I etched the face of a stopwatch
On the back of a raindrop
And did a swap for the sand in an hourglass

I heard an unhappy ending
It sort of sounds like you leaving
I heard the piledriver waltz
It woke me up this morning

You look like you've been for breakfast at the Heartbreak Hotel
And sat in the back booth by the pamphlets and the literature on how to lose
Your waitress was miserable and so was your food
If you're gonna try and walk on water make sure you wear your comfortable shoes

Mysteries flashing amber go green
When you answer but the red on the rest
Of the questionnaire never changes

I heard the news that you're planning
To shoot me out of a cannon
I heard the piledriver waltz
It woke me up this morning

You look like you've been for breakfast at the Heartbreak Hotel
And sat in the back booth by the pamphlets and the literature on how to lose
Your waitress was miserable and so was your food
If you're gonna try and walk on water make sure you wear your comfortable shoes



Lyrics submitted by gemmalouise89

"Piledriver Waltz" as written by Alex Turner

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


Piledriver Waltz song meanings
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16 Comments

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  • +2
    General Comment:love this one, can't wait for submarine to come out.........

    is a piledriver some kind of trash pickup or maintenance sort of truck? and by waltzing it was driving by early in the morning(which is the time they do it around me)and woke him up? if so, then it's like the garbage or crap in life is interrupting his life.

    there are a lot of depressing references in this one:
    unhappy ending, leaving, annoying garbage truck(if accurately interpreted..), heartbreak hotel, how to lose, miserable waitress/food...

    "If you're gonna try and walk on water make sure you wear your comfortable shoes"
    To make this fit the theme of the rest of the lyrics, this could be about suicide, by drowning.


    I'm not sure about the meaning behind the following lines:

    "Mysteries flashing amber
    Go green when you answer
    But the red on the rest of the questionnaire never changes

    I heard the news that you're planning
    To shoot me out of a cannon"

    perhaps this last part alludes to some sort of volatile situation ending with a blowup against the protagonist.

    The following, although it revolves around time, i'll conjecture that it's the imminent end of the relationship mentioned in the following line when "you're leaving". seems plausible.
    "I etched the face of a stopwatch on the back of a raindrop
    And did a swap for the sand in an hourglass"

    overall about a crap situation, end of a relationship, being miserable, disliking everything, thoughts about suicide, so depression.

    catchy though.
    xocouturecoutureon March 15, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation:I think "Piledriver Waltz" refers to love it's self, almost opposites - a piledriver is loud,horrible and clumsy and the waltz is a rhythmic dance, meaning love isn't all beauty.
    Fayekmon November 13, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:soo good. probably Alex's best.
    contortioniston March 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation:"I etched the face of a stopwatch on the back of a raindrop
    And did a swap for the sand in an hourglass"

    I think this has something to do with the protagonist wanting to swap a stopwatch, a digital device that records time elapsing, for the "sand in an hourglass", which records time commencing and running out. I think this refers to the protagonist of Oliver in "Submarine" because it shows that he has given up waiting, and lying in his bed for Jordana, and shows that he has realised time is running out if he wants her back.


    "If you're gonna try and walk on water make sure you wear your comfortable shoes."

    Walking on water generally refers to doing something that seems nearly impossible. So its basically saying if your gonna try and do the impossible, wear your comfortable shoes so you don't get hurt.


    "Mysteries flashing amber
    Go green when you answer
    But the red on the rest of the questionnaire never changes"

    If this loosely refers to the film "Submarine", I'd say it means that the "mysteries flashing amber" are details about Jordana that when they are revealed, seem obvious, and yet there are still deep mysteries to her that "never change", meaning that they will never be clear to Oliver.
    IamtheCarpenteron March 27, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I think what this song means is:

    1st verse: the person saw the future in a dream by exchanging a still stopwatch for moving sand in an hourglass. In that future he saw the girl he like leave; the noise from the pile driver woke him up in the morn

    chorus: saw the girl he liked, she too was sad. trying to get over the reason why she had to leave him, instead of doing things that would make her feel better, she did the very things that kept making her sad and miserable. the guy tells her, if you're gonna get through the impossible (ie move on) you have to wear comfortable shoes ( cheer yourself up)

    2nd verse: things they will never understand forces them to figure it out soon, hence amber. by answering it they go green. but actually they are just deceiving themselves, they are not figuring it out at all.

    last verse : tells her he knows she's gonna leave and only let him know of the news abruptly when there is no time left. but he had already seen it in his dreams, before he was waken.

    yea this is what i think it is about any ideas?
    LegendArcticMonkeyson April 03, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Beautiful....listening with eyes shut....i was in a movie where i'm the star......hmm...
    nordstormson April 16, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My Opinion:I have yet to figure out this song, and I'm not sure if I will (unless it's some spontaneous epiphany lasting only a few moments), so I'm just going to say this: "Piledriver Waltz" is a beautiful song written with immense emotional depth containing a breadth of understanding, consciously or unconsciously. I'm amazed with this accomplishment and would love the chance to personally thank Alex Turner.
    jordanbon May 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Stunning. Sooo much better than the Arctics version on Suck It And See. Doubt I'll hear a better song all year. Love it in the first chorus when Alex's voice cracks when he says "lose". Sex. His singing has come on leaps and bounds since the first Arctics record. It's already been explained what the song is about so no point repeating other users but yes, basically a break-up song.

    Oh by the way, taken from Wikipedia: A pile driver is a mechanical device used to drive piles into soil to provide foundation support for buildings or other structures. So it's not a trash pick-up truck but still, a mechanical device that woke him up, the same thing.
    hindle4on June 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:My view on what the song means:

    "I etched the face of a stopwatch on the back of a raindrop
    And did a swap for the sand in an hourglass"

    He created some so beautiful then swapped it for the sand which is dull.
    Stop watch and hourglass both show the amount of time he's put into building up the "relationship".
    Also gives the effect he's dreamed about this in the morning.



    "I heard an unhappy ending
    It sorta sounds like you're leaving
    I heard the piledriver waltz
    It woke me up this morning"

    He thinks that something wrong with her and he feels that the relationship is going to end.
    She's woke him up in the morning back making loads of noise. (piledriver)
    (waltz) Like she's planned it and you go through the same moves of splitting up like you would with planned dance moves.


    "You look like you've been for breakfast at the heartbreak hotel
    And sat in the back booth by the pamphlets and the literature on how to lose
    Your waitress was miserable and so was your food
    If you're gonna try and walk on water make sure you wear your comfortable shoes"

    She got up and had breakfast on her own downstair.
    she's been feeling down about herself and is having a hard time so she's taking it out on the relationship because she's upset.
    If your gonna start a relationship they put time into make sure your sure you want to end it.
    everyone know you cant walk on water and much like falling out it ends up not working.


    "Mysteries flashing amber
    Go green when you answer
    But the red on the rest of the questionnaire never changes"

    Hes not getting a straight answer about what is up with her
    red parts of a question when you dont fill them in correct.

    "I heard the news that you're planning
    To shoot me out of a cannon
    I heard the piledriver waltz
    It woke me up this morning"

    Shes mad about "something" and is ready to end the relationship (shoot me out of a canon)
    YEAHYEAH123on June 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:"I etched the face of a stopwatch on the back of a raindrop
    And did a swap for the sand in an hourglass"

    i believe he's talking here about a dream he had that he could stop time (by etching the face of an hourglass) and start over (by doing a swap for the sand in an hourglass)
    *the only thing i really don't get is how is the raindrop connected-why would he want to etch the face of a stopwatch specififcaly on a raindrop?..


    "I heard an unhappy ending
    It sorta sounds like you're leaving"

    he wants to do the things mentioned above because he heard that she's going to leave him

    "I heard the piledriver waltz
    It woke me up this morning"

    i believe that the piledriver waltz is an unpleasent / crappy situation like the one he is in and has to wake up to in the morning, wake up from the dream he had about starting over to a reality where he can not (he explains the crappy situation he is in in the chourse wich comes right after this house)

    "You look like you've been for breakfast at the heartbreak hotel
    And sat in the back booth by the pamphlets and the literature on how to lose
    Your waitress was miserable and so was your food"

    he woke up and he saw her looking like she allready had a hard day by going to the worst place and sitting in the worst table next to the most depressing literature and pamphlets having a miserable waitress and bad food, with that, i believe that in reality she didn't leave the house or even bed-she just was really disturbed and maybe didn't even sleep because she thought all night how she is going to leave him because it is really hard for her.

    "If you're gonna try and walk on water make sure you wear your comfortable shoes"

    if you're gonna try to do the impossible (leave him) at least be prepared (by wearing your comfortable shoes) because its not going to be easy.

    "Mysteries flashing amber
    Go green when you answer
    But the red on the rest of the questionnaire never changes"

    i think the mysterries flashing amber are the things about him, their situation, or her position in life that bother her and he's not really sure what they are or why do they bother her but he notices them and asks her about them but the red ones are the ones he doesn't see and that she doesn't tell him about and they will allways stay red-he will never know about them. or, maybe he did notice and asked her but she never told him the real answer.
    or, another option is maybe the questionaire is actually the girl herself.
    the flashing amber mysterries have a chance to reveal (go green) and they do go green when she tells him about them but the red ones-things about her that he does not notice and she does not talk about will stay red forever.

    "I heard the news that you're planning
    To shoot me out of a cannon"

    he heard that she's going to leave him in a fast and painful dramatic way

    "I heard the piledriver waltz
    It woke me up this morning"

    by repeating this sentence he emphasizes how disturbed he is by the situation and maybe even pities himself a little.

    "You look like you've been for breakfast at the heartbreak hotel
    And sat in the back booth by the pamphlets and the literature on how to lose
    Your waitress was miserable and so was your food
    If you're gonna try and walk on water make sure you wear your comfortable shoes"




    orion July 25, 2011   Link

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