"I Might Be Wrong" as written by and Thomas Edward/greenwood Yorke....
I might be wrong
I might be wrong
I could have sworn I saw a light coming on

I used to think
I used to think
There was no future left at all
I used to think

Start again begin again
Let's go down the waterfall
Think about the good times and never go back
Never go back

What would I do?
What would I do?
If I did not have you?

Open up, let me in
Let's go down the waterfall
Have ourselves a good time
It's nothing at all
Nothing at all
Nothing at all

Come back
Come back
Ah, ah
Ah


Lyrics submitted by shut, edited by BIRDDUDE830, silentthriller

"I Might Be Wrong" as written by Edward John O'brien Colin Charles Greenwood

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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I Might Be Wrong song meanings
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  • +9
    General CommentI read an article online taken from a magazine where the readers sent in their takes on radiohead songs and thom read the letters and responded to the best one. He said he likes his songs to have multiple meanings and the relationship angle is one of them. He also said that the "light coming on" and "no future left at all" parts were talking about dying. He used to think there was no afterlife and nothing he did in his lifetime mattered but now thats all different. His life has meaning now, so he can be happy and enjoy the good times because he can look back on those times after his mortal life has ended.
    egoat711on July 30, 2002   Link
  • +7
    General Commenti think this is about pressure that makes illusion,thinking and dreaming too much,unwilling to face the reality,and being looked on as a strange person.
    stainon August 02, 2002   Link
  • +7
    General CommentThis song is about Phil's hair.
    kankurouon September 11, 2006   Link
  • +5
    General Commentthe song is most definitely a direct reference to advaita vedanta hinduism and buddhism, and many other forms of hinduism/eastern religions.

    listen to "pyramid song" where he "jumps in the river" and everything from his past and future is there with him. in siddartha by herman hesse, the protagonist becomes enlightened by listening to the river.

    rivers and waterfalls are common images in many eastern beliefs. the syllable om, which encapsulates the entire essence of the ultimate reality or God, is spoken by the river. the river in turn represents the entire universe itself.

    the waterfall in this song is no different. thom yorke is only taking the discussion from "pyramid song" a bit deeper. the underlying philosophy of advaita vedanta is that all is one and that we will return to this ultimate source when we die (that is to say when we leave our bodies). "open up and let me in" is referring to this. the material physical world is an illusion, like a dream, a shadow, or a reflection being projected by brahman, the ultimate. the truth is that the eternal consciousness which binds us all is infinite and without time. it is everywhere around us and it is all within us.

    the ancient atvaita text the ashtavakra gita talks about renouncing pain and pleasure all together, because these things are all part of maya, which binds us to an existence in absence of the truth. just "be here now" as ram dass would say. this is what the lyrics mean when he says "think about the good times never look back", juxtaposed with, "have ourselves a good time it's nothing at all".
    roserh6on March 07, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThom's not the type to usually write about love songs, and especially with the way this song is written and the way he sings the song, I don't think it is a love song. It's one of the more sardonic/sarcastic sounding songs of Radiohead's, and I think it's not about a relationship with a girl...but maybe with God, aka about religion/theism.

    I think throughout the song it shows an agnostic or a skeptical Christian slowly gaining belief and becoming almost a 'blind sheep' type Christian.

    "I might be wrong
    I might be wrong
    I could have sworn I saw a light
    Comin' on "

    At this point, the believer is not sure his religion is correct, he's questioning it..

    "I used to think
    I used to think
    There is no future left at all
    I used to think "

    He used to believe heaven did not exist, that there was no life after death. He used to be atheist.

    "Open up, begin again
    Let's go down the waterfall
    Think about the good times
    Never look back
    Never look back "

    This part's a bit trickier. "open up begin again" probably is referencing some religious action one takes, but I can't think of any. Perhaps "open up your mind/heart, start over in your religion" as if you're repenting. I'm unsure what he's talking about with the waterfall if it means anything, but the "never look back" sounds satirical almost, as if he's being told and starting to be ignorant to other beliefs, to be closeminded.

    "What would I do?
    What would I do?
    If I did not have you? "

    A common question Christians ask of God when praying, artfully placed in.

    "Open up and let me in
    Let's go down the waterfall
    Have ourselves a good time
    It's nothin' at all
    It's nothin' at all
    Nothin' at all "

    "open up and let me in" is another part of this believer's prayer to god, to let him into heaven. again he references a waterfall, which may be symbolic or not (Thom likes to add in random shit that sometimes is meaningless, as he has told several magazines).

    --

    I think that this religious take on it is far more accurate than a love song take. In fact, it may not be about religion but I'm about 99% sure it's not about a relationship. The connotations aren't right, the constant guitar lick gives an impression of blind following and doesn't really make sense for a love song. In summary, I think "I might be Wrong" is a sarcastic, sardonic take on blind Christians that follow their religion for no reason. But, I might be wrong.
    deathbearon May 08, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think it is about life in general and rebirth, over and over and over; reincarnation. Or at least the afterlife. Amnesiac has this undercurrent of ancient history and afterlife mythology running through it: ideas from Ancient Egypt, Classical mythology, Gnostic Christianity, Buddhism/Hinduism too.. for instance the concept of "samsara" makes a lot of sense in this context. "Samsara is derived from "to flow together," to go or pass through states, to wander.. a great revolving door between life and death and an endless cycle of reincarnation." (a surprisingly poetic description from wikipedia :p)

    the 'waterfall' is the river of life, maybe the very same river that appears in Pyramid Song. in Classical Mythology this river was called Lethe, the River of Forgetfulness ('amnesiac', anyone?) and Lethe appears in Dante's Divine Comedy as well, whose work his lyrics have referenced so often. the image of the famished road in Street Spirit is the same sort of thing, only more pessimistic (everything fading out and being devoured, rather than the potential of eventually escaping that this song alludes to)

    "What would I do.. if I did not have you?" I think is meant to be taken literally. what would this person do if they had no one, and if love itself did not exist? It would be much easier to think of the world as meaningless if we did not feel love.

    'nothing at all' to me personally sounds like denial.. rather than feeling and 'looking back' you lapse back into a kind of self-preserving amnesia, never looking back or reflecting but enjoying the moment only. you protect yourself from ever being hurt by telling yourself that it's 'nothing at all', yet if you write off and shut out the world around you you have no hope of understanding it. so I feel that 'nothing at all' is very sarcastic.

    but who knows. am I reading too much into it?

    l3naon March 10, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentGood thing deathbear is here though, because he could not be any more right! This song makes so much more sense now. It's all about blind faith, thus the "I might be wrong" ties into it. Think about good times with God into heaven, and don't look back at your past. Really, I think Thoms saying, we think we're drifting up into heaven, but, we don't realize that we are about to fall off the edge of a waterfall. We don't know what's at the end of the river (the river is a symbol of life.) We go on through life as we're floating down the river, and getting closer to death. We don't know what happens after we die. We can't swim back upstream and tell others about it, because it's a one-way path. We think at the end of the river is a large lake of eternal life, or something, but its a waterfall to death.
    Phrogexon June 08, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI can't say this is an interpritation but more along the lines of this is how *I* see the song. After my mother died at 51 years old of cancer it hit me how horrible of life she had always had... no one ever treated her like she deserved. So this song lets me imagine that her and I are re-united and saying screw everyone, let's just go and have a good time and never look back. And that even though I feel there is no future without her, I know there has to be. Take it for what you will....
    Xzaschaon February 23, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe themes in a lot of Thom's lyrics seem to be expanding with each album since OK computer. OK computer has a lot to do with paranoia and the human condition: depression, suicide, alienation, etc. Kid A/Amnesiac were strongly influenced by NO LOGO, and convery a general hopelessness for the future of man and the planet because of the corruption of our leaders. HTTT expands on the theme of corruption in business and politics and people's unwillingness to pay attention or wake up to the reality of it. The new album has a lot of lyrics that relate to globalist agendas mentioned in NO LOGO, police state, and the general apathy of the population. A lot of songs have a generally pessimistic view of the future and society's failure to address, choosing to pretend they don't exist instead. There is a reason why they wanted Radiohead to do the score for A Scanner Darkly and Black Swan is on the soundtrack.
    Nonlinear314on July 12, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe Fifth Element just shot their self in the foot by proclaiming their interpretation to be perfect, and then not offering one. :D

    I ♥ the synth intro that so abruptly cuts out in the middle of the second line. Also, the outro is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I know.

    As far as lyrical interpretation goes, I must disagree on the earlier "blind faith" idea because the very definition of blind faith is that it is not self-aware, and Thom's insistent "I might be wrong" obviously contradicts that.

    I like the religion idea, though. I guess Thom probably meant this song in a more general vein. It can be applied to any kind of change in faith, from religious to romantic and everything besides. I like the idea of the "waterfall" being an extension of the common "river of life" metaphor - a metaphor that Thom uses frequently, most notably in Pyramid Song.
    henreon September 30, 2007   Link

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