"Heart Is A Drum" as written by and Beck Hansen....
Free as a driving wheel
Circling around your iron will
See only what you feel
Keeps you turning when you're standing still
You tried to run from trouble when it comes
You followed the drum keeping time with everyone

High as the light of day
You're falling down across your lost highway
Pain - does it hurt this way?
To come so far to find they've closed the gates?
You've lost your tongue when you fall from the pendulum
Your heart is a drum keeping time with everyone

Everyone, if they drown from the undertow
Need to find someone to show me how to play it slow
And just let it go

Your eyes get stung by the rays of the sinking sun
You follow the drum keeping time with everyone
Going beat beat beat, it's beating me down
Beat beat beat beat, it's beating me down
Day after day, it's turning around
'Til all my days are drowning out


Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings, edited by HabibtheGreat

"Heart Is a Drum" as written by Beck Hansen

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Heart Is A Drum song meanings
Add your thoughts

4 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentI think he is using this wonderful song to get over someone. They are obviously not together anymore and that he is communicating to her through this song for himself so that his heart can move on.

    The opening lines of the 1st verse I found hard to understand because all I could see is contradiction between the 1st and 2nd line therefore is this Beck's view of the relationship? I sense anger and frustration on his behalf towards her for her lack of with the lyrics 'see what you only feel' and 'you've lost your tongue when you fall from the pendulum'. He wants to deal with the pain in his heart when he realizes that her heart was not in the relationship - 'Pain - does it hurt this way? To come so far to find they've closed the gates.'

    The lyrics 'Everyone, if they drown...just let it go' is Beck singing to us giving advice but in that "unloading" he understands himself and what he needs in a woman.The title of the song line 'Heart is a drum keeping the beat with everyone' I cannot help but feel that this is a snide remark on his behalf at her for been typical of following to how society plays the game.

    Last lines of this song is brilliant both lyrically and musically. The last lines is the motif of the song musically - the 'beat beat beat' is his anguish after the dust has settled that all he is left with is her in his mind in his every moment of the day. Musically speaking the lyrics 'beat, beat, beat' is his anguish of constant thinking of her which Beck has illustrated in 2 ways musically - the recurring bass guitar riff progression of over and over and over and over ... that is double-voiced in the piano to echo the sentiment and the harmonic guitar chord played in arpeggio to emphasize the theme of over and over and over and over.... like a water tap dripping or the clock ticking. This musicality of the bass guitar, piano and guitar represents his constant thinking. The voice harmonies are her and how the thought of her haunts him over and over and over.....

    Beck must have truly loved this girl to have composed such a beautiful song to deal with his heart - he still does and maybe through this song he will find peace!
    Lols51on September 01, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHave no idea what this song means but, damn!!! what a gorgeous song!!!
    boypluon February 10, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThis is my interpretation.

    First of all the title. Heart Is A Drum. The word drum I think is a good clue to what this song is about. Think of the old saying "March to the beat of your own drum."

    As we know, Beck is all about being the kind of artist who marches to the beat of his own drum. He has an incredible artistic mind and he's carved out a niche for himself by being himself and being unique amongst the sea of copycats in the music industry. He has literally marched to the beat of his own drum since he arrived on the music scene.

    Free as a traveling wheel
    Circling around your iron will

    Does Beck mean that he's free in his creativity? Could he mean be referring to the iron will that it takes to be a unique artist in todays world? To be an artist like Beck, most certainly means that he needs to have an iron will because going against the grain is one of the hardest things that people ever had to do.

    See only what you feel
    Keeps you turning when you're standing still
    You try to run from trouble when it comes
    You follow the drum keeping time with everyone

    High as the light of day
    Falling down across your lost highway
    Why does it hurt this way?
    To come so far to find they've closed the gates?
    You've lost your tongue when you fall from the pendulum
    Your heart is a drum keeping time with everyone

    In the first two lines of this verse, could he referring to someone like Hank Williams? A struggling, iron-willed ,creative artist on a lost highway? Someone who is hurting really badly so they might be high on something?

    In reference to his own music career, and the music career of others, he may have been thinking that he had come so far only to find that the music industry collapsed? I read an interview with him where he discusses a new David Bowie album which upon release seemed to go unnoticed whereas in decades before it was a major event. A lot of major creative artists lost their sources of income and in some cases no longer receive the amount of publicity in their careers that at one time they used to receive. So for an artist like Bowie, to have come so far only to find that they have closed the gates is sort of fitting. It's also fitting for Beck since at one point he didn't even have a label anymore. He had come so far and had attained major success only to find the gates seemingly closed on his own career as well. Perhaps he felt that he had lost his tongue (desire to write) and his voice (an artist with something to say) when sales went down due to the advent of downloading for free music that was occurring. After his contract with Interscope expired, he was without a label for a number of years. In my opinion, it was completely ridiculous for an artist of such creative magnitude to be without a recording contract (if that's actually true).

    Everyone, hear the drum from the undertow
    Need to find someone to show me how to play it slow
    And just let it go


    In this part, could he be referring to his style of music as the undertow?

    Undertow definition: In physical oceanography, undertow is the steady current – below the splash zone – which is moving offshore for waves approaching a shore. Wikipedia

    If this is a metaphor for his style of music, then he's talking about his music as being the kind that moves away from the norms or moves away from what's popular or mainstream. His music style could be considered a strong current below the surface of a body of water (what's popular in music today) moving in a direction different from that of the surface current.

    Need to find someone to show me how to play it slow

    Could he be referring to his creative work ethic? He works so hard at his art that he wishes someone would come along to show him how to play it slow and to let go of his desire to make an impact in the music world. Or he thinks he works too hard and wishes he knew how to slow it down.

    Your eyes get stung by the rays of the sinking sun
    You follow the drum keeping time with everyone
    Going beat beat beat, it's beating me down
    Beat beat beat beat, it's beating me down
    Day after day, it's turning around
    'Til all my days are drowning out

    Does the first line mean that he wakes up just as the sun is about to set and upon waking the light of the sun stings his eyes? He spends the days sleeping and the nights awake working.

    He's getting tired and weary. Day after day he keeps hoping things will turn around but it's wearing on him and he's getting run down.

    Those are just a couple of things I thought of when thinking/analyzing this song.
    sanQon January 03, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about time, that is, the heart is a drum, and that rhythmn drives you through the stages of existance. In other words, The writer is in the present as an observer of the past, present and future in the same moment in time. He sees what he was in the sense of his experiences in the context of who or what were involved in those events. They are the past but they are also the present in memory, and with that in mind he can see where he is at now, encompassing this he can also see future possibilities. The writer is definately at the crossroads witnessing the heart that drums its tempo through the existance of life/death/life cycle.
    zi10204214on February 03, 2016   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain