Pressure Machine
The Killers Lyrics


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(We met dragging main at Spanish Fork)
(And he wasn't moving away from here so it wasn't really
(And we could build a house here, anyway)

Hope'll set your eyes agleam
Like four feet dangling in the stream
The kingdom of God, it's a pressure machine
Every step, gotta keep it clean
A mattress on a hardwood floor
Who could ever ask for more?
I'll get up and cut the grass
Ain't nothing wrong with working class

I, I don't remember the last time you asked how I was
Don't you feel the time slipping away?
It ain't funny at all
It's gonna break your heart one day

Keep the debt cloud off the kids
Only sunshine on their lids
Jimmy Cricket and Power Wheels
And memories of Happy Meals
Sometimes I look at the stars
I think about how small we are
Sweating it out in the pressure machine
Good 'til the last drop

Why don't you say little things?
Butterflies don't just dance on a string
It feels like you clipped all their wings
And every year goes by faster than the one before

We had that treadmill now for months
I think she might've used it once
If I shut my mouth and keep the peace
She'll cook my eggs in bacon grease
Life'll grow you a big red rose
Then rip it from beneath your nose




And run it through the pressure machine
And spit you out a name tag memory

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of The Killers's song Pressure Machine paint a vivid picture of rural life in America. The opening lines mention Spanish Fork, a small town in Utah where the band's lead singer, Brandon Flowers, grew up. The line "he wasn't moving away from here" suggests the lack of mobility and opportunities prevalent in small towns. Despite this, the characters in the song find hope and purpose in their daily lives. The imagery of "four feet dangling in the stream" and "the kingdom of God, it's a pressure machine" conveys a sense of life's fragility and the need to navigate its challenges.


The chorus emphasizes the importance of hard work and taking care of one's family, with lines like "A mattress on a hardwood floor, who could ever ask for more?" and "Keep the debt cloud off the kids, only sunshine on their lids." However, as the song progresses, there is a sense of disillusionment and the realization that time is slipping away. The line "sometimes I look at the stars, I think about how small we are" underscores the human experience of feeling insignificant in the grand scheme of things. The closing lines "life'll grow you a big red rose, then rip it from beneath your nose, and run it through the pressure machine, and spit you out a name tag memory" encapsulate the ephemeral nature of life and the feeling of being at the mercy of forces beyond our control.


Overall, Pressure Machine is a poignant reflection on the beauty and hardships of small-town life, the importance of family and community, and the fleeting nature of existence.


Line by Line Meaning

We met dragging main at Spanish Fork
We first came across each other while cruising around the main street in Spanish Fork


And he wasn't moving away from here so it wasn't really
And since he had decided to stay put, we thought we could build a house in this town


And we could build a house here, anyway
So we thought we could build a house here despite the hardships we may face


Hope'll set your eyes agleam
Having hope will make your eyes shine with excitement and anticipation


Like four feet dangling in the stream
Just as a child's feet submerged in a stream feels new and exciting, hope can provide a similar feeling of adventure


The kingdom of God, it's a pressure machine
The pursuit of religion, which many see as the key to life, has the potential to create immense pressure on individuals


Every step, gotta keep it clean
Every action and decision must be made carefully, with no room for error or mistake


A mattress on a hardwood floor
Even the simplest things, like a straightforward mattress on the ground, can create a special space


Who could ever ask for more?
It doesn't take much to be content and happy if we can find joy in the little things


I'll get up and cut the grass
Even the mundane tasks, like mowing the lawn, can help build a sense of purpose and accomplishment


Ain't nothing wrong with working class
There's no shame in doing honest, hard work to make a living


I, I don't remember the last time you asked how I was
I can't recall the last time you showed any concern or asked about my wellbeing


Don't you feel the time slipping away?
Do you sense that time is quickly passing us by and we should make the most of it?


It ain't funny at all
This situation is far from being humorous or enjoyable


It's gonna break your heart one day
This sense of detachment can be hurtful and might lead to a broken heart in the future


Keep the debt cloud off the kids
It's important to protect our children from the negative consequences of financial problems


Only sunshine on their lids
Our children should be able to enjoy only positive experiences, with no dark clouds overshadowing their lives


Jimmy Cricket and Power Wheels
Memories of happy moments spent with toys and other simple things can bring a lot of joy


And memories of Happy Meals
Recollections of fun times spent as a family, such as over a fast food meal, can create lasting memories


Sometimes I look at the stars
Occasionally, when pondering about life's greater purpose, I look up at the shining stars and planets above


I think about how small we are
This vast universe makes our existence feel insignificant and unimportant in the grand scheme of things


Sweating it out in the pressure machine
Pushing ourselves to achieve our goals can feel like being stuck inside a machine that puts immense pressure on us


Good 'til the last drop
We should strive to use all our energy and motivation even when fatigue sets in, not giving up until we've exhausted ourselves completely


Why don't you say little things?
Why don't you express your feelings and thoughts even about simple things? It's the little things that can make life worth living


Butterflies don't just dance on a string
Freedom is essential for experiencing joy, and we should not limit ourselves or others from enjoying themselves


It feels like you clipped all their wings
It feels like you have limited my freedom and creativity, or you have taken away my joy and enthusiasm for life


And every year goes by faster than the one before
Time seems to move more quickly as we age, and each year feels like it passes more rapidly than the last


We had that treadmill now for months
We've had that treadmill in our possession for several months now


I think she might've used it once
I believe she has only used it once, if at all, despite us having it for some time


If I shut my mouth and keep the peace
If I choose to remain silent and avoid conflict, we could maintain a peaceful relationship


She'll cook my eggs in bacon grease
In return for her efforts, she could pamper me with simple pleasures like a breakfast of eggs cooked with bacon grease


Life'll grow you a big red rose
Life can provide us with incredible blessings, reminiscent of a big, beautiful red rose in full bloom


Then rip it from beneath your nose
And then just as quickly, life can strip those blessings away from us


And run it through the pressure machine
Sometimes life's hardships can put us through intense pressure, causing us great stress and anxiety


And spit you out a name tag memory
At the end of it all, all that remains are just lingering memories that you can tag by name




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
Written by: Brandon Flowers, Jonathan Rado, Dave Brent Keuning

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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