Radiohead: Just Meaning
Song Released: 1995
He's been hanging round for days
Comes like a comet
Suckered you but not your friends
One day he'll get to you
And teach you how to be a holy cow
You do it to yourself, you do
And that's what really hurts
anonymous May 3rd, 21:36 report
Like most great storytelling, the song has multiple layers. The more basic layer relates to Thom's negative reaction to a friend's suicide, which he saw as narcissistic. The lyrics "hanging out the 15th floor" and "don't get no sympathy from me" make direct reference. Another layer addresses knowledge and purpose in life. What mindset is required for someone to take their own life? Perhaps an epiphany that life has no meaning and that is in fact the meaning of life. The man on the ground is set in contrast to the bustling city and people on there way to or from work. These people are all running about working and striving in suits, for what? When stripped of the distraction of purpose and meaning constructed by our culture, they are left with no meaning at all, and thus are paralyzed with inaction. They have no reason to move. Cheers!
anonymous Feb 17th, 21:57 report
It's about someone obsessed with their own life. They are narcissistic. They cause their own pain and suffering because they are the only ones that exist in their perspective. Once the man reveals that all people hurt themselves through their own actions and thoughts, everyone lies down on the ground. The people lay on the ground because they realize that if they want to stop their self-inflicted pain, they can't do anything. Because if they did anything, the repercussions of their actions could hurt themselves. They do not want to hurt themselves, and no one else can hurt them because no one else is doing anything.
Another interesting point is that they brought the revelation on to themselves. Proving the original man's point exactly. They wanted to know the answer even though they saw the consequences in front of them. This also showcases their selfishness.
I came to my conclusion through a few different sources.
The original narcissistic man comes from Radiohead revealing that they are singing about a narcissistic man.
The "you-do-it-to-yourself" view on life comes directly from the lyrics.
Parts of my interpretation are based on multiple other interpretations on the internet.
Finally, my last source is the tv show Neon Genesis Evangelion and the movie End of Evangelion. The show and movie showcase a protagonist who tries to do as little as possible. The protagonist also frequently tries to stay uninvolved as much as possible. That is where the "people-who-do-nothing-can't-harm-themselves" bit comes in. The 'holy cow' bit is probably a reference to Hinduism, which holds the belief that pain is self inflicted. The people may also be laying on the ground to achieve Moksha. An understanding of everything and perfect peace between the individual and collective soul. Evangelion actually incorporates many of these beliefs.
While I do not necessarily agree with these views, I can see where they come from and why it is what it is.
anonymous May 22nd 2011, 17:02 report
It's about jean paul sartre's hell, and of course it's about egoism, it's about how hard to live without God
sociallyawkward Oct 7th 2010, 23:38 report
I think this song talks about you causing your own suffering "you do it to yourself." the video shows that no one is going to try and help you be happy, it's up to you, specially if you won't tell them what your problem is. The song talks about how you don't get peoples sympathy for something you do to yourself. your unhappyness wont go away "change the locks three times, still comes reeling through the door" because you let it back in. the main point is that you get what you ask for out of life.
anonymous Dec 6th 2009, 13:42 report
Thom Yorke has actually stated that the song was written about a narcissistic friend of his. So, all of you are wrong.
anonymous Jul 18th 2009, 05:40 report
"Just" is about an abusive relationship, from an outsiders perspective. Basically, the narrator is observing the pain of someone he knows likely very well, as this person is recieving abuse, either physical, mental, or just being mistreated by thier significant other. The narrator laughs in the face of this person as they attempt to gain the sympathy of those around them
"Don't get my sympathy
Hanging out the 15th floor
You've changed the locks three times
He still comes reeling through the door "
im not going to feel sorry for you just because you are suicidally upset. you take huge steps, like changing the locks to get this abusive person out of your life, yet they still come reeling through the door, because you let them in. you do it to yourself, therefore, your suffering is just, and i dont feel sorry for you.
anonymous Nov 1st 2008, 13:09 report
This song basically means to make yourself responsible for stupid or ignorant actions you might have done. to yourself, or others.
anonymous Aug 18th 2006, 10:05 report
Doctorates have been written on what the video clip is supposed to mean or what dude-lying-on-the-street mouthed.
Yet the lyrics just seem to disdainfully talk about an unwelcome outsider always trying to become part of a group.
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