The palpitating cherry-red organ was returned to its rightful place and began to beat faster as it led our hero, counting out time, through his first romantic encounter.

I'm counting out time,
Got the whole thing down by numbers.
All those numbers!
Give me guidance!
O Lord I need that now.

The day of judgement's come,
And you can bet that I've been resting,
for this testing,
Digesting every word the experts say.
Erogenous zones I love you.
Without you, what would a poor boy do?

Found a girl I wanted to date,
Thought I'd better get it straight.
Went to buy a book before it's too late.
Don't leave nothing to fate.
I studied every line, every page in the book,
Now, I've got the real thing here, I'm gonna take a look, take a look.

This is Real!

I'm counting out time, hoping it goes like I planned it,
'cause I understand it. Look! I've found the hotspots, Figs 1-9.
Still counting out time, got my finger on the button,
"Don't say nuttin' just lie there still
And I'll get you turned on just fine."
Erogenous zones I love you.
Without you, what would a poor boy do?

Touch and go with 1-6.
Bit of trouble in zone No. 7.
Gotta remember all of my tricks.
There's heaven ahead in No. 11!
Getting crucial responses, dilation of the pupils.
"Honey get hip! It's time to unzip, to unzip, zip, zip-a-zip-a-zip.
(Take it away Mr. Guitar)

I'm counting out time, reaction none to happy,
Please don't slap me,
I'm a red blooded male and the book said I could not fail.
I'm counting out time, I got unexpected distress from my mistress,
I'll get my money back from the bookstore right away.
Erongenous zones I question you
Without you, what would a poor boy do?
Without you, what would a poor boy do?
Without you, mankind handkinds through' the blues.

Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by orenmil

Counting Out Time song meanings
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  • +2
    General Comment

    Among the most hilarious song texts ever! Peter Gabriel hit the nail on the head. ; ) You feel sympathy for our poor boy, but at the same time laugh about his desperate attempt to learn love-making from a book. : ))

    I love the silly rhyming which he keeps on throwing in very consciously: resting - for this testing, button - nuttin, distress - from my mistress : D I also like the sarcastic subtone in the last stanza: "I'll get my money back from the bookstore right away".

    WhiteWolfDiefon June 20, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    This song makes me laugh! The lyrics tell a really funny story... however, you might not notice listening to the song. But reading the lyrics, all I can do is laugh and shake my head at the silliness... I love the last verse. You can just hear the sudden "uh-oh" shift:

    I'm counting out time, reaction none too happy Please don't slap me...

    I'm counting out time, I got unexpected distress from my mistress I'll get my money back from the bookstore right away...

    Oops. Hehehe.

    EnduringChillon March 30, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This was written by Gabriel from the Lamb - which was a concept album. He pretty much put a lot of himself and the situation's he was in at that time into Raul. The story goes - Raul want's to kop of with a rather fine young lady - he buy's a sex manual to show him what to do and is then 'Counting out time'!

    timbo.hon January 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    All I can say is "yup" - correct!!

    nagromnaion August 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Awesome song, I didn't even know it was sexual until I read the lyrics XD

    Nivon November 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Top notch song

    just love the way he sings the 'move over Casanova' line, pure awesome

    GordonBennetton March 28, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    "Without you, mankind handkinds through' the blues."

    I love this line. References mastrubation and blue balls. If you've been a male that couldn't get laid, you know exactly what this means.

    PDXGuy96on February 22, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    The question for me here is why the title counting out time ? Time is valuable like money ie you can count it out ? Any ideas ?

    jonarceeon August 07, 2016   Link

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