What does Spinning Plates mean?

Radiohead: Spinning Plates Meaning

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Album cover for Spinning Plates album cover

Spinning Plates Lyrics

While you make pretty speeches,
I'm being cut to shreds
You feed me to the lions,
a delicate balance

And this just feels like spinning plates
I'm living in cloud cuckoo land
And this just feels like spinning plates
My body is floating...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Jul 11th 2006 !⃝


    Spinning plates are all about balance; sometimes the trick is rigged with special plates, a visual gimmick. It takes a lot of "spinning" in the media, persay, to allegedly lie to a public to get involved in a war. This intricate web of lies is "a delicate balance" that keeps the public out of the know, ignorant and in a "cloud cuckoo land", where ignorance is bliss.

    "our bodies floating down the muddy river" elicits a depressing and haunting, frightening image in my mind. This final line ties the song back to desperation, where war and death are inevitable in a world where the masses are blinded by the despots at the top.

  2. anonymous
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    Jun 28th 2018 !⃝

    I think the song is about war in general where the ordinary man get killed, women raped, children orphaned etc , “while you make pretty speeches “ could be directed at any countries leaders particularly USA and UK .
    I initially had me thinking of world war one and the trenches men were actually cut to shreds by machone gun fire and the mud was horrendus “ and the generals etc made pretty speeches ,

  3. anonymous
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    Aug 26th 2012 !⃝

    I think that the song is about somebody driven to insanity by a huge, god-like task(s).
    The fact that there is mention of a "cloud cuckoo land" and that several of the lyrics are nonsensicle would indicate insanity. The song title and the lyrics "this just feels like spinning plates" would suggest how big and difficult his task(s) is/are.
    It would also seem that this person is critisising god by saying "While you make pretty speeches, I'm being cut to shreds" showing that he believes that it is humans that are doing all the work and suffering on Earth while all god has done is give us commandments to follow by.

  4. anonymous
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    Jul 9th 2011 !⃝

    In addition to eraser999:
    The fact that the song sounds like it is some other track played backwards gives it the notion of a secret message. Revealing a conspiracy theory.

  5. 123123
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    Mar 12th 2009 !⃝

    Although i hate songs about politics, i love this song. This song is obviously about George Bush. Maybe not necessarily Bush, but world leaders in general. He is basically saying "while you stand on your pedistal, the people doing the real work are being killed in action".

  6. anonymous
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    Jul 11th 2006 !⃝

    This song definitely has a tone of desperation and quite a bit of venom in the lyrics. I felt (after hearing the I Might Be Wrong live piano version) that it's a stab out at oppressors and figureheads who abuse, and Thom's answer is sarcastic and dejected: "a delicate balance". Creepy. But beautiful?

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