"Leave the Engine Room" as written by Jonathan Joseph Higgs, Jeremy Joseph Pritchard, Alexander Kaines Robertshaw and Michael David Spearman....
Baby gets born, rolls on his back,
Opens his eyes and hears a voice
A-saying oh

I'll tell you a secret about yourself,
I'll tell you a secret about yourself

Your father was bad, his father was bad,
His father was bad need I go any further on?
You not gonna try to involve yourself,
Your pliable head is a walking hope

'Cause even now, there's a bone snapping,
Doughy embryo, bloody hands clapping,
The blood is clapping

If all the boys say you did it,
And all the girls say you did it,
And if all the boys say you did it,
And all the girls say you did it

Then man, you're as guilty as the ones the came before,
You sleepwalked over here, the drawbridge creaks ignored.
So leave the engine room and go,
Leave the engine room and build a road,
Leave the engine room, the steam will peter out and I'm
Tired of the centuries passing, the vacuum and the womb
And I respect that things have changed and I'm alone
And I remember snatches here,
And I involve myself with utter madness

Leave me lounging, with my nerves butchered,
And the ceiling torched, in the birth canal
Cos even now, there's a bomb dropping,
It's ever dropping

'Cause all the boys say I did it,
And all the girls say I did it,
And mother all the boys say I did it,
And all the girls say I did it

And man, I'm as guilty as the ones that came before.


Lyrics submitted by SteveBlythe

"Leave the Engine Room" as written by Jeremy Joseph Pritchard Alexander Kaines Robertshaw

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Leave the Engine Room song meanings
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  • 0
    My InterpretationFirst of all I want to say that these are incredible lyrics. I love their ambiguity, and the way they tell a story. Very thought-provoking, and in true everything everything style, uncompromising and unafraid to tackle big sensitive topics. Credit to them.

    What I'll say is this. I think it's about a young pregnant girl who is having an abortion, but in the shoes of the child, speaking to the doctor carrying out the abortion. I think firstly the doctor imagines what would happen if the child was born at the beginning of the song, "Baby gets born, rolls on his back, opens his eyes and hears a voice a-saying oh...I'll tell you a secret about yourself...Your father was bad." People would bad-mouth the child's father and also he would grow up wondering about him.

    So perhaps he thinks abortion is the better option. But the narrator/baby so-to-speak doesn't and questions the doctor carrying out the abortion. He describes the process saying "Cos even now, there's a bone snapping, doughy embryo, bloody hands clapping, the blood is clapping" which is very pejorative and accusing.

    The child points the finger of blame further at the doctor, saying "if all the boys say you did it, and all the girls say you did it. Then man, you're as guilty as the ones that came before," that last bit perhaps suggesting he feels the doctor is as guilty as the pregnant girl, or the man that impregnated the girl or maybe other doctors?

    Reference is also made to a type of abortion where the doctor uses a sort of vacuum to suck the embryo out of the womb (I've forgotten the name of this however).

    Lots of references to destroyed embryos, suggesting abortion is wrong in the narrator's eyes. "Leave me lounging, with my nerves butchered," and the girl's uterus damaged "and the ceiling torched, in the birth canal"

    The baby is saying that abortion is old-fashioned and that the doctor, instead of staying in the same position people were in the past (the times when "drawbridges" were used was in medieval times), should stop aborting children, and "build a road" meaning to move on and pioneer a change, which roads were in the medieval times.

    Finally the song ends with the baby saying that people blame him for something? not sure about the end.
    difficult stuff...
    SoftMinton December 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAhh Jonathan said in an interview the song is generally about guilt, so I guess it's not all in the eyes of a child.
    SoftMinton March 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have to say that their songs are about the human condition generally it seems to me, using specific things to be sure but there's an eye on human frailty human history, who we are and what we're doing. This is 'about guilt' according to Jonathan, inherited guilt, the absurdity of being born guilty which occurs in any conflict which goes on longer than a generation (Israel, northern Ireland, Yugoslavia etc)
    The engine room = the womb ?
    magicmenagerieon June 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with magicmenagerie on this one, I think it's about if guilt can be inborn. That's why he says "Your father was bad, his father was bad" and the others say he is "as guilty as the ones that came before". I also agree that "the Engine Room" is the womb.

    Combining this with the things SoftMint mentioned above and the killing/abortion references in the lyrics ("Bombs dropping", "Nerves butchered") it's maybe that the child is killed immidiately after it's born (immidiately after leaving the engine room) due to its guilt. The last part where he is kind of admiting that he is guilty shows the cruelty of all this. The child, who's still small can't do anything about it and can't seem to justify itself in any way. So it just, after all, takes the blame. Because it has no other chance.

    At least that's my interpretation. Pretty cruel, I woudln't have thought this because the song is so calm and beautifull. And the references f the child in a womb are also quite peacefull. Maybe there is another thing hidden here, but I can't seem to find it out now.
    Nightdiveron April 09, 2012   Link

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