"Faust Arp" as written by and Thomas Edward/greenwood Yorke....
One two three four

Wakey wakey
Rise and shine
It's on again, off again, on again
Watch me fall
Like domino's
In pretty patterns
Fingers in the blackbird pie
I'm tingling tingling tingling
It's what you feel now
What you ought to, what you ought to
Reasonable and sensible
Dead from the neck up
Because I'm stuffed, stuffed, stuffed
We thought you had it in you
But no, no, no
For no real reason

Squeeze the tubes and empty bottles
Take a bow take a bow take a bow
It's what you feel now
What you ought to
What you ought to
An elephant thats in the room is
Tumbling tumbling tumbling
In duplicate and duplicate
Plastic bags and
Duplicate and triplicate
Dead from the neck up
Guess I'm stuffed, stuffed, stuffed
We thought you had it in you
But no, no, no
Exactly where do you get off
Is enough is enough is enough
I love you but enough is enough, enough
A last stop
There's no real reason


Lyrics submitted by life_aint_chess, edited by George0312, Planet, Paymaan, Joshoewaa

"Faust Arp" as written by Edward John O'brien Colin Charles Greenwood

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Faust Arp song meanings
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  • +11
    General CommentI might be far off the mark, but then, everybody intepret songs as they feel it.
    For me, this song is about being stuck in a situation (like a relationship, but not necessarily), and not being able to escape it (or not being brave enough), and slowly, quietly breaking down while everything keeps going as usual. Like having enough of everyday life.

    The repetitive music, and the lyrics "wakey... it's on again, off again", would be about waking up everyday, doing the same dull routine, while dying on the inside ("watch me fall like...").
    The protagonist has to do what is "reasonable and sensible", because life goes on, but desperatly wants to "get off". "The elephants that's in the room" would refer to the problem the protagonist knows exists and that weights heavily on his heart, but ignores because it is easier to, and its "tumbling" to his breaking down and unability to bear it longer.

    "It's what you feel, not what you ought to", would mean the protagonist knows how he (or she) should feel normally, but cannot help to feel otherwise. Like how somebody should be happy because everything seems to be going well in their life, but cannot deep down. The "duplicate and triplicate" would refer to the days coming one after another, always the same.
    "We thought you had it in you but not": the protagonist should, by social standards, being able to go on, but is not able to. "There's no real reason": once again, everything should be alright, but still, nothing is.

    Still, the "I love you but enough is enough" hints that the situation he is stuck in could be relationship which keeps going on because it has become a habit, but which has no meaning anymore, and he cannot take it anymore ("exactly where do you get off": he wants to stop it, but does not know how to anymore).

    Well, I could be saying rubbish, but that's what I understood right away '^_^
    lullaby12on January 22, 2009   Link
  • +4
    Lyric CorrectionJust to point out, in the official In Rainbows sheet music book, the lyric is actually "You'll go to hell for our fathers/You got melted to butter"
    George0312on July 25, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"You've a head full of feathers, You got melted to butter."

    reference to icarus perhaps?
    rob89on January 05, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think it's clear, the song is about a conflict between religous and nihilistic beliefs, as Faust Arp implies. Faust was an alchemist of German legend who sold his soul to Mephistopheles in exchange for knowledge. Mephistopheles is considered by many sources to be Satan. If Satan exists then so does God. Religion. Arp was an Alsatian artist and poet who was cofounder of dadaism in Zurich, Switzerland. Dadaism was a nihilistic art movement in 20th century Europe. Nihilism, by definition, is the delusion that things (or everything, including the self) do not exist. The lyrics seem to support it. The key verses to this song are, "There's no real reason" and "You've got a head full of feathers, You got melted to butter" There's nothing in your head, you are nothing.
    Madskittleson April 24, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Commentreally interesting song from Inrainbows..thom sings it very fast like its all a train of thought.. it all comes out very beautiful but its over too soon, though it does go nicely into reckoner :)
    Sevenson October 10, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commentyeah, it's interesting that this song refers to faust cuz in videotape (the last song on the same album) he mentions mephistopheles trying to grab him from below. same story. and the themes of dr. faustus (the play that the story originates from) talk about a man selling his soul for money and going to hell.

    "i love you, but enough is enough" could be talking about a love for something material but falling out of his own delusion. except then he realizes that he's "stuck" and it's too late.

    total speculation on my part.
    finallyCLARITYon October 12, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWow...some people seem to have completely made up the lyrics for this one. Anyway, the retail release has most of the lyrics and all the ones listed have an error in some way or another.

    These are the proper lyrics for Faust Arp


    One, two, three, four
    Wakey, wakey, rise and shine
    It's on again, off again, on again
    Watch me fall like
    Dominoes in pretty patterns
    Fingers in the blackbird pie
    I'm tingling, tingling, tingling
    It's what you feel, not
    What you ought to,
    what you ought to - reasonable and sensible
    Dead from the neck up
    I guess I'm stuffed, stuffed, stuffed
    We thought you had it in you
    But Not, Not, Not

    For no real reason.

    Squeeze the tubes and empty bottles
    I take a bow, take a bow, take a bow
    It's what you feel, not
    What you ought to, what you ought to
    The elephant that's in the room is
    Tumbling, tumbling, tumbling
    In duplicate and triplicate and
    Plastic bags in duplicate and triplicate
    Dead from the neck up
    I guess I'm stuffed, stuffed, stuffed.
    We thought you had it in you
    But Not, Not, Not.
    Exactly where do you get off?
    Is enough, is enough.
    I love you but enough is enough,
    Enough of that stuff

    there's no real reason.

    You've got a head full of feathers.
    You got melted to butter.
    Mister Gunon January 16, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIn the context of the album, and in the context of radiohead, I think it's pretty much identity, conformity, man vs state and religion, or god.

    Wakey wakey, perhaps someone lay down in the snow and fell apart. Maybe they became reasonable, sensible and lost some kind of inner child or sense of joy. They then fell like dominoes??? Maybe that's akin to selling your soul to the devil, akin to what Faust did in the play.

    Fingers in the blackbird pie? The reasonable sensible person they've become is the ideal gift for the king, the rulers of capitalism, the wealthy class. A pale immitation with the edges all sawn off is exactly what they'd enjoy. A humble servant, controlled, conformed, bodysnatched.

    They might have lost their true sense of self. It's what you feel not what you ought to... the background voice to me seems to echoe what you ARE two, which perhaps relates to the gap between inside and outside, that it does indeed feel like two separate entities.

    'we thought you had it in you but not'... you betrayed your true, fun self to become nothing and why? for no real reason... just look at the sky.

    The elephant in the room is you pretending, being something you're not. It could be messing you up.
    Duplicated, triplicated, as common as a plastic bag... and what exactly is it that you're immitating?

    I think Thom is actually in favour of the theory that there was some kind of intervention by a hand from above.... you sacrificed your god given self? Where do you get off? 'i love you but enough is enough, enough of that stuff'. That's why you end up where you started...

    You got a head full of feathers.
    You got melted into butter.

    MALLEABLE, NO BELIEFS, NO REAL SENSE OF SELF OR TRUTH, NO RELIGION, JUST LOST.

    and there's no real reason.
    coldwindblowingon September 23, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commenta lot of people keep mixing song's with thom himself and his personal life, where he has said that the music and lyric's he write's have nothing to do with him and whatever we project on to him or radiohead has nothing to do with them.

    i mean you can interpert the lyric's, i mean yes he write's them because they all do have some meaning, but i would never say something like "thom is having a bad relationship with a girl and blah blah blah..." he's talking about a relationship or something like that.

    what i'm trying to get at is that i don't think song's ever really talk about him personally.

    except for like creep, 'cause i've heard him say it was.
    fake.and.safeon October 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo echo underbird's comment: by far the most intriguing, beautiful, and depressing song on the album. I'm steering clear of the Faust ARP argument and clarifying the blackbird pie reference. It's from an English children's nursery rhyme....

    rhymes.org.uk/…

    I also thought Thoms' pronunciation of "duplicate" sounded suspiciously like "chupacabra" :)
    sportinmortonon October 29, 2007   Link

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