What does Machinehead mean?

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Bush: Machinehead Meaning


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Song Released: 1996

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Machinehead Lyrics

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

Tied to a wheel,my fingers got to feel
Bleeding though its arcane smile
I spin on a whim, I slide to the right
I felt you like electric light
For our love, for our...

  1. anonymous
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    Mar 5th report

    I think the tourniquet,is around his arm and he is tieing off to shoot up, pulling with his teeth.Formerjunkie's guess.

  2. anonymous
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    Jan 18th 2020 report

    I can’t believe I’m the first person to write this on here. Yes there’s layers of meaning referencing the struggles of addiction but the song is about Anakin Skywalker becoming Darth Vader.
    C’mon guys! - “Green to red, machine head”

  3. anonymous
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    Jan 2nd 2020 report

    You guys are reading too much into these lyrics... and don’t have the Actual lyrics even close... source:Gavin

  4. anonymous
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    Dec 16th 2019 report

    Addiction doing the same thing over expecting different results every time knowing the same results for years and years will come and it will always be there sleeping. my life machine Head

  5. anonymous
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    Oct 8th 2017 report

    It's about a heroin addict that is shooting up, hence the bleeding through a tourniquet smile and feeling like electric light.

    Blood is like a wine unconscious all the time... Always high...

  6. anonymous
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    May 12th 2017 report

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

    This is talking about an engine's cylinders intake and exhaust cycle, It's supposed to represent a repeating, seemingly endless cycle of addiction.

    "Tied to a wheel fingers got to feel
    Bleeding through a tar-decay 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"

    This verse is talking about being bound to a vice, pretending to like it, and binging recklessly. The later half is referencing someone going through it with him.

    "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
    And I walk from my machine
    I walk from my machine"

    Using car enthusiasm to reference a vice. The end of the chorus is talking about leaving the vice behind, The next segment implies that it's about alcoholism.

    "Deaf dumb and thirty
    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"

    This verse is talking about a long term vice, the negatives of which were ignored, and how because of the hardheadedness the troubles and problems are deserved. It talks about self reflection then implies the vice is alcoholism. The last two lines are saying that the vice wasn't worth it.

    In summary, the song is using car enthusiasm to talk about suffering with vices and moving one from them.

  7. anonymous
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    Jul 26th 2012 report

    Here are the lyrics (as I hear them, anyways);

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

    Tied to a wheel my fingers got to feel,
    Bleeding through a tourniquet smile,
    Spinning a web, slide to the right,
    I felt you like a electric light,
    Full of love, full of 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,
    Better than the rest,
    Green to red,
    And I walk from my machine...

    Just don't get it 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,"


    Well, while I've always personally believed that it was meant to be about a person who relies more on their head as opposed to their senses, I watched an episode of Through the Wormhole about the unconscious brain that reminded me of this song.

    In this particular episode, science has proven that the subconscious is a troublesome entity which comprises of our orientation to our senses (the body), is responsible for our "gut" feelings and has the potential to heal our bodies through cultivating and integrating "it" into the conscious spheres.

    We are primarily unaware of our subconscious, yet are unable to walk from it (separate ourselves from it), hence being tied to the "wheel;" the inner mechanics of the brain that processes and integrates what the fingers feel into a cohesive experience which is our perception and ultimately our reality.

    I always thought he said, "bleeding through a tourniquet smile" which could be indicating that though we think we may be depriving our brain of the senses, we are not, though consciously believing we have the ability to is comforting (smile). Blood also carries nutrients and oxygen to the brain and cutting the supply is fatal. It could also represent that the unconscious brain usually deprives the conscious of awareness and when oxygen is shortly deprived, the person will be rendered unconscious, (unaware) or black-out which the "blood is like wine" reference nicely parallels this thought.

    "Spinning a web, slide to the right." The neural connections in the brain are often referred to a neuronal web and slide to the right is ever so interesting!! In Wormhole, scientists prove that autistic savants showed more activity in the right hemisphere and an experiment was devised where a "regular joe" was given a positive pulse of electricity ("felt you like electric light) to the right hemisphere of the brain while receiving a negative charge to the left which increased the persons problem solving ability!

    "Full of love, full of fear, for our rise against the years and years and years..." Here is where, again, the show was eerily similar! Our years of experiences from the time we are born until the time we die are sorted and filed within the brain, yet do we remember when we were infants or even every single detail of what happened in the last hour? Perhaps we do, yet to consciously continue to remember is useless, however, it shapes our brains and our personality. The only way to rise above what it is that has shaped us (our past) is to bring it to light within the conscious mind; to remember and consciously understand and relate. Perhaps meditation is effective at reducing the "noise" and the show proved that simple steps such as breathing (breath in, breath out) and repeating the word "peace" as our thoughts flow freely through the mind, can have astounding effects not only on the level of stress, but on our very genetics!

    "Green to red" (in the show) revealed that blood samples taken from the meditation participants showed that genes responsible for inflammation that were turned "on" at the beginning of the trial were turned "off" by the end and were indicated as being red when turned "on" and green when "off." I just thought the parallel was remarkable in that the green to red indicates stress (being stopped or hindered) in the song, as well as in the genome!!

    "Just don't get it, starting to deserve this, leaning on my conscious wall..." seems to imply that what has surfaced to the conscious awareness is confusing, yet he is leaning on (depending on it, rather) to make sense of the world and is further attempting to cut-off subconscious thoughts from entering. Or, the subconscious is beginning to emerge and he is having difficulty understanding. Either way, he feels that what ever predicament he currently faces is do his tendency of being unaware, hence "unconscious all the time." "If I had it all again I'd change it all" seems to mean that if we are able to consciously ascertain the subconscious plethora of stored life experiences, we could change our personality, thus change our circumstances.

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