Watchmaker, teach me the ways.
I want to learn the secrets and the sciences of seconds,
The methods to dull my ears to the sound.

Teach me how to rewind, rewind,
So I can relive every second,
Minute, hour I missed oh.
I'm always focused on the next thing
If only I could pause and breathe. Teach me how!

If I were a watchmaker, I’d build suspension into the springs.
Hidden gears, secret faces.
Undiscovered hours to keep you in.

There’ll be no back, there’ll be no forth,
Just us, where we are.

Watchmaker, teach me the workings.
I want to learn the secrets and the sciences of seconds.
Teach me the seasons, the measure of these machines.

I’m haunted by mechanical sounds.
Damped, stolen and swallowed, relentless, counting down
In the bellies of old enemies. I’m plagued by the tick tock, tick tock,
But with vehemence I’ll take to their faces and tear them away.

Come teach me the ways of the watchmaker,
We’ll dull our ears to the sound.

There’s tension in me, I’m wound up and bound to an endless release.
A robin imprisoned in a carved clock, I’m a tune locked in a music box
To a grave melody.

There's a nervousness in my fingers.
To spindles, they’re wasting away.
And with every twitch, they’re turning,
Passing by with my meaningless revolutions.

I gazed too deep, I leaned in too close.
Caught by the collar and dragged into a two-four waltz.
Drawn into steps unfamiliar to me,
I was passed like partners between turning teeth.


Lyrics submitted by jamesgc, edited by ishopeatsea

Watchmaker song meanings
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  • 0
    Song Meaning"This song is the heaviest on Ground Dweller. We really enjoyed the challenge of making a “brutal” song fit with the rest of the album, while using sampled instruments and rhythmic vocals. It’s about making time for the people that mean the most to you–“undiscovered hours to keep you in.” I love the image of clock making; it’s becoming a lost art in a digital world, and lost arts are always a tragedy. Time is something that is always moving, always changing, and living the life we do, it’s always taking you away from a “normal” life." - handslikehouses.tumblr.com/post/19325753101/…

    another personal favorite
    the guest vocals from matty mullins of memphis may fire are flawless and it's definitely a solid 'brutal' track as trenton said
    the breakdowns are probably sick live, i'd love to hear this song performed :))
    soulglowactivaturon March 30, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Lyric Correctionoh also!! in matty's part i think it's "if only i could pause and breathe" everything else looks good though :)
    soulglowactivaturon March 30, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationDISCLAIMER: This is a lyrical analysis I did of this song a while back. It represents my personal interpretation of the lyrics, formed without any external influences (including other people's opinions and interpretations). It is in no way meant to represent the view of anyone else, and in fact may be the complete opposite of the intended meaning. Do not take this to be the definitive meaning of the lyrics in this song.


    Watchmaker - Lyrical Analysis

    The intro to this song just introduces the concept of wanting to get more out of the present. Although it is very similar to the chorus, it includes the line, “Teach me… the methods to dull my ears to the sound,” which is not found later on. The elusive watchmaker is clearly meant to symbolise god and his mastery over time, so the singer is asking god to teach him how to not worry so much about the passing of time so that he can enjoy the present more.

    Barring the intro, the song starts off with Matty Mullins. In his verse, he asks the unknown watchmaker to teach him how to relive everything he’s missed. He expresses regret at always being too focused on the future to enjoy the present and wants god to teach him how to get back all the wasted time.

    The next verse then switches back to Trenton Woodley, who talks about wanting more time. He says that if he were the ‘watchmaker’, he’d create more time, or at least slow down its passing. The mini prechorus before the first chorus states that time would be paused and they’d be there together, supposedly to enjoy themselves and not worry about the future for a change.

    The chorus is very similar to the intro, except with the desires to get more out of the present implied and not stated. It simply asks god to teach them how time works, and we can infer that this is because he wants to know how to exploit it.

    In the third verse, he goes on to say that he feels trapped by the passing of time. He says it haunts and plagues him, describing its flow as relentless. He clearly begrudges its passing, wishing it would slow down. He is voicing his concerns about the future that were mentioned earlier. The line, “counting down in the bellies of old enemies,” could mean that old enemies are stirring with the passing of time, implying that they’ll come to get him in the future. However, it could be taken to mean that time itself is an ancient foe. I’m more inclined towards the first one, as the last line supports it: “But with vehemence I’ll take to their faces and tear them away.” He will not be deterred by them, but rather will fight back.

    The following verse also expresses his resentment, but it focuses more on his growing frustration. He feels wound up, destined to snap. He says his sadness is bottled up inside of him without being let out. He feels trapped not so much by time, but rather fate.

    The second, longer prechorus has him personifying a watch or clock, and by extension time itself. He reports that he feels nervous, although why is yet to present itself to me. The line, “To spindles, they’re wasting away,” is referring to people, most likely saying that they’re wasting away their lives as the spindles keep turning. He also remarks that time is passing by with his ‘meaningless revolutions’, which could be a reference to the idea that time is a human construct that means very little in the scheme of things.

    In the bridge (of sorts), it almost seems like he thinks he went to far, thinking too deeply and investigating too closely. He uses the analogy of leaning in to examine turning cogs and getting his shirt collar caught between them, pulling him in to be grinded between them. Through this, he tells us that life dragged him onwards as he pondered time and his circumstances changed for the worse, probably after a long stagnant period.

    This song is, in essence, a compilation of feelings and speculation about time. It can, lyrically, be divided into three sections:
    1. the section in which he is regretful about the time he lost because he was worried about the future, spurring him to beg a deity to teach him how to get it back, or slow down his remaining time
    2. the section in which he describes his concerns about the imminent future, resigning himself to the fact that it will happen whether or not he wants it to and yet simultaneously rebelling against this same idea
    3. the section in which he questions time, examining its impact and pondering its importance

    It seems as though this song was originally three separate pieces of original writing, not intended to be connected together at the time of creation. Whether these pieces were lyrics, poems, essays, stories or even just rants is unclear and irrelevant. These three pieces were stitched together expertly and then disguised with obscure vocabulary and complex wording. In any case, this is a fascinating song that has sparked my interest for a long time and will continue to do so now that I have spent a fair amount of time deducing the nuances of its meaning.
    ishopeatseaon July 21, 2013   Link

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