"Self Machine" as written by Eliot Paulina Sumner and Klas Ahlund....
I saw the mirror staring back at me
And it told me I'm a self machine
I saw the mirror staring back at me
And it told me I'm a self machine

It said I gave you these scars
And I gave you these wounds
I told you the false
And I showed you the truth

I saw the mirror staring back at me
And it told me I'm a self machine

Lonely robot in a wasteland,
rusting in a lonely harbour
Lonely robot in a wasteland
rusting in the harbour's water

I'm not a human if you say I'm not
I'm not a human if my hinges lock
And this motor that you call my heart
Is another machine that won't stop

And the impression of my self machine
The word was spoken and it was foreseen
Now we're too well too bothered in between
A pic so lost on my computer screen

Lonely robot in a wasteland,
rusting in a lonely harbour
Lonely robot in a wasteland
rusting in the harbour's water

I'm not a human if you say I'm not
I'm not a human if my hinges lock
And this motor that you call my heart
Is another machine that won't stop

Wait harbor, wait
Water still, water still
And shake, the ground will shake
Out stand still, out stand still

Lonely robot in a wasteland,
rusting in a lonely harbour
Lonely robot in a wasteland
rusting in the harbour's water

I'm not a human if you say I'm not
I'm not a human if my hinges lock
And this motor that you call my heart
Is another machine that won't stop

I'm not a human if you say I'm not
I'm not a human if my hinges lock
And this motor that you call my heart
Is another machine that won't stop


Lyrics submitted by deltasunlight, edited by Psychomaniac

"Selfmachine" as written by Eliot Sumner Klas Ahlund

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Self Machine song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +1
    Lyric Correction"Pixel lost," not "pic so lost."
    magomraon September 15, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHello, I'm new here and from Germany. So please excuse any mistakes I make wirting this.

    I just love this song and also thought it deserves more comments.
    To me it has a very personal meaning. I suffer from episodes of depersonalisation. I have this as kind of an escape mechanism from overwhelming feelings because of harmful experiences in my childhood and youth.

    These are citations of this state I copied from the internet to try and make you understand what it feels like:
    1."A feeling of disconnection from one's sense of self. The classic manifestation is looking in the mirror and not connecting the image you see with your internal sense of self."
    2. "Terms commonly used to describe depersonalisation: unreal, disembodied, divorced from oneself, apart from everything, unattached, alone, strange, weird, foreign, unfamiliar, dead, puppet-like, robot-like, acting a part, "like a lifeless, two dimensional, 'cardboard' figure", made of cotton-wool, having mechanical actions, remote, automated, a spectator, witnessing ones own actions as if in a film or on a TV programme, not doing ones own thinking, observing the flow of ideas in the mind as independent."

    Although I know that my interpretation is probably wrong and not what she meant, sometimes this songs helps me, because I feel understood. "This motor that you call my heart" then reminds me that there's another part of me that also won't stop fighting and that's it's love and a hunger for life that keep me going.
    elchkaeferon November 16, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso, "Earth, stand still".
    crybbyon November 25, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI can't believe there isn't more comments on this beautiful song. I guess we tend to assume most songs are just love songs unless you listen to the lyrics probably. and the moment i listened to this properly it hit me.

    I think this is a song about how we bring some negative things upon our selves. The person in the mirror (herself) is telling her everything she believes, the false, the truth, and giving herself scars and wounds.

    and in the chorus when she says "I"m not a human if you say I'm not." I think it's all about the power of self-esteem and self affirmation.
    kaatoon January 01, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I'm not a human if my hinges lock"

    some lyrics say that it's "I'm not a human if my engines lock".

    both seem reasonable to me.

    an engine that is 'locked' most times is irreparabel. In reality this is most times caused of liquid getting into the engine, which is causing the engine to stop working and doing fatal damage.
    catchyusernameon March 05, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is a classic case of a song being written for themselves. So damned cryptic that any roundabout meaning could suffice. however seriously, I would say that if your mirror told you that you were a self machine you would be realizing that you were once very vain...? A Lonely robot in a lonely wasteland, see constellations and stars and the powers that be, engaged in a dance this purported routine? are we two worlds apart or in between? Maybe its a ballad about humans becoming engaged with technology, cyborgs....blade runners...that sort of thing. <3
    astral1on August 31, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationFirst of all: HOW CAN THIS MOST AWESOME SONG ENJOY SO LITTLE ATTENTION HERE? It's like the most beautiful, sad and sweet at the same time, moving song since "All these things that I've done" by The Killers.

    Here's my interpretation of this awesome song's meaning. Be warned though it might be a little naive or I may be totally missing the point since I've heard the song only today and my impulsive nature won't let me go to sleep unless I share this (oh, and please forgive me my grammar, English is not my native language):

    So:

    I saw the mirror starin’ back at me
    [It's just when you don't feel good about yourself and you look into the mirror you get the impression that the mirror is staring back at you]

    And it told me I’m a self machine
    [so, obviously it's not a talking mirror, but the thing that comes to mind when staring into mirror. Like she is talking to herself using the medium of mirror. Self - because it's about her, machine because she doesn't feel like a human being, automatic, deprived of emotions and things that she should/ want to feel]

    It said I gave you these scars
    And I gave you these wounds
    [she was hurting and it was at her own choice. It gave her the sad experience - thus the scars and wounds]

    I told you the false
    And I showed you the truth
    [through that suffering she learn what is false and what is true]

    Lonely robot in a wasteland
    [ Lonely robot - her, kinda paradox, since robot/machine is supposedly to be deprived of emotions, yet feels lonelines. Wasteland - an empty place, source of loneliness, world]

    rusting in a lonely harbor
    [rusting - wasting herself, she is not doing anything and it only means that taking action would only be more difficult in time]


    I’m not a human if YOU say I’m not
    [ I ... YOU - indicates internal dialogue, a conflict with herself]

    I’m not a human if my hinges lock
    [I think that the correct version of lyrics says "hinges" rather than "engines", this line simply states "I'm not human if I close myself "


    And this motor that you call my heart
    [ this line is why I decide against the "engine" version. "Motor" and "Engine" are pretty similar in the meaning (at least for the purposes of the song)]

    Is another machine that won't stop
    [well this one seems rather clear, no?]


    And the impression of my self machine
    [impression, in the mirror, perhaps?]

    The word was spoken and it was foreseen
    [this line sounds strangely biblical to me, the "word" and things being foreseen, on the other hand it might just be her knowing the things will turn out this way]

    Now we’re too well too bothered in between
    [we - rather she and her reflection in the mirror, than some other person, I think]

    A pixel lost on a computer screen
    [being insignificant, one of many (one in 1024x768 for instance, unless of course it's higher resolution or HD ... nah just kidding :D)]

    Is another machine that won't stop
    Won't stooooooop
    [ dammit i SO MUCH hope she won't stop making songs like this one. KK thx for reading so far. Sometimes, usually around midnights, I tend to talk - in this case write - too much. Btw. don't you think that these lyrics are missing some lines? English is not my first language, and my hearing is rather poor so I need to base my opinions on lyrics but I think there was more to this song...]
    yosheethekilleron October 09, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn the 2001 film A.I., Haley Joel Osment plays the title character, a robot in the form of a boy. He's adopted by a couple who've lost their real child, later is abandoned, and ends up resting underwater in a depopulated future (the film is complex, and I don't remember exactly how it ends). This song is apparently about just such a rejected robot "rusting in a lonely harbor," so it may have been inspired by the SF film, directed by Spielberg (taking over from the deceased Stanley Kubrick) from a Brian Aldiss story.
    ProfessorAndroon November 03, 2011   Link

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