Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out
Breathe in
Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out
Breathe in

Tied to a wheel fingers got to feel
Bleeding through a tourniquet smile
I spin on a whim, I slide to the right
I felt you like electric light

For our love, for our fear
For our rise against the years and years and years

Got a machine head, it's better than the rest
Green to red machine head
Got a machine head, it's better than the rest
Green to red

I walk from my machine
I walk from my machine

Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out
Breathe in

Deaf dumb, dirty
Starting to deserve this
Leaning on my conscience wall
Blood is like wine
Unconscious all the time
If I had it all again
I'd change it all

Got a machine head, it's better than the rest
Green to red machine head
Got a machine head, it's better than the rest
Green to red

I walk from my machine
I walk from my machine

Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out
Breathe in, breathe in, breathe in

Got a machine head, it's better than the rest
Green to red machine head
Got a machine head, it's better than the rest
Green to red

Better than the rest, better than the rest
Machine head

I walk from my machine
I walk from my machine


Lyrics submitted by lilsweetness77, edited by Kyosanshugi, kt808

Machinehead Lyrics as written by Gavin Rossdale

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Machinehead song meanings
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139 Comments

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  • +7
    General CommentThis song is about Darth Vader. read the lyrics and think about it!
    Green to red - the thing on darth's chest.
    breathe in, breathe out
    NFG06on June 15, 2002   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI can't believe no one on here realizes this song is about Darth Vader! "Breathe in Breathe out", "Green to red", "felt you like electric light". The Star wars references in this song are clear and obvious to me
    calemon December 23, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General CommentBest opening riff, ever.
    straydog89on April 13, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentOne can appreciate great songs like "Machine Head" in a couple ways- for pure relaxation and enjoyment, or on an analytical level. Also, I want to stress that some songs have a right and a wrong interpretation. I know as a lyricist/poet that songwriters often try to get a specific message across. Anyone who thinks "Born in the U.S.A." by Bruce Springsteen in patriotic, for example, is mistaken. So, imagine how Bruce feels about presidential candidates using that song at their rallies! "Machine Head" can go a couple ways, though. Here's my way...
    There's some imagery suggesting cars. Later in the song, Gavin sings, "Got a machine head better than the rest." That is, he is ahead of other people, better than them. Our culture uses cars as a symbol of status and position, right?
    His own drive for success controls the 'narrator' (I don't know if Gavin wrote this song about himself or not) -"tied to a wheel," and he feels like this drive makes him inhuman, hence the phrase (and title) "Machine head."
    Some of the verses acknowledge the narrator's selfishness, cruelty, carelessness, and his insensitivity concerning his treatment of others-"blood is like wine, unconscious all the time," and his insensitivity, carelessness, and selfish, blind drive have made him "deaf, dumb, and thirty" to others (I guess the narrator realizes this at thirty years of age- or perhaps prematurely "old," like the saying "never trust anybody over thirty").
    The narrator experiences his epiphany in the first verse- "fingers got to feel bleeding through a tourniquet smile." The narrator detects his drive to get ahead has caused some damage to himself. That's when he sees the light-"I felt you like electric light," and he chooses to "spin on a whim and slide to the right," in which "slide to the right" means the right way.
    "Breath in breath out" is a call against artificiality; machines can't breathe. "From green to red" means the end to the narrator's drive for artificial. He rejects artificiality in the end- "I walk from my machine."
    iandkinzelon January 05, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentGavin States in a 2014 interview with Howard Stern that this song is about the human ego and separating yourself from it.
    Bajinganlangiton March 24, 2016   Link
  • +2
    General Commentto me it totally sounds like he gets into a car wreck and dies, just read these lines carefully:

    green to red
    machinehead
    and i walk from my machine
    i walk from my machine
    deaf dumb dirty
    starting to deserve this
    leaning on my conscious wall
    blood is like wine

    "green to red", meaning like a sudden stop or crash
    "i walk from my machine/ deaf dumb dirty" i can just picture him crawling from the window of an upturned car
    "leaning on my conscious wall" when it caves he enters unconciousness, death
    eigthon May 09, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti dis cant B leave I cant spell das good das thelinkman can thang, bling bling baby. its just 1 of thoze thanks ya'll no, itz da bomb.
    sic n twistedon July 09, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commentboneyard23 - perfectly said. You hit the nail on the head.

    This is a ridiculous attempt at songwriting. It's a jumble of words and fans try to kid themselves and come up with a meaning. "for our rise against the years and years and years" - what? Please, save me.

    Also, I liked your comment about the singer not knowing what the song is about. I guarantee you that you are correct.

    I want to interview him on camera to see what he'll say.

    "it's about...

    uhh..

    sponges..?"

    I WAFFLE MY MACHINE.
    applesauceon February 19, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationThis song is about writing, writing from the heart (bleeding on the page) on an old fashioned manual typewriter. (the machine head)


    "breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out
    Breathe in
    Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out
    Breathe in"

    Sitting, thinking.

    "Tied to a wheel, my fingers got to feel"

    The wheel is the roller, fingers on the keys, waiting for inspiration.

    The next lyric is often misquoted. It is "bleeding through its ARCANE (meaning old) smile, just look at the front of an old typewriter, you'll see the smile.

    What the heck is tar decay, LOL?

    Bleeding is common metaphor for writing real feelings.

    " spin on a whim, I slide to the right"

    Loading blank page, sliding the arm over to start a fresh line.

    "I felt you like electric light"

    Inspiration, like a light bulb over the head.

    Got a machinehead, it's better than the rest
    Green to red machinehead
    Got a machinehead, it's better than the rest
    Green to red

    Machinehead is the manual typewriter to writer's head connection. Writers who use manuals are proud of their specific machine (better than the rest). Green to red is the correcting ribbon, black and red type. Look at one, the black looks shiny and dark green.

    "deaf dumb and thirty
    Starting to deserve this
    Leaning on my conscious wall
    Blood is like wine
    Unconscious all the time
    If I had it all again
    I'd change it all"

    Getting old, writing in a contrived way, not being authentic, having writers block, relying on your conscious rather than unconscious. Blood is like wine, true inspiration (bleeding on the page) is intoxicating, comes from somewhere deep, unconscious. Wishing you could get back to inspiration, good writing.

    Bush has some of the coolest, deepest lyrics.

    Awesome, rock on.



    Jimbo33on December 11, 2017   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think its about somones ego because if it quotes "got a machine head better then the rest" but that my opinion so.... i just like the song alot good opening riff
    kolankoon August 03, 2005   Link

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