the Velvet Underground (just as Eno had been) and "taking off" in an underground way in the early '70s. Their first album is a magnificent album, but they played live without any record to sell during the early '70s, the album only got released after they'd become a different band, so the only way to enjoy the band was to "see" the band live, back then in 1974, when the album this song comes from was made.

    Calling yourself "The Modern Lovers", what a great band name. Eno's remarking that they "looked as if they could [do it Modern, that they looked like they could be real Modern Lovers]" is a cute in-joke and a tribute of sorts.

    Ex-VU member John Cale produced their early efforts but Jerry Harrison ended up moving from the Modern Lovers to Talking Heads. Eno is giving his thumbs up to the band, just as he later would with "King's Lead Hat" (an anagram of "Talking Heads").

    The first album got held up for years, which meant The Modern Lovers didn't get the recognition they deserved while they were playing that material, and the band splintered. So back in 1974, this is Eno giving the Lovers some much-needed promotion.
    musocdon July 04, 2014   Link
  • -3
    Lyric CorrectionI think he sings "we saw the lobbers, the modern lobbers" -- he's talking about cannons or weapons. It makes more sense with the whole militaristic theme of the song.
    gedwardon August 16, 2012   Link

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