Breakdown
Jack Johnson Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

I hope this old train breaks down
Then I could take a walk around
See what there is to see
Time is just a melody

With all the people in the street
Walking as fast as their feet can take 'em
I just roll through town
And though my window's got a view
Well, the frame I'm looking through
Seems to have no concern for me now
So for now I

I need this old train to break down
Oh, please just let me please breakdown

Well, this engine screams out loud
Centipede gonna crawl westbound
So I don't even make a sound
'Cause it's gonna sting me when I leave this town

And all the people in the street
That I'll never get to meet
These tracks don't bend somehow
And I got no time that I got to get to
Where I don't need to be, so I

I need this old train to break down
Oh, please just let me please breakdown
I need this old train to break down
Oh, please just let me please breakdown

I wanna break on down
But I can't stop now
Let me break on down

But you can't stop nothing if you got no control
Of the thoughts in your mind that you kept and you know
You don't know nothing, but you don't need to know
The wisdom's in the trees, not the glass windows
You can't stop wishing if you don't let go
The things that you find and you lose and you know
You keep on rolling, put the moment on hold
The frame's too bright, so put the blinds down low and

I need this old train to break down
Oh, please just let me please breakdown
I need this old train to break down
Oh, please just let me please breakdown





I wanna break on down
But I can't stop now

Overall Meaning

The song "Breakdown" by Jack Johnson describes the desire to escape from the busy life, where people have no time to stop and take a look around. To the singer, time is just a melody, which makes him feel like he is stuck. He hopes the old train he is on breaks down, so he can get off and take a walk around to see what is around him. He quickly realizes he does not have control over his life, and he cannot stop the train from moving. He is surrounded by people in the street who are all in a hurry to get somewhere, but he is different, and he roams through town, taking his time to see what is around him.


The singer yearns for a change, which he refers to as a breakdown. He wants to escape from everything and take a break from this fast-paced life. He hopes the train will breakdown so he can finally break down too. However, he realizes that he cannot control his thoughts and the things happening around him. He urges people to find solace in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. He concludes by wishing for a breakdown so he can finally stop and take a look around but knows that he cannot stop now.


Line by Line Meaning

I hope this old train breaks down
The singer wishes that this train would stop moving as he would like to walk around and explore.


Then I could take a walk around
If the train breaks down, the singer could explore his surroundings.


See what there is to see
The singer wants to experience and observe the world around him.


Time is just a melody
The concept of time is subjective and irrelevant to the singer's desire for exploration.


With all the people in the street
The singer notices the bustling crowd that surrounds him.


Walk as fast as their feet
The people on the street are in a hurry to get to their destinations.


Can take them
Their feet are the only means for them to reach their destinations.


I just roam through town
The singer, unlike others, takes his time to wander around and explore his surroundings.


And though my window's got a view
Although the singer can see the entire city from his window,


Where the frame I'm looking through
The frame limits his perspective.


Seems to have no concern for me now
The view from the singer's window seems distant and unimportant to him.


So for now
For the time being


I need this here
The singer wants this train to stop moving


Old train to breakdown
The singer wants this train to break down.


Oh, please just
The singer is begging for this to happen


Let me please breakdown
The singer wants to break down so that he can explore the world.


Well, this engine screams out loud
The engine makes a loud noise that annoys the singer


Sayin' the beat gonna crawl westbound
The engine announces the train’s direction


So I don't even make a sound
The singer remains quiet and still


'Cause it's gonna sting me when I leave this town
The singer is suggesting that leaving the town will hurt him emotionally.


And all the people in the street that I'll never get to meet
The singer is no longer able to encounter everyone in the street because the train is leaving.


These tracks don't bend somehow
The train tracks are rigid and don't curve within the terrain.


And I got no time that I got to get to
The singer has no particular place to be.


Where I don't need to be, so I
The singer doesn't want to be in a place that he doesn't need to be.


I need this
The singer wants a train breakdown.


Old train to breakdown
The singer wants the old train to break down.


Oh, please just
The singer is asking initially for the old train to break down.


Let me please breakdown
The singer wants to explore and hence is desperate for the old train to stop moving.


But you can't stop nothing
The singer is acknowledging the fact that certain things in life are uncontrollable.


If you got no control
The singer has no control over his thoughts.


Of the thoughts in your mind
The singer is referring to the background noise of his everyday thoughts.


That you kept in, you know
The singer is keeping them all inside, unwilling to let them escape.


You don't know nothing
The singer is acknowledging his lack of knowledge.


But you don't need to know
The singer is suggesting that sometimes knowing isn't always necessary.


The wisdom's in the trees
The beauty of nature has a lot to offer than the view in the window.


Not the glass windows
The singer thinks that the true beauty lies outside the window, not inside.


You can't stop wishing
The singer acknowledges that a human nature is to wish.


If you don't let go
The singer suggests that letting go of certain wishes can be difficult.


The things that you find
The singer is referring to his discoveries.


And you lose and you know
The singer is suggesting that even after discovering things, it is still possible to lose them.


You keep on rolling
The singer is suggesting that 'the show must go on'.


Put the moment on hold
The singer wants to extend the moment for his own exploration.


The frame's too bright
The frame is too overwhelming for the singer.


So put the blinds down low and
The singer lowers the blinds to limit his vision.


I need this here
The singer wants the old train to stop.


Old train to breakdown
The singer wants the old train to break down.


Oh, please just
The singer is begging for the train breakdown.


Let me please breakdown
The singer wants to explore the world, and so he's begging for the train to break down.


I wanna break on down
The singer wants to have a breakdown.


But I can't stop now
The singer couldn't afford to have a breakdown when he's still in motion.




Lyrics © Bubble Toes Publishing, REACH MUSIC PUBLISHING, Reservoir Media Management, Inc.
Written by: Jack Johnson, Daniel M. Nakamura, Paul E. Huston

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

@tyhop88

Few years back tripping on shrooms, sitting in a room full of black light posters. This song came on and I had an epiphany, it has everything to do with a good trip!
"But you can't stop nothing
If you got no control
Of the thoughts in your mind
That you kept and you know
You don't know nothing
But you don't need to know
The wisdom's in the trees
Not the glass windows
You can't stop wishing
If you don't let go
The things that you find
And you lose, and you know
You keep on rolling
Put the moment on hold
The frame's too bright
So put the blinds down low"



All comments from YouTube:

@xJeSsiicaXAlbaX69dme

Heard this Jam and all of a sudden... I started a tomato garden, paid for the guy behind me at the toll booth, gave a waitress my phone number, decided not to quit my piano lessons, took a brisk 3 mile jog, cleaned underneath my fridge, let the guy sitting behind me at the movies keep explaining the plot line to his buddy, decided to stop grabbing so many napkins, came to a full complete stop at a stop sign, and called mom and told her I love her.

@mikepaul5609

Beautiful comment lol

@bellafenniman5525

proud of you, go you!!! Im going to start making some changes in my life too thanks :)

@davidkuahiwinui2660

That's really nice, I enjoyed reading your comment while listening to this

@laldinglianahauhnar4782

J

@sendherbud3447

"the good ending"

41 More Replies...

@jadynmidget2241

My mom used to love this song so so much, it always reminds me of her and her outlook on life. Her influence on my life has been insurmountable; I just wish I had the chance to say I love you again.

@mpqw

🙏

@cammyruby

Every time you look out to the sky. You can say I love you because your mom is everywhere. Just look up to the sky or down to your hands.

@sutosmallz4415

She know it. Beacause she's your mom.

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