What does Just mean?

Radiohead: Just Meaning

Tagged:   No tags, suggest one.
Album cover for Just album cover

Song Released: 1995

Just Lyrics

Can't get the stink off
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
Is that...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Feb 17th 2013 !⃝

    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.

    Thank you.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    May 3rd 2013 !⃝

    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!


    #3 top rated interpretation:
    click a star to vote
    Nov 1st 2008 !⃝

    This song basically means to make yourself responsible for stupid or ignorant actions you might have done. to yourself, or others.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 1st 2020 !⃝

    I always thought this was about having a bad hangover - I always think of it the day after a big session

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 20th 2020 !⃝

    That everything we've been told is a lie.we are just rats for the rich
    They aready know what they're going to do with us.
    Nothing we do will change anything.

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 22nd 2018 !⃝

    In my opinion, I think this song is about someone who feels lost within them selves. they don't know who to ask for help as they don't want other people to take responsibility of their own pain and hurt. "You do it to your self" indicates that because the person doesn't want anyone's help, and doesn't want to show anyone their weakness inside of them and that they actually do need help, they bottle up all their feelings until they explode. they cant help to explode and that's why they don't want to tell anyone what's wrong. they know that they need help and want help but they don't know how to ask for help. they are afraid that others may see them as week or venerable and that's what frightens them.

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 22nd 2011 !⃝

    It's about jean paul sartre's hell, and of course it's about egoism, it's about how hard to live without God

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  8. sociallyawkward
    click a star to vote
    Oct 7th 2010 !⃝

    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.

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 6th 2009 !⃝

    Thom Yorke has actually stated that the song was written about a narcissistic friend of his. So, all of you are wrong.

  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 18th 2009 !⃝

    "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.

  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 18th 2006 !⃝

    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.

More Radiohead songs »


Latest Articles


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

What's the Frequency, Kenneth? anonymous
Where Will You Go anonymous
Devil Town anonymous
The Perfect Girl anonymous
Time anonymous
Next Semester anonymous
There Ain't No Getting Over Me anonymous
Miss Emily's Picture anonymous
Get Out Alive anonymous
In My Room anonymous
Proud anonymous
Glowing anonymous
Montezuma anonymous
Seventeen anonymous
This Is Halloween anonymous

(We won't give out your email)