Clockwork Creep
by 10cc

Album: Sheet Music (1974)
Play Video


  • This song treads in unique lyrical territory: it's about a bomb on an airplane, from the perspective of the bomb (the "clockwork creep"). Airplane bombings were big news in 1974, reported with the sober tone appropriate for such a deadly serious issue. 10cc injected a great deal of sardonic humor into the song, with lyrics like:

    The pilot is too busy flirtin'
    And he ain't aware
    That there's a bomb down there

    Musically, it also has a comic bent, with a quirky rhythm and urgent ticking that makes it hard to take seriously. It's an example of 10cc's continuous efforts to make the kind of music that had never been done before.
  • The song speaks to how we become inured to tragedy the more we hear about it. Speaking with the New Musical Express, Eric Stewart of 10cc explained: "There you've got a very serious subject - people are hijacking planes, blowing up children - and it's in the headlines all the time. It's almost boring - and that should never be boring."
  • Band members Kevin Godley and Lol Creme wrote this song. All four members could sings, as well as write, and that vocal versatility came in handy here, with Godley, Creme and Eric Stewart each taking the lead in different sections.
  • On their next album, 10cc released a song called "I'm Mandy Fly Me," which also has an aviation theme. At the beginning of that one, a section of "Clockwork Creep" plays as if coming through the speakers on an airplane.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Chris Rea

Chris ReaSongwriter Interviews

It took him seven years to recover from his American hit "Fool (If You Think It's Over)," but Chris Rea became one of the top singer-songwriters in his native UK.

Gary Brooker of Procol Harum

Gary Brooker of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer and pianist for Procol Harum, Gary talks about finding the musical ideas to match the words.

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary MachineSong Writing

Fiona's highly-anticipated third album almost didn't make it. Here's how it finally came together after two years and a leak.

Dennis DeYoung

Dennis DeYoungSongwriter Interviews

Dennis DeYoung explains why "Mr. Roboto" is the defining Styx song, and what the "gathering of angels" represents in "Come Sail Away."

When Rock Belonged To Michelob

When Rock Belonged To MichelobSong Writing

Michelob commercials generated hits for Eric Clapton, Genesis and Steve Winwood in the '80s, even as some of these rockers were fighting alcoholism.

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17Songwriter Interviews

Martyn talks about producing Tina Turner, some Heaven 17 hits, and his work with the British Electric Foundation.