12:51 is the time
My voice found the words I sought
Is it this stage I want?

from The Strokes – 12:51 Lyrics on Rap Genius


This song is about the moments just before sex, and how you lose some innocence in that brief time. The title reflects a typical time on a clock during a sexual encounter because many people check the time just as lovemaking begins.

He wonders to himself if this is the route he wants to take.

Also, the phrasing of “twelve [pause] fifty [pause] one” echoes Sonic Youth’s “Bull in the Heather” as does the melody of this part of the song.

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