Tuesday, February 5, 2013

On Radiohead's Water Obsession

People who know me, know I'm a bit of a Radiohead fan. In fact, the top hits for a Google search of my name once were song lyric interpretations on Radiohead sites.
I'm not embarrassed, though I am glad newer things have taken the top spot.
WATER! © Evan Roskos 2012

One of the great things about following Radiohead for so long is the magic of becoming familiar with lead singer Thom Yorke's various obsessions. My favorite is his constant anxiety about water, which now far surpasses his once famous obsession with car accidents.
Seriously, Yorke sees water hazards all over the place. If he's not asking us to "pull him out of the lake," he's going to "jump into river" or "jump off the end / into a clear lake" after he's "lost at sea" and "floats down the Liffey" or warns us that "The waters break, the waters run all over [him]", which isn't surprising since if he's not "in the deepest ocean / at the bottom of the sea" worried about a "house falling into the sea" or how "the sea would / electrocute us all" or especially about how "the rain drops" (even though he asked for it to "rain down on [him]"), then he's "standing on a beach with [his] guitar" "while the ocean blooms" wishing someone would "build an ark" because, aside from all menacing water, there's an "iceage coming."
Okay, that last one's a stretch, but you get the point.

[Songs quoted: Lucky, Pyramid Song, Codex, In Limbo, How to Disappear Completely, Vegetable, Weird Fishes/Arpeggi, Where I End and You Begin, Nice Dream, Sit Down. Stand Up., Paranoid Android, Anyone Can Play Guitar, Bloom, Sail to the Moon, Idioteque]