"The Thorn That Split My Wheel"
Song by Hungry Lights
from the album Heavy Is The Crown
November 15, 2016
Heavy Is The Crown track listing
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Wickerman My Finest Hour

"The Thorn That Split My Wheel" is track four on the Hungry Lights studio album "Heavy Is The Crown." Remember that this is a summary, not the entire story! It is like 10% of what is actually going on—just the skeleton. It is a rough translation of what is literally going on in the lyrics. There is also a figurative story that is taking place at the same time which goes much deeper and does not involve the fictional character Prill, but that is up to you to find :) It is much easier to discover the hidden meaning when you grasp a decent understanding of the literal meaning first. These are your puzzle pieces, and I highly suggest you study them before pursuing the next albums in the sequence, otherwise emotion and information will be lost, therefore connections will be missed!


In "The Thorn That Split My Wheel," Prill is once again reprimanding for his irrational, stupid decisions. He believes he killed the mysterious man because he was consumed by the madness he had attained during "The Awry Ascent." This madness is probably the "thorn" Prill is mentioning here. It would seem Justin combined two analogies: one where something that annoys a person becomes a "thorn in their side," and another where putting a stick in the spokes of someone's wheel causes them to lose control and stop in their tracks. It is safe to assume that the "thorn that split my wheel" is a combination of both, where Prill's ego and insanity have once again caused him to dig his hole deeper, and it is very irritating to him.

In the next section, Prill talks about the price he had to pay for killing the mysterious man. Justin revealed that the man was Zhin, the brother of a notorious, cutthroat pirate named, "Reflaugh." Reflaugh was probably not too happy about his brother's untimely death, so in an eye for an eye, he has kidnapped Abalone. Prill is left to further scorn himself for his decisions, then he is reunited with Artorn, his albatross companion from "The Awry Ascent." Again, Prill admires the bird for being able to fly so freely even when weighed down by the nasty assumptions and omens attached to its past.

For the first time, Justin drops the name the concept of his project name in the lyrics when when he says, "Was I the snake that ate its own tail? A hungry light that did not think before it struck the fruit." It is clear that Prill is wondering if he is just further consuming himself with each mistake he makes, and how long will it be before he has completely devoured himself alive. The context of this makes it probable that a "hungry light" is an arrogant person who destroys him/herself by shining so bright for others that they burn out.

It soon becomes obvious that Prill has decided to go in search for his daughter. It is unclear whether this decision was by his own free will, or if Prite had something to do with it. It is also now unclear whether the "thorn" in Prill's "wheel" is symbolic of him constantly frustrating himself by irrationally stepping on his own toes, or if it is a positive symbol... Perhaps Abalone is the thorn who is going to stop Prill from making all these wild, irrational decisions. This could easily be Prill's big change of heart... but probably not, as he continues to self-deprecate and claim that he cannot change.

Prill then goes on expressing how badly he wants to find his daughter, and then drops what could potentially be the most significant line of the entire tale, "How the loss of what glimmered can help a lowly man back to height!" This line insinuates that Prill is using his daughter's kidnapping as his path to redemption. The delusion that follows that particular line shows that Prill is probably not doing this for his wife or daughter at all... He is doing it because he wants to get his pride and dignity back. He still cannot let go! His intentions are just as warped and twisted as his perception, and because of what happened last time in "The Awry Ascent," we can assume this will probably end badly.

The song finished with Prill making something out of paper, most likely a map. Somehow his blood is involved in the creation process, but Justin has not gone into further details yet. Prill displays more arrogance followed by the usual contradicting uncertainty, then it is safe to say he heads out on his second adventure!


O' how my actions turned me to a snarling beast!

The very essence of what I had left behind

-Back in the churning ocean

The thorn that split my wheel was gnawing at my heel-side

When did I learn to wield those fangs?

I lost my mind, back in the sea

And the wondering still frustrates me

Of all the pawns my wrath could reap,

It was one that hid forbidden shackles

They twisted in and coiled up my arm

Until they reached my rib-cage

My heart displayed a quickset bolt

-A lock for one who chose to compliment my rage

An albatross is soaring high

-The one I had admired from before

Before my kettle boiled over

To envy it’s not weighed down by my guilt

Easier to forgive than it is to forget

But my fate had come from a brother who's in ire

Will my revered burn as I walk the coals?

Where had I gone wrong?

For you had paid for my misstep

I walk a path I cannot see

How the wandering does frustrate me!

Revenge was sought and full of holes

I know it so, for I had felt that emptiness

And you were gone, and so my tears…

They fell so sweet

O' even autumn was pushed aside!

Was I the snake that ate its own tail?

A hungry light that did not think before it struck the fruit

Could I find you?

For in that corner, I chose to turn away

You couldn't stand me

The man that you had loved has died

I’ve gone away

O’ even if you called for me, I wouldn't change!

I need a reason for peace in my mind

Alone, I would trace it all backwards

If a hand is tied, I’ll grow two more!

How the loss of what glimmered

Can help a lowly man back to height!

My awry ascent of delusion,

I had dismissed it as a nightmare

I am not settled in the crotales,

For I’m not tuned for that score

Cut in between the lines of who I was and am now

My hands were soaked in blood

My hands are soaked in blood

-The ink to draw the map to lead me back to your side

And there was nothing in the universe to keep me from you

Lie, lie, lie, lie, lie

So I approached it with caution

Watch my hands for the cue,

And I'll show you that I can't ever miss!

I reminisce of a time I didn't half-walk on a thread so fine

So connect the dots for me—one at a time

Until this picture's clear

‘Cause I'm unsure if I can find where I lay in the design

Cut in between the lines of who I was and am now

My hands were soaked in blood

My hands are soaked in blood

-The ink to draw the map to lead me back to your side

And there was nothing in the universe to keep me from you

 Trivia Edit

  • An earlier conceptualized name for this song was "The Thorn That Split The Wheel."