"Go to Sleep. (Little Man Being Erased.)" as written by and Thomas Edward/selway Yorke....
Something for the rag and bone man
Over my dead body
Something big is gonna happen
Over my dead body

Someone's son or someone's daughter
Over my dead body
This is how I end up sucked in
Over my dead body

I'm gonna go to sleep
Let this wash all over me

We don't really want a monster taking over
Tiptoe around, tie him down
We don't want the loonies taking over
Tiptoe around, tie them down

May pretty horses
Come to you
As you sleep
I'm gonna go to sleep
And let this wash all over me


Lyrics submitted by ruben

"Go to Sleep" as written by Edward John O'brien Colin Charles Greenwood

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Go to Sleep. (Little Man Being Erased.) song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentThis song is about feeling powerless. Note all the quotes in the song. It is someone repeating mantras of sanity over and over "we don't really want a monster taking over" "over my dead body" and yet that's exactly what happened. This stuff was written back in the buildup to war, when there where marches in the streets and people shouting, all of which didn't do a damn thing. Thom Yorke (who was very much involved in that shouting) is writing about how powerless it made him and all of us feel to know that there was not a damn thing you could do to stop it, even though he knew how crazy it was. The urge to go to sleep is not just the goverments' desire to make you forget, but also your own, to avoid the guilt of letting this happen. I think the "tiptoe around, tie him down" thing is about the realization that the sort of peacenik thinking that we had become accustomed to, the leaders actually paying attention to the populace, isn't going to work with these people. Radiohead have actually said in interviews that this album isn't about the war or Bush and Blair but about how powerless they felt in the whole mess, so I think this is justified.
    jadyon July 23, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Commentalmost every song thay've ever written gets better and better even after hundreds of listens!
    derykon December 07, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentHoly crap! This site has really opened my eyes. I never knew Radiohead were so politically motivated. Bush is the monster! America is the wolf at the door! Bush is the paranoid android! Bush eats mouse heads!
    Its all so clear now!
    sm3llyc4ton April 07, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThere is this watchdog gaurding everything, making sure nothing goes wrong and the "loonies" don't take over. Like every living creature, the watchdog has to eventually rest and go to sleep. When this happens, all the evil men in the world walk around the dog and tie him down (kind of like Gullivers Travels.)

    Kind of like the media.
    timothyrealon October 21, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song to me is about the powerful tense meaning we put on the political word of "war". This song (LIttle Man Being Erased) is about the soldiers we send and why we justify their death by the promises of "Something big is gonna happen" thanks to their efforts. We will convince ourselves to fight for what we believe in "Over my dead Body." We'll put those who disagree with us down at any cost "We don't want the loonies taking over." This is about what we are taught to believe in and just don't worry or question it. Only please for the love of God please (Go To Sleep)!
    trevino8on August 29, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentand if you did more reading you'll see that the agenda of the far left is just as idiotic and scary as the agenda of the far right, at least to someone who values their individual liberties and freedoms.

    You're best off just dropping the whole left/right, liberal/conservative bush is bad crap. It is just a tool to distract the populace. Ron Paul is a republican and he is 10x more of a man than anyone on Air America, Ted "I drowned my girlfriend and ran away" kennedy, the crony appointees of the United Nothing, or the globalist, owl worshipping neo cons. Wake up and learn about communitarianism and what the globalists have in store for us.

    And you wonder why Thom has such a pessimistic attitude?
    Nonlinear314on July 12, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOverminded body
    Ha!
    Let him go to the animals
    Overminded body
    The animals cannot see the music
    Coming from the sea
    Overminded body
    Jigsaw? Ha!
    So sleeve is not small
    Jigsaw falling into the place
    RIverXon August 28, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI believe it was in a Chuck Klosterman interview with Radiohead that I read Thom Yorke puts lyrics into songs just because he likes how the words sound. Way too much can be read into his lyrics. It's a pretty song.
    jeromelafantomeon November 05, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt seems to me that it would be about heroin addiction. The person is at war with himself/herself.. thus the refrain "over my dead body". Which is an amazing phrase, because it cuts both ways.. him saying no to the addiction.. "over my dead body.." and eventually it literally being "over his dead body".

    I love how radio head conjures up these amazing metaphors for death. Here it's "Pretty horses as you sleep"; and in "No surprises" it's "a pretty house - a pretty garden".
    og_toolon September 13, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI interpret this song as centering on political consciousness, with sleep being akin to a state of lack of awareness, political unconsciousness. "Something for the rag and bone man", policies that dissuage the suffering of lower socioeconomic groups, the government replies "over my dead body". "We don't want the loonies taking over" we don't want fringe political groups having a say, informing political decisions etc, silence them "tip toe round, tie them down".
    Dressed2Depresson May 23, 2010   Link

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