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Radiohead – The King Of Limbs – The Lyrics

We had quite some requests for posting the lyrics of Radiohead’s new album, The King Of Limbs. Deciphering the lyrics is not always easy, but here’s our attempt with help from everyone at the message board.

Radiohead The King Of LimbsBloom

Open your mouth wide
The universe will sigh
And while the ocean blooms
It’s what keeps me alive
So why does it still hurt?
Don’t blow your mind with whys

I’m moving out of orbit
Turning in somersaults
A giant turtle’s eyes
As jellyfish float by

Morning Mr. Magpie

You got some nerve coming here
You got some nerve coming here
You stole it all
Give it back
You stole it all
Give it back

Good morning Mr. Magpie
How are we today?
Now you’ve stolen all the magic
And took my memory

You know you should
But you don’t
You know you should
But you don’t

Good morning Mr. Magpie
How are we today?
Now you’ve stolen all the magic
Took my melody

Little By Little

Turned so nasty now
The dark’s there
The pillar of my soul
The last one out of the box
The one who broke the spell

Little by little by hook or by crook
I’m such a tease and you’re such a flirt
Once you’ve been around you’ve been around enough

Little by little by hook or by crook
Never living earnest, never get judged
I don’t know where it is I should look

You could want it all, the flag and pole
I’m curling with my love
The last one out of the box
The one who broke the seal

Obligations
Complications
Routines and schedules
A job that’s killing you
Killing you

Little by little by hook or by crook
Never living earnest, never get judged
I don’t know where it is I should look

Little by little by hook or by crook
I am such a tease, and you’re such a flirt

Feral

– instrumental —

Lotus Flower

I would shape myself into your pocket
Invisible
Do what you want
Do what you want

I would shrink and I would disappear
I would slip into the groove
And cut me up
And cut me up

There’s an empty space inside my heart
Where the weeds take root
So now I set you free
I’ll set you free

Slowly we unfold
As lotus flowers
Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick
Just to see what if
Just to see what is
I can’t kick your habit
Just to feed your fast-ballooning head
Listen to your heart

We would shrink and then be quiet as mice
And while the cat is away
Do what we want
Do what we want

There’s an empty space inside my heart
Where the weeds take root
So now I set you free
I’ll set you free

Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick
just to see what if
Just to see what is

The bird that’s flown into my room
Slowly we unfold
As lotus flowers
Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick
I dance around the pit
The darkness is beneath
I can’t kick your habit
Just to feed your fast-ballooning head
Listen to your heart

Codex

Sleight of hand
Jump off the end
Into a clear lake
No one around
Just dragonflies
Flying to our side
No one gets hurt
You’ve done nothing wrong

Slide your hand
Jump off the end
The water’s clear
And innocent

The water’s clear
And innocent

Give Up The Ghost

Don’t haunt me
Don’t hurt me

Gather up the lust and soul
In your arms

Gather up the pitiful
In your arms

What seems impossible
In your arms

I think I have had my fill
In your arms

I think I should give up the ghost
In your arms

Separator

it’s like i’ve fallen out of bed from a long and vivid dream
the sweetest flowers and fruits were hanging from the trees
falling off a giant bird that’s been carrying me
it’s like i’ve fallen out of bed from a long and vivid dream

Just exactly as I remember
Every word, every gesture
I’ve my heart in my mouth

It’s like I’ve fallen out of bed from a long and vivid dream
Finally I’m free of all the weight I’ve been carrying

And as that woman blows her cover
In the eye of the Beholder
I’m a fish now, out of water

Falling off a giant bird that’s been carrying me

I fell open, I lay under
At the tea parlour
I lost your number
And once it’s over
Hid back under

If you think this is over, then you’re wrong
If you think this is over, then you’re wrong
If you think this is over, then you’re wrong
If you think this is over, then you’re wrong

It’s like I’ve fallen out of bed from a long and vivid dream
Finally I’m free of all the weight I’ve been carrying

Wake me up

These lyrics are obviously not 100% correct. Add you two cents over at the message board.

65 Comments

  • Moon upon a stake? Stick?

  • Why is “Beholder” capitalized? just intrigued really. god or something?

  • Where’s the “music”….. I mean…. Present Tense?

  • staaaaaaaaaaaake

  • Gather up the lusting souls?

  • [...] A esta sensación también ha contribuido que no me he enterado de las letras en la mayor parte de las canciones, así que llevo todo el día buscándolas, hasta que gracias a Radiohead at Easy las he encontrado (la mejor página y foro de fans de la banda). [...]

  • “Gather up the last insults”

  • give up the ghost – gather up the lost dead souls?

    little by little – the pillar of my salt?

  • “You know you should
    But you don’t”

    Is it something known by all of us?

  • i think in codex its ‘flying to the sun’ or ‘fly into the sun’

  • It’s all about Buddhism, the origins of the earth, liberating yourself from materialism, taking a leap of faith and being born again, isn’t it. It’s got giant turtles, lotus flowers blooming, ancient seas and trees.

    Very spiritual album that tells you to set your mind free. Little by little. I love it!

  • Cant log on at MB for some reason. Here’s my 2 cents:

    bloom

    open your mouth wide
    * the universal size?

    little by little

    * never in earnest, never get judged
    * the job that killed you…killed you (i.e, it was slowly killing you back on No Surprises)

    lotus flower

    * moon upon a stick..
    its a well known phrase, perhaps most famously used by Richard Herring back in the 90s :)

    give up the ghost

    * gather up the lasting souls

  • Codex line is not “flying to our sides,” it quite clearly sounds like “fantasize”

  • The opening line of codex sound like slide on Down to me.

  • Little by Little
    I hear ‘the dark cellar’

  • For Give up the Ghost, I thought the line was:

    “Gather up the lost and sold
    In your arms”

    It makes sense to me.

  • gather up the last dinosaurs

  • Give Up The Ghost- Gather up the lost damned souls?

    Dante’s Inferno??

  • Lotus Flower:

    I would SLIP myself into your pocket

  • I always hear it as “OPen you mouth wiiiide
    a universal sign”

  • “I’m such a tease and you’re such a flirt”

    Looks like the album is speaking to us… cryptic message? Another one for the 2 part conspiracy…

  • Separator

    Lost your number
    “I won’t tip over.
    And get back under”

    If you think this is over, you’re wrong.

  • Little By Little

    “Don’t turn nasty now”

    Lotus Flower

    “Slowly we unfurl”

    Give Up the Ghost

    “Into your arms”

  • It’s;

    “Open your mouth wide/ the univesal sigh”

    surely?

  • http://radioheadthekingoflimbs.com/lyrics/

  • I have lurked on at ease for a long while now, and wanted to sincerely thank you for all of your posts, even in the dry spots :D. Especially this post, Iyrics are the best part

  • [...] resursi Albuma dziesmu teksti NME albuma dziesmu [...]

  • open your mouth wide. a universal sigh

  • I remember seeing Thom play at Cambridge Corn Exchange where he performed Give Up the Ghost. I hear the words are “don’t hold me”.

  • So I am the only one that thinks in “Give up The Ghost” he is saying:

    “Leave me alone”

    not

    “Into your arms”

    Also the line you have as “I’m moving out of orbit” in “Bloom”

    I thought was:

    “I’m blooming out of all of this”

  • I think it’s “gather all the lost damned souls”.

  • I think for Bloom the second line is “a universe inside”

  • Slowly we unfurl
    As lotus flowers

  • Hmmm, I thought for Bloom, it’s the universal size.

    Bloom is an amazing song btw.

  • I like the way ‘slide on land’ rolls out
    – cotex-

  • My thoughts and interpretations

  • Little By Little

    “Once you’ve been allergic, been around enough”

  • I think it’s “A bird has flown into my room”.

  • In the video for LotusFlower, around 3:42… it’s intentionally warbled up a bit, but it’s definitely not “The bird that’s flown into my room.”

    Can someone lip-read that?

  • Isn’t it “Bullets lying through my room”?

  • Flying, I mean!

  • Ha! This is fun – makes me smile:)

  • Another proof that the album is part of a compilation and/or that there is certainly more to come: A codex (Latin caudex for “trunk of a tree” or block of wood, book; plural codices) is a book in the format used for modern books, with multiple signatures (two, four, or eight sheets which are folded, stitched, and bound), then typically bound together and given a cover.

  • First of all, what a miraculous, gorgeous, brilliant and lovable album. For the lyrics, wow, they got some I couldn’t figure out. Some corrections:
    In Bloom: “a universal sigh”

    Codex: “Just dragonflies, fantasized”

    Give up the ghost: “Gather up the lost, angry souls”
    “Gather up the pain in full”

    Listen closely for the vowels, and you’ll agree with me.

  • Morning Mr. Magpie;
    You got some nerve coming here
    You got some nerve coming here
    You stole it “off”
    Give it back
    You stole it all
    Give it back

  • Separator is making a case over the headphones today for taking over from Codex as the best track on the album.

    Plus, I think we can read more into the “If you think this is over, then you’re wrong” lyrics. Feel the physical release will definitely contain more songs. Can’t wait.

    Another brilliant album!

  • Agree with mcgriggin about “fantasize”, though I don’t hear the final “d”.

  • Lotus Flower, it’s the “Moon upon a steak”, not the “Moon upon a stick”

  • Give up the Ghost: “Gather up the lost and sold.”

  • I think “the universal size” for Bloom feels right to me. Radiohead right.

    Also, for Codex…

    Just dragonflies
    “fanned to a side.”
    No one gets hurt

    …feels the most correct & poetic.

  • Little By Little:

    Little by little by hook or by crook
    Never in earnest, never get judged
    I’m no idiot I should look

    The clue on the ????
    The calling of my love

    Separator:

    at the tip out
    that was just your number
    and once this is over
    you’ll get back under

  • I think in Give up the Ghost
    Gather up the Lost damned souls, or lost and sold

    In Separator
    I want to slip over and get back under

    at the end it says
    When at last you give in

  • Little By Little, it’s

    Obligations
    Complications
    Routines & Schedules
    A drug that killed you.

  • Bloom

    “…And jellyfish row by”

    (articulating how they move)

  • Read my full review of ‘The King of Limbs’ here: http://realgonerocks.blogspot.com/2011/03/radiohead-king-of-limbs.html

  • ”fast-ballooning head”?
    I seriously thought he sung: ‘your first balloon in hell’. :blink:

  • How about this?

    Lotus Flower:

    I dance around the pit
    The darkness is relief

    Nailed it!

  • In ‘Bloom’ I think it’s: “The giant telos’ eyes / Jellyfish roll by.”

    interesting expounding of the term at Wikipedia:

    “A telos (from the Greek τέλοϛ for “end”, “purpose”, or “goal”) is an end or purpose, in a fairly constrained sense used by philosophers such as Aristotle. It is the root of the term “teleology,” roughly the study of purposiveness, or the study of objects with a view to their aims, purposes, or intentions. Teleology figures centrally in Aristotle’s biology and in his theory of causes. It is central to nearly all philosophical theories of history, …”

  • Well I just watched the video again. I haven’t watched it that many times yet, but I feel like I could watch it all day! :wub: Thom is mostly cute/sexy but looks a bit creepy at times. :o

    As a speech pathology student I am familiar with articulation, phonetics, and speechreading. Seeing the video cleared up a few of the lyrics for me.

    I think it’s “I will” and not “I would”… but I’m not completely sure. That makes a semantic difference; “I will” vs “I would” implies different things. Anyway both /l/ and /d/ are formed by the tongue at the same place in the mouth (alveolar ridge) so it’s hard to discriminate them.
    I see “I will shape” and “I will sink”, not “shrink” (and “we will sink” on the mice line). Although it sounds like “shink” it’s definitely not “shrink”. It could even be “shake” or “shape”. The /s/ sound is very different from the /shr/ sound in the way it’s formed by the mouth. And I don’t hear an /r/ in there either time.
    I hear an /f/ with “cut me off” and not “cut me up”.
    It’s definitely “dance around the pit” and “the darkness is beneath”. It’s easy to see his lips forming those labials /p/ and /b/.
    I also see and hear him singing “All I want” before the “bird that’s flown into my room” line.

    Lotus Flower

    I will shape myself into your pocket
    Invisible
    Do what you want
    Do what you want

    I will sink and I will disappear
    I will slip into the groove
    And cut me off
    And cut me off

    There’s an empty space inside my heart
    Where the weeds take root
    So now I set you free
    I’ll set you free

    Slowly we unfurl
    As lotus flowers
    Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick
    Just to see what if
    Just to see what is
    I can’t kick your habit
    Just to feed your fast-ballooning head
    Listen to your heart

    We will sink and then be quiet as mice
    And while the cat is away
    Do what we want
    Do what we want

    There’s an empty space inside my heart
    Where the weeds take root
    So now I set you free
    I’ll set you free

    Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick
    just to see what if
    Just to see what is

    All I want oh the bird that’s flown into my room
    Slowly we unfold
    As lotus flowers
    Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick
    I dance around the pit
    The darkness is beneath
    I can’t kick your habit
    Just to feed your fast-ballooning head
    Listen to your heart

  • According to the Radiohead email notice it’s:

    “Gather up the lost and their souls”

    It’s also “into your arms”, not “in your arms”.

  • Here is a little Radiohead fan film I made

    http://vimeo.com/23079092

    I filmed it in the Jellyfish lake in Palau and while I was there I had the song “Nude” in my head. Just seemed fitting.

  • The second line on the album (in Bloom) is “The universal sigh”, as in the newspaper thing of the same name.

    Doh.

  • Bookmarked and will be back tomorrow to read more!

  • thanks for posting! even if its not perfect, better than the stuff i make up in my head when i can’t understand what he’s singing…..staircase and daily mail?

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