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Just reading the lyrics of Radiohead’s True

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 18, 2003

Just reading the lyrics of Radiohead’s True Love Waits makes me want to cry.

Reader comments

dowingbaSep 18, 2003 at 9:26AM

The most heart-wrenching part:

“I’ll dress like your niece…”

Xavier BorderieSep 18, 2003 at 9:38AM

The last part is the best, I think.
Plus, seeing the original video for it, from 1995 in Belgium I believe, shows how powerful this song is, while being really simple.
Yorke at his personnal best.

There you go : Brussel 1995-12-05
http://www.air-radiohead.com/medias/videos.htm
http://data.air-radiohead.com/videos/truelovewaits.mpg (13.4 Mo)
shed a tear on this gem.

Steven GarritySep 18, 2003 at 10:02AM

Killer Cars does the same for me.


Don’t die on the motorway
The moon would freeze, the plants would die
I couldn’t cope if you crashed today
All the things I forgot to say
I’m going out for a little drive
And it could be the last time you see me alive
What if the car loses control?
What if there’s someone overtaking?

RubenSep 18, 2003 at 10:21AM

Please tell me, what is the magic of Radiohead? Because I just cannot grab it yet.

I’m struggling. It still sounds quite boring and monotone. I’ve had a discussion about it recently on my weblog but I am still not convinced. Maybe I’m listening to the wrong albums?

PierceSep 18, 2003 at 10:54AM

There is no wrong albums. There’s a “Less good” album, called Pablo Honey. There’s different albums, all the rest of them. But there’s no wrong ones.

If you don’t get it I guess then you just dont get it. There’s no words which will make it sound good to you.

Dave CampbellSep 18, 2003 at 12:16PM

There’s nothing to get… There’s really nothing magic about Radiohead except that everyone thinks it’s magic. Personally, if I wanted to be depressed, I can think of better ways to do it.

BethSep 18, 2003 at 1:58PM

At first, I didn’t like Radiohead either. But my younger sis loved them, her favorite band, so I had to get used to Thom and crew. After years of hearing it in the background, I heard a local band play a cover of “High and Dry” off “The Bends.” I loved that song, and then discovered a few other songs particularly intriguing—“No Surprises” from “OK Computer,” and “Idioteque” from “Kid A.” I am now convinced that this band is doing, and has done, something no other current band does. They genuinely try to do something that interests them, and that fact alone makes it interesting to me. Thom Yorke has an interesting voice, a high tenor which isn’t outrightly appealing. The technical skill of the other memebers is astounding. The Greenwoods, Selway, and O’Brien each have unique technique and a very different way of going about the making of what is essentially just good old rock and roll music. The lyrics range from soul-wrenching to seeming silliness—I don’t think any of it is depressing. Depressing would be if there was nothing we could do to change the things Thom sings about. If you don’t like it, fine, but even when I wasn’t keen on it, I didn’t ever bash the band. I respected them and then came to love them. For a new listener, like Ruben, I’d see what they usually listen to. “The Bends” might be best for somebody who likes Coldplay or Jeff Buckley. If the person likes techno or avant garde, definitely “Kid A” and “OK Computer.” The new album hasn’t grown on me quite yet, but whatever gets somebody interested is cool.

StephenSep 18, 2003 at 2:26PM

Meg’s reading The Awakening; you’re getting weepy over True Love Waits. Trouble in Paradise?

(None of my business, I know. Apologies.)

Pat C.Sep 18, 2003 at 3:12PM

They are damn fine musicians who combine very technically interesting music (I’ve gone so far as to transcribe some of it just out of interest) that also packs a gutteral, emotional punch. Rare, I think.

dubiousalibiSep 18, 2003 at 3:49PM

Hmmm. I’m not sure that these drip with pain like other lyrics I’ve heard. Radiohead are very very good (and equally very very overrated).

If you want heart-wrenching reality, look no further than Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen”. That will making you think twice about the shy pimply girl you grew up with that never said a thing.

http://www.lyricscrawler.com/song/79734.html

dowingbaSep 18, 2003 at 4:15PM

My first comment was sarcastic…

I used to “not get” Radiohead. Then I “got” them for a couple years. Now I “don’t get” them anymore.

matthewSep 18, 2003 at 10:46PM

october 15th.

true love definitley does wait.. even through a blackout.

Mike SteinbaughSep 18, 2003 at 11:59PM

Bah, Radiohead is brilliant. I can’t wait for the concert on Sept. 28.

tSep 19, 2003 at 12:08AM

If you don’t get it I guess then you just dont get it. There’s no words which will make it sound good to you.

God, music elitism get’s so old.

There is no ‘getting or not getting’ radiohead, or any other type/group music.

It’s either you LIKE it or DON’T. I might love free form jazz. You might not. Different taste, not that you don’t ‘get it’.

Radio head is the second coming to some, crap to others, and of course a certain percentage of those who ‘love’ radiohead do so only to be cool.

It’s as simple as that.

BethSep 19, 2003 at 11:47AM

Re: the “getting it” thing. I think somebody who wants to “get it”—anything—is really asking to be convinced to listen harder. Sometimes people like to get suggestions. It’s kind of an extension of music appreciation class. Somebody teaches the foundations of a certain genre of music (i.e. classical), and then a previous non-listener can find some recognition in the music, and thus enjoy it. Familiarity and comfort is a big part of it.

PierceSep 19, 2003 at 2:51PM

“God, music elitism get’s so old.”

That wasn’t music elitism. The guy asked what the magic was. I said that I couldn’t tell him what the magic was (for the people who like radiohead) as you can’t just explain something like that to someone.
If I sounded like I was patronising you Ruben, sorry. Didn’t mean it like that.
t, if you like the word “like” better than “get”, then that’s fine. Or ok. Which word do you prefer? “Fine” or “OK”? Which one would be the more correct to use in this situation?

NedSep 19, 2003 at 4:18PM

I keep hearing that Kid A and Amnesiac are contributions to the avant garde, but if Thom Yorke had submitted any of those tracks as a demo to a real electronica label like Warp, he wouldn’t even have merited a rejection note. I love those albums, and they’re an amazing thing for a rock band to decide to do, but they’re not that inventive in a broader sense.

RubenSep 21, 2003 at 4:08PM

Don’t worry Pierce. I didn’t take it like that.

GrubbRobinson Josh Jan 20, 2004 at 9:22PM

The fear of death is the beginning of slavery.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.

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