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Meaning of the song ‘Broken Clocks’ by ‘SZA’

Released: 2017

“Broken Clocks” by SZA is a contemplative reflection on her struggles between past, present, and the push-pull of romantic and professional demands. The song encapsulates her journey from living a life she felt obligated to run from to finding and embracing her individuality despite societal pressures.

The track kicks off with SZA proclaiming, “Run fast from my day job, runnin’ fast from the way it was.” By this, she’s not just talking about a literal job, but the jobs that life imposes on us – the grind, the hustle, the things we do to survive that aren’t necessarily aligned with who we truly are. SZA’s lines “I’m never goin’ back, never goin’ back, no, you can’t make me” highlight her determination to never revert to the old patterns she once knew.

Her chorus, “All I got is these broken clocks / I ain’t got no time, just burnin’ daylight” speaks to the non-stop, grind mentality necessary for success in the music industry, reinforcing the concept that time is relative, subjective, and often feels fleeting or out of sync in the face of relentless ambition.

The stanza “I had a thing for dirty shoes since I was 10, love dirty men alike” could be a metaphor for SZA’s past attraction to problematic situations or characters, potentially reflecting the battles she’s fought and the lessons she’s learned in her journey.

As the song progresses, SZA’s lyrics “(It’s) Still love, and it’s still love, and it’s still love” resonate on multiple levels. They suggest that despite the hardship, heartache, and hustle, she maintains a loving attitude towards her art, her past, and herself.

A closer look at “Gotta shift at 10 a.m. (yeah), gotta dip at 10 p.m. (nah) / Gotta get that cash, won’t get past a lunch break,” reveals the demands and pressures of her professional life, further compounding the constant struggle against time she alludes to throughout the song.

Lastly, the lyrics “I moved on for the better, you moved on to whoever / I was down for whatever and then some” reflect the bittersweet reality of growth, the inevitability of change, and the necessity of letting go in personal relationships.

In conclusion, “Broken Clocks” is SZA’s powerful statement of self-affirmation and resilience against the forces of time and the demands of the world, all while staying true to her emotions and experiences.

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