What does High And Dry mean?

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Radiohead: High And Dry Meaning


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Song Released: 1995

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High And Dry Lyrics

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Two jumps in a week
I bet you think that's pretty clever don't you boy?
Flying on your motorcycle,
Watching all the ground beneath you drop
You'd kill yourself for recognition,
Kill yourself to never ever stop
You broke another...


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    Apr 11th, 4:27pm report

    Lol, your all wrong. Its actually about me!! Ended up at a party in oxford around 92 and Thom and Jonny were also there. Got in a mess and had to leave my bike in some randoms shed, then my mate left me and I woke up the next day on the kitchen floor.


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    Sep 12th, 2018 9:54pm report

    It's about taking drugs. Two jumps is two times shooting up. The mirror refers to the drug paraphernalia. When the body is wrecked from drugs you can't make love.


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    Oct 4th, 2017 10:04am report

    Regarding the Eddie Kidd interpretation (Jun 16th 2011). Eddie Kidd also starred in a film entitled "Riding High". Fits


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    Mar 10th, 2017 3:35am report

    Yeah, it's about Evel Knievel and how his family might've felt about all the crazy stunts he was always doing.


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    Dec 29th, 2016 12:58am report

    I dated a guy who had been a rock star in his day and recently fell out of a tree crushing his legs. He had always been cocky and the ladies loved him and never knew what it meant to go without attention. And so it goes without saying - whether its a motorcycle or a fall or drugs or whatever - when one assumes they are invincible and can flirt with danger, always thinking they are the lucky one living on the edge, people are going to fall sooner or later and be humbled. And no this guy couldnt make love and he let it torture him day and night. We are not together anymore because of his pain meds making him crazy and jealous. I was the best thing he ever had - he said it. He is now in a world of fantasy where he flirts with model-types across the world, women he has never met, on social media using his photos from when he was young to lure them in. Its a sad state of affairs that I cannot deal with and I said I would do anything not to leave him. I didnt leave him. He left me. His ego was his biggest handicap, not his crushed legs. This song is his life portrait.


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    May 10th, 2016 5:17pm report

    It seems to me that this song is about the emotional and physical pain addiction to things like drugs and alcohol can put you through. It's highlighted in the lyrics 'Drying out in conversation,you will be the one who cannot talk' explaining that the person cannot remember how to converse with other people(because of their addiction).'All your insides fall to pieces,' showing the internal damage to the body the addiction causes.'You just sit there wishing you could still make love' implies that he/she was in a relationship that ended because of he/she's addiction.


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    Apr 9th, 2016 4:51pm report

    To me, this song has helped put words to some of the losses I have have and ignite the tears that make it possible to move through the grief.

    People chasing things they believe they want/need only to later realize they don't fulfill and break their value and moral code to obtain them. I see the lyrics "you broke another mirror, turning into something you are not as what the psychological world calls splitting, and as we create our own "false idols" of ourselves, as we want the world to see us, flawless, great, special, powerful, skillfull, etc, we get to a point where we feel we can't live up to this false self, and we as Duran Duran put it, "come undone".

    And during this journey the people in our lives suffer because we've put the "rise of our false self" before the needs and feelings of others and they abandon us as we've abandoned our "true self".

    That lyric "All your insides fall to pieces and you just sit there wishing you could still make love" has helped me during being left by someone i was emotionally unavailable to because i was scared to be me, the real me i knew and believed i had to hide because of shame, the whole while focusing on being acceptible to others by losing my identity being a "Cool Camiellioen".

    I am grateful to know this song as it again has helped me put words to what i was going through when i couldn't because of all the overwhelmingly blinding emotions I was experiencing.


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    Dec 3rd, 2012 12:19am report

    'Jump' is British English slang for sexual intercourse. I'm a Brit and I say it.


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    Sep 15th, 2011 9:07am report

    I was in a relationship that was all about drugs where i felt good while on drugs but bad and depressed when off them, i stopped visiting friends and family just focused my love on her and the relationship. but since she left me i feel as bad either if im high or dry. it was an illusion that the relationship was any good but it was the best thing that i ever had but now its gone away and im a changed man after. I feel when i listen to this song that ive been left high and dry and tom experienced something similar to this when he wrote this cuz the drugs dont work anymore, nothing does i just feel left alone (and its my fault).


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    Jun 16th, 2011 6:22pm report

    intersting to read about Evel Knievel. when i first heard this i immediately thought of Eddie Kidd who was left paralysed by a motorcycle jump in 1996. Eddie was very handsome and was loved by the ladies and i can imagine him 'wishing he could still make love'.
    I know it's a bit obvious with the '2 jumps in a week', 'watching all the ground beneath you drop'but it seems to fit with Eddie.


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    Apr 16th, 2011 4:46pm report

    I think Thom's simply singing about someone overcome with either drink or drugs. The title says it all 'High and Dry'.


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    Feb 16th, 2011 2:13pm report

    It's about yourself...and your relationship with yourself...and how you do something because you were feeling stranded..and so you take action, and that leads to good things...so you accept these 'good things' and believe you deserve them...maybe you even have some support re: these 'good things'. Then, you might have to do something you don't like, to continue these 'good things', but think of it as a compromise...might contribute to your 'moral burn out'. But you continue..because it's worth it (or is it?). Everything has a sacrafice...doesn't it?
    You avoid conversation with some...because you might not be able to justify yourself...did you sell out?
    Don't leave yourself high...and dry...


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    Sep 29th, 2010 9:04pm report

    The song is about the subject losing his identity, selling it for glory and excitement or acceptance by others. The "Don't leave me high, don't leave me dry" line is a reference to his true self or humanity(it is an internal dialog). Although it sounds like a relationship, and it could be implied that there is a reference to sex and drugs, at its core, the song is not about the subject leaving another person or relationship behind--rather more focused on what the loss of the self identity will do to the subject and how all the most beautiful things in life will pass him by. The reference to "they're the one who will spit at you" is a reference to the people he is trying to impress who will ultimately just end up resenting him not being "real" as his internal dialog is telling him to be true to himself. The reference to "not being able to make love" is just a statement of his inability to connect (as he is pretending to be something else). The last lines infer that he has lost his self-identity and it is "the best thing he ever had" but it "has gone away."


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    Jun 7th, 2010 6:40pm report

    I heard it was about masturbation.


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    Aug 16th, 2009 8:57pm report

    My interpretation of this song is that it is about a boy who has let fame go to their head, or that his ego has simply gotten too big..."You broke another mirror, you are turning into something you are not"...

    As a result of this the he believes that he is too good for anyone else, thus abandoning the people that care most about him. He no longer talks to his loved ones and soon they all begin to grow tired of his silence..."they'll be the ones who'll spit at you, you will be the one screaming out"...

    He abandoned them and it hurt hence the chorus..."Don't leave me high, don't leave me dry"... but it is interesting that in the second chorus it is he that is asking THEM not to abandon HIM.

    He has realized that it is too late and that he has lost the best thing he ever had..."It's the best thing that you've ever had, the best thing that you've ever, ever had.It's the best thing that you've ever had, the best thing that you've ever had is gone away"...

    Then the chorus repeats, which is like his last cry out for help, but he knows he is alone.
    ...And yeah, thats about it! :)

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