"Handmade" as written by Augustus Figaro Niso Unger-hamilton, Thomas Stuart Green, Joe Jerome Newman and Gwilym David Dylan Sainsbury....
Your sting red full stops my skin, dotted, scratch scratch, now I’m bleeding.
Legions upon legions of craftsmen handmade my feelings.
There’s bears in the wood and they’re out to get me,
And I’m safe from harm if I stay in this chalet.
And hold me tight and I’ll sink in,

I’m absorbed in your thinking,
And you don’t know.
Your sting red full stops my skin, dotted, scratch scratch, now I’m bleeding.
Legions upon legions of craftsmen handmade my feelings
For you.

Lyrics submitted by shemovesshe

"Hand-Made" as written by Gwilym David Dylan Sainsbury Augustus Figaro Niso Unger-hamilton

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Handmade song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentI think this song is possibly about therapy... Perhaps paranoia.
    "Are you sitting comfortably, then we'll begin" could be the voice of the therapist?
    The reference to feelings is a strong indicator to this interpretation.
    The paranoia is shown in "There’s bears in the wood and they’re out to get me"
    Also the "You don't know" could show how, like most therapist patients, don't think anyone can understand how they are feeling.. just a thought..
    AltJon May 28, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentDIY tattoo?
    full stop mark made on skin (kids in my class would do this to themselves with a maths compass)
    'scratch scratch now i'm bleeding'
    carving away at skin like making a wood carving - hand made

    this happened when he was a child? or when he was naive and innocent, i.e. childlike.
    childhood references - bears in the woods - 'are you sitting comfortably, then I'll begin' - "watch with mother" voice from old BBC early childrens prorammes - doesn't appear in the lyrics but is in the song.
    This is a sinister addition as it suggests the compliance of a child in a child-adult relationship: "then I'll begin..."
    ursamyn0ron May 04, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Commentit's possibly about a first crush/love: 'I'm absorbed in your thinking'. And how he was confused about his feelings for her hence 'legions upon legions of craftsmen handmade my feelings'. suggesting they are delicate and intricate thoughts. he kept it to himself though I think as the lyrics say 'and you don't know'.
    I think the bear thing is just a metaphor, he was scared of revealing his feelings so he kept them inside, not leaving the 'chalet' so he was at no danger of being harmed by 'bears'.
    maybe idk....
    Sean01on May 17, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's about SELF-HARM
    tazz5425on June 26, 2013   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningI definitely 100% am convinced that this song is about drugs, now don't get me wrong, I don't advertise or encourage drugs, indeed anything chem based, which is what this is about, should be handled with care and caution, you never know what you are getting. This is just my interpretation of the song which came about due to my positive experience, and also because I have suspicions that Alt-J definitely have a few songs that sometimes strongly and loosely can be related to recreational use of things ;~)
    I cant explain it exactly, as this song relates to my personal experience of taking some good E's, although I think what the writer is trying to say about taking, is injecting heroin, now I'm not accusing him of doing so in the past, but using this strong example of a drug that effects your total perception of the world for a certain amount of time, for the purpose of the song.

    Let me break it down for you guys:
    He says "Your sting red full stops my skin, dotted, scratch scratch, now I’m bleeding" , this if anything is a clear reference to shooting stuff up your veins, I mean I haven't done it before, but I can read between the lines
    He then mentions that "Legions upon legions of craftsmen handmade my feelings", I don't know about you guys but I'am not stupid enough to not know that most chemical drugs, E's for one, are made somewhere in a lab with raw chemicals, but if you get the good stuff, before its cut to give out on the streets, you can truly get a "craftsmen" quality of a time ;) hehe
    Next the woman's voice, shes like "sitting comfortably? then lets begin" This is talking about those few seconds before the drugs hit you, as your coming up, it is the most amazing feeling ever, and you feel at one with the world, and yourself, and you have such feelings of pure love in your heart, and you feel safe and content in the place you are, like there's "bears in the woods and their out to get me" but "i'm safe safe from harm if I stay in this chalet" and also the next part, "hold me tight and i'll sink in", it genuinely felt like I had a warm blanket covering me, so content I was "absorbed in your thinking" like being on good E's, amazing it felt listening to this song, "And you dont know" how amazing it felt being there in that feeling. Like I would be happy to take those again "for you" the "feelings" that the "craftsmen handmade" ;)

    Take it easy kids.
    Goldsamureion March 04, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIts about a young free-thinking girl who loses her virginity. The sting is the penis and when it enters her , its stops her vagina (skin, dotted). Hence the scratching and bleeding.
    Different societies have different views regarding pre-martial sex. They instruct her, how she should feel once she has indulged in it.
    When she is alone and comfortable, away from societal influences; she takes mind trips journeying over the pros and cons regarding sex. She faces her genuine emotions as a lover , and compares them with the accepted social norm.
    Confused as she is , there are negative elements in the society that make her doubt her actions. She is safe, until she doesn’t let them affect her mind.
    She pleads to her lover ,to hold her tight and protect her. She wants to dip head on in the experience. Her lover might be unaware of the intensity of her love and whatever the world may say … her feeling about him can’t be handmade.
    yashvion April 10, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThere are 2 assumptions that I have...
    1. Full stop in the UK means a period "." so that might mean that he is scratching at a red dot on his skin...?
    2.Legions could actually mean "lesions" which is an abnormality of the skin, like a bruise. Which could mean that the abnormalities represent his feelings?
    catotologiston August 02, 2013   Link
  • 0
    Song ComparisonIn comparison to the Giver by Lois Lowry, it sounds like the boy when he has to take in all the memories. It is a good book if you need a read.
    Kennistonon April 29, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think this song is about love/relationship with someone you truly care for. His feelings were created by legions upon legions of craftsmen (Angels) handmade his feelings for her. She is perfect for him. The rest of the verse is cohesive. The Bears in the woods could be obstacles/people that are gonna cause problems but he'll be ok if they stay together (in the chalet) and if she holds him tight, he is in awe (absorbed) of her. Either way you wanna think about it it's a beautiful song lyrics and music.
    vbaez61on January 18, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's just a cute creative way for him saying he likes a girl. I'm gonna guess that the first line, if said grammatically, should be written "your sting, red full, stops my skin, dotted, scratch scratch. now I'm bleeding." When you set off a statement with commas like that, the statement is used to describe the previous noun. So, "red full" describes her sting. Which, thinking about how he later says that it stops his skin and makes him bleed, probably just means that she is wanted by multiple people. He feels greatly for her in a longing capacity, "I'm absorbed in your thinking, and you don't know." So, he likes her, but she has no idea how much so. He doesn't take a chance at telling her because he's afraid he'll get hurt if he does (He stays safe in the chalet so the bears can't get him.) It's rather adorable.
    Kkelly12347on December 10, 2015   Link

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