"The Clock Was Tickin'" as written by and Brandon Flowers....
The teacher had you write a letter, you were eight years old
About the man that you'd become and the positions you'd hold
But this was long before you and Jackie Geronimo met
In the Prelude Park at midnight
Now when it came to bells and whistles, Jackie did not lack
And when she kissed you on the kisser, boy, you kissed her back
Now you tell her that you love her and she cuts you slack
When you drink with your buddies on the weekend

And the weeks fly by and the years roll on
You spend your whole life dropping nickels in the bucket
Wakin' up at dawn
And while Jackie bestowed the joys of fingerlickin'
The clock up on the wall was tickin'

You got yourself a job cleaning hospital floors
But Jackie had a baby, then she had five more
They'd pay you just enough to drag your ass to the store
To buy bread, milk and Better Homes & Gardens
Jackie flips the pages and she dreams little dreams
A cottage in the country built with real wood beams
There's a baby in the bedroom, he's starting to scream
She holds him though he probably won't remember

And the weeks fly by and the years roll on
Sometimes dreams are all you got to keep you going when the day gets long
And you gave up so many just to make a livin'
That clock up on the wall was tickin'

Now the kids are all grateful when they left the nest
And Jackie wasn't perfect but she did her best
You cease the opportunity to get you some rest
But you can't sleep on account of screaming grandkids

The golden years are meant to leave a gleam in your eye
You're starting to discover it's a great big lie
They work you like a dog til you quit or you die
But you can't quit cause Jackie needs the benefits

And the weeks fly by and the years roll on
They say patience is a virtue but the doctor says she don't have long
You stood up and tried your damndest not to listen
But that clock up on the wall was tickin'

When they told you to clear the room, that's when it hit you
You watched as the caravan took your sweetheart away
The arguments and fights and money troubles seem so worthless
As the kids throw yellow roses on her grave

And the weeks fly by and the years roll on
The house is quiet now and everything inside it seems to know she's gone
There's a picture of you both sixteen years old just kissing
And that clock up on the wall was tickin'

You always thought she had a chance and it was somewhere hidden
Now you've come to the conclusion that she never did
Not a chance, that is


Lyrics submitted by MayaMoo, edited by phoebe9261

"The Clock Was Tickin' [*]" as written by Brandon Flowers

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Clock Was Tickin' song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +2
    MemoryI've never posted on here before. I lost my grandmother last summer. She was the mom of 6 kids and literally every line in this song spoke to me. My first time listening, I was waiting for the song to finish in my car before I went into work, happy-upbeat....and then "when they told you to clear the room" Hit me like a ton of bricks. I havent had a song do that to me in a really long time. I broke down in my car. I can see how this song may not fit the theme of "Flamingo" but I also couldn't believe it didn't make it on the album. I highly advise those who purchase to get the deluxe version...some of the best tracks are the added 4!
    sweetsangria418on September 17, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is definitely about Brandon's parents, and listening to it just breaks my heart.

    Brandon is the youngest of 6 children, so I think the line:

    "There's a baby in the bedroom, he's starting to scream
    She holds him, though he probably won't remember"

    Is talking about him, kinda making a reference to himself.

    The line:

    "But you can't sleep on the account of screaming grandkids"

    Is referring to the fact that she had 20 grandchildren! (21st on it's way~ Brandon's Wife is Prego again!)

    Anyway, this is my absolute favorite song from this album. Almost better than "A Dustland Fairytale"
    Stolensoulon September 19, 2010   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThe melody seems upbeat, but the lyrics are so heartbreaking. It reduces an enitre life of an average person in five minutes, as if it's a summary. When your a kid, everything seems timeless, you have no worries and regrets and your a twenty four seven dreamer. Then one day, you realize half of your life is gone at the blink of an eye. We're always trying to gain something bigger and better, imagining the bigger picture and an improvement here and there.. we always live for tomorrow, and we may sometimes realize it when it's too late.
    "When they told you to clear the room, that's when it hit you
    You watched as a caravan took your sweetheart away
    The arguments and the fights and money troubles seem so worthless as
    As the kids throw yellow roses on her grave"
    It sounds cliche, but I think this song is golden. It makes you realize that you really should make the most of this limited life :(

    thediaryofawallfloweron January 24, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is what I hear:
    "...bells and whistles, Jackie did not lack"
    "And while Jackie bestowed the joys of fingerlickin'"

    This song absolutely breaks my heart. "The house is quiet now..." part makes me cry every time I hear it. Even more sad is when them kissing as sixteen year olds is followed by the clock ticking.

    It's kind of hard to imagine that it isn't about his mom. I'm pretty sure people called her Jeannie. Jackie Geronimo sounds an awful lot like Jeannie Barlow. I feel super creepy for knowing her maiden name. lol

    I love the Better Homes & Gardens reference. My mom always had one of those in her hands when I was growing up.
    kbb02on September 05, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favorite song on the record. Reminds me of Disney Pixar's "Up".
    TOOLandshiton September 07, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah this is probably my favorite song on the album... Reminds me of "cat's in the cradle," by Harry Chapin.

    I really think this has to be about his mom.
    BTrainon September 12, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGorgeous song!!!!
    sarahjon October 23, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about his mother, yes. I went to see Brandon Flowers in concert in Atlantic City. He said it was a song through his father's eyes.. It's so sad.. I love this song, even though I cry every time it gets to the end.. You can really feel the emotion in his voice... Definitely one of Brandon Flower's best..
    twinakion December 08, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song totally has an Eagles/Johnny Cash feel to it.
    fite_4_Christon March 29, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfamily song. The entire album is about his family, faith, life... simply a great album!
    whyme77on September 26, 2011   Link

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