"The Eraser" as written by and Thomas Edward Yorke....
Please excuse me but I got to ask
Are you only being nice
Because you want something?
My fairytale arrow pierces
Be careful how you respond
Because you'd not end up in this song
I never gave you an encouragement
And it's doing me in
Doing me in
Doing me in
Doing me in
Doing me in

The more you try to erase me
The more, the more
The more that I appear
The more, the more
The more you try the eraser
The more, the more
The more that you appear

You know the answer so why do you ask?
I am only being nice
Because I want someone, something
You're like a kitten with a ball of yarn
And it is doing me in
Doing me in
Doing me in
Doing me in
Doing me in

The more you try to erase me
The more, the more
The more that I appear
The more, the more
The more I try to erase you
The more, the more
The more that you appear

No, you're wrong, you're wrong
You're wrong, you're wrong
You're wrong, you're wrong
You're wrong


Lyrics submitted by black_cow_of_death, edited by masanbol, BIRDDUDE830, casiopt1

"The Eraser" as written by Thomas Edward Yorke

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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The Eraser song meanings
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77 Comments

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  • +6
    My InterpretationI love the image of a kitten with a ball of string. From my perspective, this is a love song about a woman who seems soft, wide-eyed, playful and innocent but is capable of completely unraveling a man and his tightly bound life. Maybe these are two people who had an attraction to one another in the past and but now maintain a friendship. He's questioning why they are still being "nice": is it really just a facade masking stronger feeling? What do they both really want from one another? The more that they try to "erase" or suppress this undercurrent of desire for each other, the more that they keep thinking of one another.
    befuddledon May 06, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentIt's probably about obsession. Obsession keeps the narrator from being able to erase this woman from his mind, even though he let her go because he didn't trust her. He decides all she was really after was being with him, and what he's saying in this song is that he will make sure she doesn't erase him either by writing more songs for her. The entire album can be interpreted to match with this idea, or with the threat of flooding, etc., but this song really doesn't work well with any other type of interpretation. It's very clear.
    eatenbythewormson December 23, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentWell, it kind of seems like that. it's not like when older people fall in love its any different from love when one is a teenager. all our doubts and insecurities come to the surface. So you, algunmae, are probably right.. It does seem like a very straightforward love song, but it could also work on other levels, though not as well. But I don't think this girl necessarily doesn't like (or love) him. It's just that he's insecure and he doesn't dare ask her except in this song.
    eatenbythewormson July 29, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI felt very sad listening to the song but I couldn't give it some solid meaning. eaten by the worms, thank you so much, I realized why it was. Its a love song. I cant believe thom can write love songs still, he's married, not to mention.

    why my fairytale arab princess?
    because she's so impossible to be real?
    or so beautiful for him?
    I love to search context in his songs.

    as you say this song sounds like a sequel.

    one love

    but its so sad in a way. I feel to be a part of this. And I always criticize my behaviour and I feel like I might end up in this song. You know, I really feel sad for whatever thing is making him sad.

    I feel I'm wrong.
    Always...
    that's why I seek for all the comments on songs. I want to understand them, see them from all people's eyes. I'm so afraid of not understanding him, or misunderstanding. And all the comments are wonderful anyways. I want to thank everybody on this site.You are generous people.

    global warming. Thats really a scary&funny thing. A lurking monster. Like we've been lenghtening the human life spam and what for? to live in a radiation-hell landfill?? to destroy ourselves and our race with bombs? We save an embryo ethically to kill hundreds of children without a doubt in wars?? I'd say don't be funny but its far beyond any fun now. Its the final human tragedy. Its called "I dont know what to do" tragedy. we are just watching, while thom's singing, telling.

    I hope there was some solution to all this
    and
    why not?

    I dont want no future children to make wars for a glass of pure drinking water. Isn't it the same? 1 more litre of petroleum. 1 more piece of land under control. So inhuman. So unimaginably evil. For a short short life.

    love is life. I feel so. there's no magic erasers for the errors we make continuously to the environment.
    there probably isn't a substitute planet that we'll use up. And we should care for the ones we love while we're still alive.
    vusion September 03, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"To me the most exciting... you know... exciting music I ever had is when you get all those things mixed up together and you can't tell where one starts and one ends... you know there's something else going on....It's probably lazy and a little bit just a response to what people think I am or I am not to say that this is a political record because it has a lot of love songs and personal songs..."

    Thom Yorke on XFM, 21 August 2006
    eatenbythewormson October 01, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYeah, and I guess Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen is about terrorism too.

    "Let him go!
    Bismillah! No we will not let you go!".

    Those lyrics are obviously about the 9/11 hijackers. The first line is obviously the passengers of the airplane begging the terrorists to release them. The next line is the hijackers saying "in the name of Allah, we will not let you go". (Bismillah means "in the name of Allah".)

    But then, of course, the movie United 93 was about one of the airplanes that was highjacked on 9/11. It was also directed by Paul Greengrass. And I'm sure if you go through the six degrees of sepreration, Paul Greengrass will be connected to Kevin Bacon somehow. So Bohemian Rhapsody could be about Kevin Bacon, too. Damn that Freddie Mercury was sly.
    black_cow_of_deathon September 16, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'm not ruling out that this song could be about politics. I'm just saying that your interpretation of this song requires big, distorted stretches of meaning.

    It's true that alot of the songs on The Eraser have political meanings, but that doesn't mean that EVERY song does. You cant just pigeon hole everything on the album into the same category because politics are a theme in a few -or even most- of the songs.

    In "Harrowdown Hill" and "And It Rained All Night" there is a direct connection between the lyrics and their meanings. Harrowdown Hill is the name of the place that David Kelly died. It can't be anymore blatent than that.

    You really have nothing to go on other than the fact that he says "Arab". Everything else is completley indirect and could be interpreted many other ways without having to reach so much. Thats why I used Queen as an example: to show that by your way of interpreting songs, anything could be about terrorism or the Middle East.
    black_cow_of_deathon September 18, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commenteatenbytheworms' last post should end the arguement...Thom's shit is multideminsional...I can see this song from everyone's POV...
    ...bottom line...song's so fucking smooth, it ain't even funny. Dance to it, if even only in your mind.
    sailingallaloneon December 08, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI noticed something about this song lately, and I'd like to add that to my interpretation. At the beginning of the song, the narrator asks 'are you only being nice because you want something?' Later in the song, the response ('i am only being nice because I want someone, something') means that the narrator has figured out what it is that this person wants from him. At the end of the song what I hear is 'you're all wrong', which means (to me) that presumably people were telling the narrator that this woman was only showing interest in him (being nice) because she wanted something from him. Thom Yorke said the songs in his album are personal and there are a lot of love songs, so it is not that farfetched to believe that he could be referring to himself. So the narrator would be someone like him: famous, wealthy, who is probably wary of people who try to be friends with him, etc. which is understandable given that a lot of people go after someone based on their popularity, wealth, fame. So I think this song is also about the narrator trying to figure out whether this person is pursuing a relationship with him based on the fact that he is rich and famous, or is truly interested in him. He realizes at the end that those that were warning him about her are wrong, and so she ends up in the song.
    eatenbythewormson February 08, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI first listened to this song after my girlfriend decided to suddenly start ignoring me. The first verse and chorus is me begging for a reply or explanation, "Doing me in" is pretty much how I felt. The whole Eraser aspect is her trying to forget me, and me hoping she won't be able to.

    The second verse and chorus is her reply, she chastises my naivety: "Your like a kitten with a ball of yarn" and everything before that is her telling me I was just a pastime. Then the chorus she agrees that I cant erase her, and then says "The more I try to erase you, the more you appear. Your wrong" as if saying that actually she can erase me and forget me.

    Anyway, I love the song even if its hard to listen to sometimes. I guess I made an explanation for her in these lyrics when she failed to give me one. I wonder how many other people see it the same way.
    Jinx_Voxon January 03, 2008   Link

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