"Pilot" as written by and Martin Gretschmann Markus Acher....
He's living next to rails.
He can tell you things of different cars and trains.
Now he's trying the whole day to switch off time
By causing train-delay.

Could be enough if only he's the pilot once a day.

Not a word to compensate.
Not a sentence to describe this desperate state.
Not a Picture to compare.
We step into a room of opaque air.

Could be enough if only we are pilots once a day.

Lyrics submitted by msephton

"Pilot" as written by Martin Gretschmann Markus Acher


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Pilot song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentFantastic song, and a fantastic video to go with it. I think it's about having something of your own (in this example, your own railway set) to make you feel like you're in control. Like, how you can't do it properly because you are too shy, so doing this is the next best thing. Pretty anti-social, really.
    IdiotequeDanceon June 19, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is absolutely amazing. Fantastic beat, and I find myself wanting to dance my way to heaven when I listen to it. The lyrics are incredible, as well. To me, this song is about watching helplessly as society forms itself into a roadblock, a mass congestion of false compliments and fake existances. The lyricist compares the situation to a train about to be derailed....if only he could be the pilot, and delay the train from its impending doom.
    LostTraveleron June 29, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy first thought was also Control, but more with regards to self-control. To be or at least to feel an autonomous being under some kind of state, be it mental or societal, that denies this.

    The first line immediately reminds me of that other Neon Golden track, Off The Rails. A theme emerges. “He's living next to rails”, i.e, not on said rails, or indeed, off them. Which we know to be an expression referring to being out of control. I don't mean to analyse Off The Rails in full here at all, but in two lyrics with such close imagery it seems silly to completely ignore it. They are sister-songs.

    In Off The Rails to be off the rails is to be inhuman, 'Now we are trains ourselves' - note that in Off The Rails the subject of the lyric is first 'we' and not 'he'. It is inclusive of others, perhaps us too, the listeners. In making this a possibility it seems more likely the oppressive state in Off The Rails is less personal than in Pilot - more societal, governmental, what have you. Accordingly I feel more inclined to believe Pilot describes a combination of oppressive societal and mental states.

    Staying in the first verse, another section that led me to my conclusion was the second couplet; 'Now he's trying the whole day to switch off time / By causing train-delay'. The subject of the lyric is not a pilot or conductor, as much as he might like to be – so how could he cause the trains to be delayed? The best answer I could come up with was: by throwing himself in front of one. Certainly a way of switching off time, certainly a way of asserting one's self-control when there are no other options, for whatever reason.

    It goes without saying that to be a pilot is a metaphor for being in control, which the subject does not feel he even has but once per day. The second stanza I feel describes the experience of being unable to explain, well, 'this desperate state'. The subject is not only misunderstood but also inconsolable ('Not a word to compensate' for his lack of control and resulting desperation). That he is moreover unable to even relate his experiences by comparing them to pictures (which after all are supposedly worth a thousand words or so) is telling of the extent to which the subject is detached from his surroundings and/or peers.

    Finally the symbol of the 'room of opaque air'. The substance is still air, it is still breathable, and yet since it is opaque and not transparent it renders the subject(/s?) blind. Blindness is maybe a metaphor for the mental state that the subject finds himself in, he is blinded by it just as by opaque air, he still functions (can breathe) but without control, or sight. However he does choose to step into the room, and this is at the end of the lyric, so this is perhaps another suicide allusion.

    We end on desperation, 'if only', and indeed it is suddenly 'we' rather than 'he'. If only. Rather fatal.
    chalkedon November 03, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGood interpretation!
    IdiotequeDanceon July 01, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti really like the losttraveler theory.
    i think is amazing too
    this song has something..... is one of my favorites, definitively
    v2.7on November 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlove this song, and the album. every song is so... involving.
    xerceson March 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPerfect, LostTraveler. Agreed; you beat me to it.
    this piloton June 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMaybe its the fact that this song reminds me of the days coming down off of blow but to me its about cocaine.
    i may be competely wrong, but for me its a song in disguise. taking words and describing a touchy subject, then masking it with another meaning. even if im wrong wich i probably am, it is a brilliant way to write lyrics that i use myself now.
    "living next to rails" a dual mean could be present

    "hes trying the whole day to switch off time" fuck, if your a drug users you know these words too well,.

    once a day im my own pilot

    being the pilot of your life, doing what little you can to go to the places you wanna be.
    i like what people say about this song being about being in control, its brilliantly worded. this song can mean so much to so may idfferent people
    Canevoon March 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentpretty much about being able to control the course/outcome of fate and destiny.
    even if it was just for once a day.
    SuperGroveron February 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNeverminding the bad grammar of the chorus ;)... It made me think of Bowie's "We could be heroes just for one day".

    But what do you guys make of the fact that the person dreams of being a pilot despite being described in an environment of cars and trains? It could be something like his current state is actually a compromise to what would actually make him feel complete, fulfilled. That is why he's trying to boycott this system that is holding him back in his desperate state.
    aubergine11on June 10, 2011   Link

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