The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver
Elbow Lyrics


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Gotta get out of TV
Just pick a point and go
The ticker-tape tangles my feet
As I search for a face that I know
Come on, tower crane driver
There's not so far to go

I must have been working the ropes
When your hand slipped from mine
Now I live off the mirrors and smoke
It's a joke, a fix, a lie
Come on, tower crane driver
Oh, so far to fall

Send up a prayer in my name
Just the same
They say I'm on top of my game




Dwindle gentle rose
Send up a prayer in my name

Overall Meaning

The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver is a melancholic song by Elbow, released in 2008. The lyrics of the song delve into the isolation and emptiness that the titular crane driver feels while plying his trade. The first verse talks about the suffocating effects of TV on the human psyche, and how it's essential to break free from it. The second line of the verse reveals the sense of displacement the driver feels as he navigates through the anonymous ticker-tape of a bustling city, in search of a face he recognises.


The chorus of the song offsets the hopelessness of the first verse with an exhortation to the tower crane driver to continue his journey, as there isn't much further to go. The second verse goes back in time to when the driver was with someone who was important to them, who slipped away from his grasp. Now he lives his lonely life relying on the ephemera of smoke and mirrors. Despite this, the singer cautions the driver, offering him pity for the immense potential for a catastrophic fall from his prominent perch.


The song is a reflection of how lonely and disconnected modern life in big cities can make us feel; even when we're in high-visibility roles, like that of a tower crane driver, it doesn't guarantee emotional fulfillment or meaningful personal connections. The song is a reminder to look beyond the surface of things, beyond the masks we wear, to the real, vulnerable human beings underneath.


Line by Line Meaning

Gotta get out of TV
I need to step away from the media and constant information overload.


Just pick a point and go
I need to make a decision and commit to it, no matter where it leads.


The ticker-tape tangles my feet
The constant influx of news and information is overwhelming and tripping me up.


As I search for a face that I know
In the midst of all the noise, I'm looking for something familiar and comforting.


Come on, tower crane driver
Myself or someone who is in control of their own fate and able to take risks.


There's not so far to go
The journey may not be as long or difficult as it seems.


I must have been working the ropes
I was distracted and not paying enough attention when I lost what was important to me.


When your hand slipped from mine
When I lost the connection or relationship that once made me feel whole.


Now I live off the mirrors and smoke
I've been living in a fake, illusionary world of superficiality and illusions.


It's a joke, a fix, a lie
This way of life, this constant distraction and disconnection, is all a sham and I know it deep down.


Oh, so far to fall
I'm up high, able to see the world from a different perspective, but it's a long way down if things go wrong.


Send up a prayer in my name
Ask for help, for guidance, for comfort or strength when I need it most.


Just the same
No matter what happens, keep me in your thoughts and continue to support me.


They say I'm on top of my game
Others see me as successful and in control, but deep down I know that's not entirely true.


Dwindle gentle rose
Things are changing and coming to an end, even the things that once seemed beautiful and strong.




Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: CRAIG LEE POTTER, GUY EDWARD JOHN GARVEY, MARK POTTER, MARK ELLIS POTTER, PETER JAMES TURNER, RICHARD BARRY JUPP

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@andystevenson9133

Gotta get out of TV
Just pick a point and go
The ticker-tape tangles my feet
As I search for a face that I know
Come on, tower crane driver
There's not so far to go

I must have been working the ropes
When your hand slipped from mine
Now I live off the mirrors and smoke
It's a joke, a fix, a lie
Come on, tower crane driver
Oh, so far to fall

Send up a prayer in my name
Just the same
They say I'm on top of my game
Dwindle gentle rose
Send up a prayer in my name



All comments from YouTube:

@graxxor

Anyone still coming back to this masterpiece in 2024?

@martinhammett8121

yep, cant stay away !

@sebastiaanmesserschmidt9642

oh yeah. masterpiece indeed. Especially from minute 2:25 to just before the choir is next level beautiful....

@user-yv4vr7mx4o

Yep

@whosnamesthat

Yep goosebumps everytime too

@RichardMaxwell-hc8eg

Absolutely

5 More Replies...

@zondervanamo

When the choir kicks in - one of the most emotionally incendiary moments in live music.

@wilburfierce5312

And he just wails - looks like total catharsis -"emotionally incendiary" well said. One of the most powerful vocal performances ever.

@wendyshaw5658

I sooo agree. His voice combined with his band and the choir is just phenomenal. WOW!!

@tostare

It is incredible isn't it. I love how at the end how Jupp gives a little nod and a smile as if to say "Yeah, that went well".

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