"This Old Dark Machine" as written by and James Mcmorrow....
Spring it came upon us,
Every insect filled the air
Dropped their wings upon my brother,
Cast their shadows on his hair

If we follow where they're leading,
We will surely come before
Some unseen and wondrous magic
Made of visions to explore

Near the town where we were living
Was an old abandoned farm
Every year we'd plant an orchid
In the shelter of it's arm
To protect us from the madness
Of the future still to come
It will be like this forever
I will keep you safe from harm

Then they caught us in the summer
Dressed in fathers finest clothes
You the hat he wore to market
I the jacket filled with holes

I've been searchins all these hours
For a hand as pale as bone
That would keep the strongest sunlight
And reflect the brightest stone

Near the town where we were living
Was a warm and fragrant smell
Of the orchid we had planted
Now a forest tall and well
What a statue to our greatness
What a story all will tell
They'll remember us forever
They'll remember where we fell

This old dark machine, it shakes and it shudders
Pulls to the left, then dies near the gutter
But still in the road, the traffic is silent
The people they stare, and then they turn violent
If they should touch, the hem of your dress
I would rise like a lion, strike out again
The faithful they wait, the faithful they wait
By the sign

Near the town where we were living
Came a loud and joyous sound
As the earth and all her beauty
Picked us up from off the ground
Carried far across the mountain
To a kingdom never bound
We will live like this forever
I will love you
I will love you
I will love you

Lyrics submitted by tikilights, edited by rodri481

"This Old Dark Machine" as written by James Mcmorrow

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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This Old Dark Machine song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about a forbidden love that blossomed one summer.

    In a small town two kids fell in love. They knew they couldn't be together but they still lived in their own fantasy. When they are discovered, one of them is killed and the other is left to mourn. "I've been searching all these hours for a hand as pale as bone" now the person is alone, aching for their lost love.

    Their getaway, where the orchid was planted, is now big, beautiful and magical in a way their love was. It is the only thing left of them.

    In the end they are reunited in death where they are free to love each other.

    :) just my take. Several different interpretations could make sense.

    ElizaDeeon December 28, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationAmazing lyrics and music here.

    Obviously, it begins by detailing the sensations experienced during a summer in which a youthful romance bloomed. This old dark machine he speaks of is obviously a car, and I think what the story is saying is that they died in a car accident. He places emphasis on forever; being with this person forever. Seems like a reference to death to me.
    I'm just confused about this:
    "If they should touch the hem of your dress
    I would rise like a lion, strike out again
    The faithful they wait, the faithful they wait
    By the sign"
    I'm not sure what he means by this if this is indeed all referencing to a car accident. I'm sure this is some clever metaphor, but I just can't figure out how it fits or what it represents. And who are the faithful waiting and by what sign?
    Cavinon November 28, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe two previous interpretations are great.

    "if they should touch, the hem of your dress
    I would rise like a lion, strike out again"

    I agree that this line has biblical connotation, and while I agree it may be referring to trust and faithfulness, I see it more as the protagonist's continual desire to protect the person he loves, the tragedy being that they have been killed in a car accident. I feel this is made even more poignant by the line in the first chorus, "I will keep you safe from harm".
    Interestingly, the "old dark machine" seems to be a referrence to William Blake's poem 'And did those feet in ancient time', and the line "dark satanic mills" which has been interpretted as industy destroying nature. This theme can also be seen in the continual natural imagery of the song and the "wonderous magic" that nature brings, and obviously that they are killed in a car crash.
    So while the song is about a couple being killed in a car crash, it has much loftier themes of the purity and sanctuary of nature, contrasted by the denegrating effect of industry and modernity. However, the reprise is that the singer's faith transcends these problems and they will live in their loving state for ever.
    Sorry for waffling a bit, but this is a great song.
    charlie1212on May 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song so much, i too think its about two forbidden lovers. I think its because I am currently in a forbidden relationship i think i see it from that point of view. The old dark machine is def a form of transportation, so maybe a car and one of the lovers past away, in this machine that was supposed to keep them safe. So a car accident is suitable. I love how this song speaks of sadness but it has this joyous feeling too. Celebrating the fact that they were in love. Love IT
    Zannon Jameson May 14, 2013   Link

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