The Machine

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The Machine
Artist Lemon Demon
Released 2008
Written by Neil Cicierega
Appears on View-Monster
Sung by Neil Cicierega
Duration 4:07
Tempo 167
Genre Rock
Language English
Links: Bandcamp
Bandcamp (Needlejuice Remaster)
Spotify 2010 Backing

The Machine is the 27th track and the 14th non-transition track on View-Monster.

In the View-Monster HTML Neil says of the song; "This song chronicles the adventures of a man who, for no particular reason, begins to build a machine with no particular purpose. The machine grows organically, becoming more and more complicated and strange".[1]

In a 2017 interview with news website The Verge, Neil talked about the origin of the song; “I probably first saw a thread about it circa 2004 or 2005 on the Something Awful forums, it was definitely a little eerie how the quote seemed familiar to everybody yet nobody could place it. I thought there must be some special phonetic quality to it and wrote my song around it.” Neil used a sample from a 1964 episode of Burke's Law, "Who Killed 711?", as he felt it was a close match to the origin. [2]


All that he does is chip away.
Each day he sticks to his routine:
Putting the pieces on.
Building a big machine.

He ran out of room inside his room
and so he moved it all outside.
Now it’s a bit too big.
Now it’s a mile wide.

The family vans across the desert
follow signs to park and stare.
Nobody says hello.
Nobody knows he’s there.

They just look at the blinking lights and greebles,
interlocking arms of steel.
And they think:
Nothing could be so big.
Nothing could be so real.

They think:

One million springs
and spinning things, it’s quite a view
We have no clue
What does it do?
That’s the beauty of it—
It doesn’t do anything.

He made his own night-vision goggles,
now he lurks inside the frame.
Perfecting it from within.
Forgetting his own name.

All that he knows is that it needs him,
All it knows is he needs it.
Every piston.
Every single little bit.

The government people in black helicopters
try to snoop around.
I’m so sorry, but he needs the extra parts.
He takes the choppers down.

Now there are tanks on the horizon,
asking what are his demands?
Not one of them understands.
Nobody understands.

And the megaphones scream:

One million gears
Perhaps our fears are coming true
What does it do?
What does it do?
That’s the beauty of it—
It doesn’t do anything.

Lost in solipsism
he then slowly pulls a lever
which sets off a mechanism
which does nothing whatsoever
but the nothing that it does
negates the everything we know
because it’s screaming “Just because!”
because it’s neither friend or foe
and so they label it a menace
or a grandiose work of art.
From its finale to its genesis
we slowly pull it all apart.

That’s the beauty of it—
It doesn’t do anything, do anything.

Doesn’t do anything, doesn’t do anything.


  • The Machine is one of four songs on View-Monster to receive a corresponding zoetrope animation on the Between The Frames picture disc vinyl variant of the album first released by Needlejuice Records in 2020. This song's animation was done by Andrew Kepple and can be found on Side C.