"You and Whose Army?" as written by Thomas Yorke, Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood, Edward John O'brien, Philip Selway and Colin Charles Greenwood....
Come on, come on
You think you drive me crazy
Come on, come on
You and whose army?
You and your cronies
Come on, come on
Holy Roman empire
Come on if you think
Come on if you think
You can take us on
You can take us on

You and whose army?
You and your cronies

You forget so easily
We ride tonight
We ride tonight
Ghost horses
Ghost horses
We ride tonight
We ride tonight
Ghost horses
Ghost horses
Ghost horses


Lyrics submitted by shut, edited by illt3ck

"You and Whose Army?" as written by Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood Thomas Edward Yorke

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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You and Whose Army? song meanings
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  • +8
    My InterpretationThis song touches on themes of death. That's the crux of it. However looking at it more carefully, we see political aspects.

    mentions of an army, cronies and the "holy" roman empire

    considering the army, well, most governments have armies. in this song the army does not sound like a force of protection, more like a force to fear. a tyrannical, power-hungry force. clearly, they're not good if they're being challenged "come on, come on..."

    i find "cronies" here to have a sort of sinister malevolent implication. criminal.
    the people in a comfy position in the government.

    the holy roman empire reference, as pointed out by alexhuxleyon was neither holy nor Roman, nor an empire. this seems to be a sort of clever jab at the government, who probably feel as if they are as powerful and important as the roman empire, even going so far as being seen as "holy".

    Finally, the most important element: the Ghost Horses.
    this to me makes me think of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
    Conquest, War, Famine and Death: 4 things governments are capable of (and do commit).

    "you forget so easily" could mean anything.
    it could be directed to people who don't realize the government is this malevolent, or it could be directed to the government, telling them that they either a) forget that they are people or b) forget that the people have power to fight back.

    this makes me think that the song could also be some sort of protest song, tying in with point b.

    anyways, that's my take.
    miguelvegaon April 21, 2013   Link
  • +5
    General Commentwow, radiohead. i cant even explain my love for them. all their songs refelt emotions.. i dont think any of them need an explaination.. its about feelings, when i lay down and turn on amnesiac, ok computer, kid a, or the bends, i just get completely tuned in to my emotions. i think about things ive nevere thought about, and i feel things i never thought were there. radiohead is the only band thats ever done that for me. cant wait till their new cd comes out ive been waiting forever!
    motionpicturesndtrckon October 15, 2002   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThe Holy Roman Army did not exist at the time of the Romans; it was around during the 16th to 18th centuries or thereabouts. It was a footnote in history, because the nations that sprang out of its dominion, or predated it, are far more respected and well-remembered. Additionally, it's a running joke that this 'empire' was neither holy nor Roman, nor an empire. A crony is an old friend. It's a double entendre: the friend can be old, as a firned, or old in age. Inlike a comrade, buddy, pal, crew -- this word implies, decrepitude. Finally, the ghost horses, and the repeated invitation to 'come on' to me signify a false, transparent threat. The loose structure of the song and the simplistic composition tell me it's more the product of a mood than a specific idea, like 'Bones', for example. I think Yorp or Yorke was stewing over a real confrontation, and, very much like Radiohead -- at odds with the frat-boy instinct to want to fight. The song was the upshot; a self-mocking upshot of carrying a pair of testicles and a male ego, despite carrying the mantle of man-boy hero, as Radiohead clearly does. The lack of attention paid to the song, in terms of composition, layering, mixing, etc. -- tell me it's there as a confession, not expression.
    alexhuxleyon July 23, 2005   Link
  • +5
    General Commentto give it another meaning...just for laughs...this is the way i feel it when i listen.
    you can have a go at the president, prime minister, the big boys or whatever, but i think that this song is aimed at the narrator. try singing this song facing a mirror and tell yourself you're perfect..won't work!
    i think its a lesson for everyone to stop being so up themselves and stop having a pop at everyone else an try and sort yourself out first.
    i'm in no way slagging thom yorke off by the way!
    anyway...
    'you forget so easy' - that somethings are your fault and that you can't blame it on everyone else.
    its a lesson, to come back down to earth about yourself.
    that's my view!
    rhllwydon March 11, 2008   Link
  • +4
    General CommentFuck interpretations, this song is incredible.

    So uplifting but cold and heartless at the same time.
    robbro7on May 02, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Commenti don't even think the lyrics are very important to the song. i had no idea what he was saying when i first heard it and it blew me away. i have so much love for the song. the melancholy way he sings, the piano after he sings "you forget so easily" it just really does something to me.
    artoseybycyon November 28, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment...masterpiece...as always...

    Filled with mockery and, as consequence, sorrow...
    As in the case of the incurable illness...
    RIverXon June 02, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIn 1998 Oxford synthrock band Holy Roman Empire released a Christmas single called "Holy Water Baby", which featured a disco punk slaughtering of "Street Spirit" on its B-side. A copy of this single was passed to Radiohead's bass star Colin Greenwood by HRE's leadsinger Ste Fleming (as documented in Alex Ogg's book "Standing On The Edge").
    'You and whose army' was the inevitable response...
    ClarencePistoldinneon February 06, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'd like to think that this song is about standing up for yourself against people in authority.

    For Thom it's probably the government, most likely new labour and Blair, as he was in power during the writing of the song.

    But I hope that others take the message and use it to bolster themselves against those who try to suppress us. If we are decent enough, we have friends and family and no matter who you are, you will never beat us all. and we will die fighting if we have to.
    smothon November 21, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti love this one
    Thom is soooo paranoid
    but he's a very well read paranoid too
    which is always fascinating

    the entire concept of Amnesiac is sleeping the sleep of unreason
    we forget so easy afterall
    the rosetta stone to the whole thing comes at the end of the bokklet:
    decline & fall of the Roman empire

    the narrator obviously sees the paralells taking place in the current grand imperial power and it scares the hell out of him

    Kida & Amnesiac, Hail
    all about the end of someones world i think
    Hungryforalynchinon May 05, 2008   Link

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