Meaning of “Broken Clocks” by SZA

It appears that what the vocalist (SZA) is primarily speaking to in “Broken Clocks” is her hard-work ethic and various effects adopting this modus operandi has had on her life. 

Generally speaking, what’s most notable is SZA observing that she’s been grinding so hard that she “ain’t got no time”, i.e. her life having been taken over by constantly being on the clock, chasing bread. But there is also, conclusively, a romantic subtheme to this piece. And what it seemingly implies is that the primary addressee is SZA’s ex, and maybe it was the dissolution of her romance with him which made her obsessed with work. 

Meanwhile, said addressee has not displayed a likewise level of maturity. But in the back of her mind, SZA is constantly thinking about him nonetheless.

“All I got is these broken clocks
I ain’t got no time
Just burnin’ daylight
Still love, and it’s still love, and it’s still love
It’s still love, still love (Still love), still love
It’s still love, it’s still love
Nothin’ but love for you (Nothin’ but)
Nothin’ but love (Nothin’ but)”

When was “Broken Clocks” released?

On 2nd June, 2017, “Broken Clocks” was released as a single. This was part of her debut album, “Ctrl”.


SZA co-wrote this track with the following songwriters:

  • Carter Lang
  • River Tiber
  • Daniel Caesar
  • Ging
  • ThankGod4Cody (also is the sole producer of the track)


“Broken Clocks” peaked at #82 on US Billboard Hot 100 between 2017-2018.

It is also a certified Silver and Platinum track in United Kingdom and United States respectively.

CountryUnits sold to date
United Kingdom200,000
United States5,000,000
Broken Clocks

Why SZA’s attempts to use work to forget about her ex was unssuccessful

In “Broken Clocks”, it is very clear that non-stop work hasn’t successfully dulled the singer’s lingering feelings for her ex, as she might have hoped for.

When a person tries to immerse themselves in work to forget about their feelings for an ex, it might not always be successful because emotions, especially those associated with past relationships, can be deeply ingrained and complex.

The mind has a tendency to revert back to unresolved issues or strong emotional memories, even during busy times. Moreover, immersing oneself in work can sometimes offer moments of solitude or repetitive tasks that allow the mind to wander, potentially back to thoughts of their ex. It’s also worth noting that emotional healing often requires time, reflection, and sometimes even closure, which might not be achieved merely through distraction.

Lastly, work doesn’t necessarily address the underlying feelings or emotional bonds that were created during the relationship; hence, despite being busy, a person might find their thoughts drifting back to their ex.

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