"Down Is the New Up" as written by Thomas Edward Yorke, Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood, Colin Charles Greenwood, Edward John O'brien and Philip James Selway....
Get yourself together
Let the light pour in
Pour yourself a hot bath
Pour yourself a drink
Nothing's gonna happen without warning

Down is the new up
What is up, buttercup?

Down is the new up
Is the new up

Won't you be my girl?
Won't you be my girl?

Your services
Are not required
Your future's bleak
You're so last week

Ladies and gentlemen
Without a safety net
I shall now perform a 180 flip-flop
I shall now amputate
I shall now contort

Because down is the new up
What if I just flip-flop?

Down is the new up
Down is the new up
Down is the new up
Is the new up

You crawled off and left us
You crawled off and left us
You crawled off and left us

All on candid camera
The chink in your armour
Topsy turvy town
Topsy turvy town

Shake your pockets out
Pass it on
Pass it down
Topsy turvy town
Topsy turvy town


Lyrics submitted by black_cow_of_death, edited by Paymaan

"Down Is the New Up [*]" as written by Edward John O'brien Colin Charles Greenwood

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Down Is the New Up song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentHave you ever heard the phrase "black is the new pink?" Or that a certain style is "so last week"? Societal trends change so frequently and in such a fickle fashion.

    Lets look at the phrase "black is the new pink." One day everyone could be wearing black, every single person, because it's what they are told is fashionable. Suddenly someone enters saying that pink is fashionable, that "black is the new pink." Next thing you know, everyone completely disposes of their pink wardrobe in favor of black out of fear of being deemed outdated or unfashionable. In an instant pink, a color once adored by all, becomes a disgusting object of hatred, replaced by black. Pink is not stylish. Black is.

    If you've ever read 1984, you will be familiar with the concept of "doublethink": the process by which one essentially rewrites reality in their own mind. In this context, they hold two contradictory ideas to be true: the established idea that pink is stylish and the new idea that black is stylish. And through the process of doublethink they forget that pink is stylish, even adopting the belief that it's ugly, in favor of the new idea, and then using doublethink to forget that they ever used doublethink in the first place (a little tough to wrap your head around, I know).

    Here's another example is from 1984. The country Oceania was at war with the country Eurasia. Therefore, as far as everyone in the party believed, Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. Suddenly, Oceania is at war with East Asia, not Eurasia. Therefore everyone believes that Oceania has always been at war with East Asia, and always at peace with Eurasia. They become enraged by all of their own posters against Eurasia, convincing themselves that East Asian spies had placed them there. Reality is rewritten in their minds, and truth ceases to be about objective facts and becomes the subjective whim of the party.

    That is the danger of doublethink: it is reality control. Reality is defined by the party, who has complete control over its members minds. They control the present, and therefore control the past, therefore having control over the future.

    I think that with "Down is the New Up" Radiohead is pointing out the use of doublethink in our society. Pink becomes the new black. Reality is changed. Down is the new up. We don't need you anymore, because you're outdated, you're so last week.

    To convince yourself of such lies requires amputation, contortion, you must twist and turn your way to fit into this new fabricated reality. You perform a 180 flip-flop, you convince yourself that down is up, that 2 and 2 always make 5. Because that's what society says. Let society tell you what's stylish, let the government tell you what's real.

    Shake out your pockets. Pass your money on down, which of course is up. My interpretation is that this section is referring to the flow of money going to the rich under the guise of going to the poor. After all, we live in topsy-turvy town.

    And anyone who disagrees, anyone who clings to their objective reality is a bastard, crawling away. An outcast who sits down and stands up, not the other way around.
    anderjaoon July 02, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentUnfortunately it is 180 flip-flop. Orwellian flip-flop is an amazing lyric but you can't have everything. Fantastic song so that makes up for it.
    Wallamanageon December 07, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI believe this song is about my screen name and what is coming. See also, 4 Minute Warning (and comments by jocularjosh on that song)...

    Note that Radiohead dedicated The Bends to the late Bill Hicks in their liner notes - if it's any indication of what their role models have taught them (watch some Bill Hicks on YouTube).

    Another role model they have is the band Talking Heads. Radiohead are named after the song of the same name off of the True Stories album, which is also a VERY important movie (True Stories directed and co-written by David Byrne), packed with important info.

    Do your research, get informed and get educated! If the truth becomes transparent to you, try not to let it overwhelm you. Just remember:

    "Get yourself together, let the light pour in
    Pour yourself a hot bath, pour yourself a drink
    Nothing's going to happen without warning..."
    NO_NWOon August 07, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentLove the orchestral swells before the 'you crawled off' bit. And the Prince-esque falsetto at the end... unreal
    implodeon August 06, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song perfectly encapsulates the feel of late 2000s British politics so well that it is scary. The carnival imagery, amputating, contorting, cutting services, the feeling of it being a grotesque frenetic parade in which up is down, left is right and exactly the wrong thing is paraded as the right thing, while being haunted by the backing vocals of the voices of those that this parade has trampled over.

    Thom Yorke must know how good he is. Because he is one mega talented bastard.
    agiantturtleseyeson April 11, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsuch a cool new song! the live version i've been watching where johhny jumps on the little drum kit is about the best thing i've ever seen. cant wait to hear the new album, this is up there with videotape and arpeggi as my favourite new tunes
    no_one69on June 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLatest Version:

    Get yourself together
    Let the light pour in
    Pour yourself a hot bath, pour yourself a drink
    Nothing's gonna happen without a warning
    Down is the new Up
    What is up, buttercup
    Down is the new Up, is the new Up

    Your services are not required
    Your future's bleak, you're so last week

    Ladies and gentlemen, without a safety net
    I shall now perform an Orwellian flip-flop
    I shall now amputate, I shall now contort
    Because Down is the new Up
    What if I just flip-flopped?
    Down is the new Up, is the new Up

    Caught on Candid Camera
    The chink in your armor
    Topsy turvy town, topsy turvy town
    Shake your pockets out
    Pass it on, pass it down
    Topsy turvy town, topsy turvy town

    ----
    seems to be about relativism and how people can be conditioned to believe anything, 1984 style.
    Nonlinear314on July 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe lyrics are more along the lines of:

    Get yourself together
    Let the light pour in
    Pour yourself a hot bath
    Pour yourself a drink
    Nothing's gonna happen
    Without a warning

    Down is the new Up
    What is up Buttercup
    Down is the new Up, is the new Up..

    I'd sell my soul
    If it's required
    Your future's bleak
    Your soul is weakening

    Ladies and gentlemen, without a safety net
    I shall now perform an Orwellian flip flop
    I shall now amputate, I shall now contort

    Cos Down is the new Up
    What if I just flip flopped
    Down is the new Up, is the new Up

    caught on Candid Camera
    the chink in your armor
    Topsy turvy town, topsy turvy town

    Shake your pockets out
    Pass it on, pass it down
    Topsy Turvy town, topsy turvy town

    And I guess the reference to Orwell indicates it is a reference to Orwell's decision to become a socialist. Orwell wrote a book called "Down and Out in Paris and London".
    eatenbythewormson July 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdoes anybodi know where i can watch this video?
    rodrigo_on July 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentReferences to Orwell, amputation, contortion, Candid camera? It's about the way we are being consumed by the media, "contorted" news reports "amputation" - what is left out in what we see in the media? "Nothing's gonna happen, without a warning" - Our sense of false security?? Dark lyrics, scary theme.
    Black Sativaon October 21, 2006   Link

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