"...Like Clockwork" as written by Charles Hugh May, Josh Homme and James Lavelle....
Everyone it seems
Has somewhere to go
And the faster the world spins
The shorter the lights will glow
And I’m swimming in the night
Chasing down the moon
The deeper in the water
The more I long for you

Most of what you see my dear is purely for show
Because not everything that goes around, comes back around you know
Holding on too long is just a fear of letting go
Because not everything that goes around, comes back around you know
One thing that is clear it’s all down hill from here

My love in your hand cleverly disguised
All the promises of stone, crumble in the light

Most of what you see my dear
Is worth letting go
Because not everything that goes around, comes back around you know
Holding on too long is just
A fear of want to show
Because not everything that goes around, comes back around you know
Not everything that goes around, comes back around you know
One thing that is clear
It’s all down hill from here


Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings, edited by croope, victormds, moatiliata, sparna, MilkManMike, akimika

"...Like Clockwork" as written by Josh Homme Charles Hugh May

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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...Like Clockwork song meanings
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  • +6
    My InterpretationOk, here goes my interpretation. As mentioned before, I also believe that this song talks about time and a critic about our modern lifestyle.

    First verse: everybody is in a hurry, seems occupied. Even though the streets are full of people none of them seems to worry about anything else besides their own thoughts and goals, goals followed by free will or by what is imposed to them by the society. Being always busy, faster and faster, we got very time left to enjoy the beautiful things in this world/life, turning them opaque, without light. By 'chasing the moon' he feels that, even thought he seems to have a goal, all his wanderings had led him nowhere in particular, actually, all his efforts seems fruitless considering that the distance between him and the moon is still the same. And it makes him go deeper both in sadness and frustration, but still holding the dream (or truly waiting for someone real) that a person will come and pull him out of that pit, giving purpose to his life.

    Chorus: this part goes all around the clock metaphor. The pointer comes back around to the same spot over and over again, time, in the other hand does not, being a stream that simply follows its path. Sometimes people pretend to be something because it's a goal they haven't achieved yet, in a fear that it may never come true and perhaps it's better to live an illusion than face your limitations and the truth of failure. The same goes when you have something really good and don't want it to change and hold to the moment, unconsciously ruining it anyway trying to make it perfect and last forever. 
    The hill represents life, and you are in a vehicle ( time ) which you have no control, nothing more than a passenger. Once you are born , it starts the journey to the bottom. There's no slowing down, no way to come back.

    This thought makes me feel like the section with the orchestra ( which is absolutely stunning ) represents a struggle from the character with himself. The song goes higher as he starts to realize the one-way trip he is in and, in a moment of panic and desperation, he tries to fight its way 'back in time' ( an attempt to erase his mistakes maybe ) but acknowledge that, as the music fade away, there is nothing he can do about it. He then enters a state of numbness and lethargy,  which follows his acceptance.

    Second verse: here he talks about human nature. There is happiness all around in the city, but it all comes to fake smiles and second intentions, and to reach someone's heart, 'find one's love line', is very hard. Not only love, but friendship also seems fake ( mention to fairweather friends ) and what may look like a sanctuary is actually a hollow building, with nothing there for you inside. 

    The second chorus is basically the same, some change of words but the meaning remains the same.

    Very beautiful song. Brings something else, no doubt about it. It drags you in if you listen with some attention.  Kudos to qotsa, once again. 
    Tonho93on September 25, 2013   Link
  • +4
    General Comment100% correct lyrics from the ...Like Clockwork LP:

    Everyone it seems, has somewhere to go
    And the faster the world spins, the shorter the lights will glow
    And I'm swimming in the night, chasing down the moon
    The deeper in the water, the more I long for you

    Most of what you see my dear is purely for show
    Because…
    Not everything that goes around comes back around you know?
    Holding on too long is just the fear of letting go
    Because…
    Not everything that goes around comes back around you know?

    One thing is clear: It's all down hill from here

    The love line in your hand, cleverly disguised
    All the promises of stone, crumble in the night

    Most of what you see my dear is worth letting go
    Because…
    Not everything that goes around comes back around you know?
    Holding on too long is just the fear of what to show
    Because…
    Not everything that goes around comes back around you know?

    One thing is clear

    It's all downhill from here
    MilkManMikeon June 22, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe line "It's all downhill from here." has two meanings for me. There's the obvious one that suggests that nothing after this will be as good as this, but I think it could also mean that things will be getting easier from this point on. It's easier going downhill than uphill, right? And I think it makes sense, considering the cocky tone on songs like Smooth Sailing.
    ilovealienzon June 27, 2013   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationDefinitely appears to be talking about time and it seems to be a recurring theme throughout the album (The Vampyre of time and memory is age). I think mbaliya hit it on the head. Time is slipping away with every day and Josh is feeling it. Not everything that goes around (like a clocks hand) come back around (you don't get the time back even though the clock is where it was before) and its a sad
    Daistaaron August 21, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Commentas someone that turned 50 this year i see it as coming to grips with life being very short and regrets are many...Josh isnt 50 but even at 40 he may be feeling alot of those same feelings...
    mbaliyaon June 09, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"not everything that goes around, come back around" the line I think is clever in the way it can be related to a clock (...like clockwork). The arms of a clock always go around and come back around.
    stonageon August 17, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionUnrequited love
    lilsisteron October 13, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about the repetitiveness of modern routine, heartbreak, and the mask that Homme puts on to face the public.
    Crane42on June 04, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationFrom what I can see, considering the history of the band and the roots of this album itself, this song has a lot to do with regrets in life. Squandering your time instead of living, sacrificing others and their emotions for your own selfishness and then thinking back about what you did. It's both a bitter heartbreak and a want for what you left behind.

    It's coming to terms that people do what they want, and there's nothing you can do about that. You won't always make amends or get revenge, but it's also a lament that things should have been different
    akimikaon June 22, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis song, in a nutshell, is about the world of appearences we live in.
    At the beginning, the author shares his thoughts on how the hectic pace of life nowadays makes people focus on meaningless and disposable things, forgetting the really important stuff.("And the faster the world spins/The shorter all the lights will cloak") He shows that this scenario leads to frustration, once the search of a person to love will never be successful in modern society (the ''chase down the moon'' metaphore), where, as mentioned before, people, most of the time, are worried about work and making money and don't have time to feel anything.
    Then, in the corus, he emphasizes that nowadays is more important to look than to feel ( just like in "if i had a tail"), mentioning that people want to show that they are always happy (check your facebook newsfeed), even though they aren't. He also approaches his struggle to deal with break-ups ("Holding on too long is just /a fear of letting go"), and how, sometimes, feelings aren't reciprocate ("Because not everything that goes around/Comes back around, you know").
    Finally, the last lines are about the natural course of life, in a good and bad meaning ("One thing that is clear /It's all downhill from here").
    Well, these are my impressions about this amazing song.
    elias09on October 13, 2013   Link

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