Posted by: Yorgos | September 4, 2008

Text 26 – 15 Step

How come I end up where I started
How come I end up where I went wrong
Won’t take my eyes off the ball again
You reel me out and you cut the string.

How come I end up where I started
How come I end up where I went wrong
Won’t take my eyes off the ball again
First you reel me out and then you cut the string

You used to be all right
What happened?
Did the cat get your tongue?
Did your string come undone?
One by one
One by one
It comes to us all
It’s as soft as your pillow

You used to be all right
What happened?
Etcetera Etcetera
Thanks for whatever
Fifteen steps
Then a sheer drop

How come i end up where i started?
How come I end up where I went wrong
Won’t take my eyes off the ball again
You reel me out and you cut the string.

These are the lyrics of a very good Radiohead song called 15 Step, track #1 of their latest album InRainbows. While it is not my favorite Radiohead song, I like listening to it, because it has some interesting melodies in there (if you can call them that) and some more interesting orchestration (as always with Radiohead songs). It’s fast, it is fun (for a Radiohead song) and you can listen to it lots of times, trying to take in every little detail.

But have you looked at the lyrics? I copy-pasted the lyrics from a website, even though I believe I could write most of them on my own. As a non native English speaker, it took me a while to realize what was going on. But these lyrics are cliche after cliche after cliche. It’s like Yorke opened an Oxford Handbook of Cliches or a How to Write a Romantic Comedy book and started copying them in a semi-logical fashion.

While I am sure I can make some sense or see a pattern if I try a bit harder, does it matter. Should I make any sense? Sometimes, music is just music and you have to enjoy it for what it is and not necessarily for the depth of its lyrics. This can happen, no doubt about it, but I see nothing wrong when the lyrics, the words, the singer’s voice, all of these things are there as another instrument, as part of the orchestration. It can actually show more musical talent and music, at its best, needs no words anyway.

I am not sure if that’s the case here, but, once more, I thought I’d share my opinion.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: