"Lotus Flower" as written by and Thomas Edward/greenwood Yorke....
I will shape myself into your pocket
Invisible
Do what you want
Do what you want

I will shrink and I will disappear
I will slip into the groove and cut me off
And cut me off

There's an empty space inside my heart
Where the weeds take root
And now I'll set you free
I'll set you free

There's an empty space inside my heart
Where the weeds take root
So now I'll set you free
I'll set you free

Slowly we unfurl
As lotus flowers
'Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick
Just to see what if
Just to see what is
I can't kick your habit
Just to fill your fast ballooning head
Listen to your heart

We will shrink and we'll be quiet as mice
And while the cat is away
Do what we want
Do what we want

There's an empty space inside my heart
Where the weeds take root
So now I'll set you free
I'll set you free

'Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick
Just to see what if
Just to see what is
The bird lights float into my room

Slowly we unfurl
As lotus flowers
'Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick
I dance around the pit
The darkness is beneath
I can't kick your habit
Just to feed your fast ballooning head
Listen to your heart


Lyrics submitted by lysoljackson, edited by George0312, urwellkeen

"Lotus Flower" as written by Edward John O'brien Colin Charles Greenwood

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Lotus Flower song meanings
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  • +14
    Song MeaningA bird has flown into his room... Slowly... they unfurl, as lotus flowers... beautiful... sacred... an intense attraction on multiple levels... sexual... spiritual. They both feel it. It’s like they were meant to be.

    But their love is forbidden and she’s the rational, logical type, stuck in her fast ballooning head. She’s wracked by guilt, her stomach twisting in knots until she can barely eat, her heart full of fear until she can barely breathe. She’s going to kick their habit... tells him it can’t be.

    But he’s a Dreamer and he wants the moon upon a stick. He wants to see what if, just to see what is. Forget moralistic restrictions that threaten their addiction to each other... he listens to his heart...

    So now he’ll set her free, do what she wants, disappear, become invisible... But he’ll cut himself off with a song, slipping his heart into the groove... and she’ll listen to it, over and over... his song shaking from her pocket... how could she not, when she knows it is for her... every throbbing beat, every melodious croon... the pulsing sensuality of his music... the smooth poetry of his words... listen to your heart...

    She’s left an empty space inside his heart where the weeds take root... weeds take root where a lotus flower once slowly, gloriously unfurled... he sets her free... pained, convulsed, contortions of his dance... shaking from the loss... cuz all he wants is the moon upon a stick... just to see what if.. just to see... what /is/...

    He sets her free... baiting her back to him with his song... to do what they want... do what we want... /we want/... shaking into the groove... quiet as mice when the cat’s away... dance around the pit, the darkness is beneath, you cannot kick this habit because of your head... listen to your heart... do what you want.. do what you waaaant... so now he’ll set her free... he’ll set her /free/... slowly, slowly we unfurl... as lotus flowers... listen to your heart...
    PilgrimSantiagoon September 15, 2011   Link
  • +11
    General CommentA number of Thom and Radiohead's songs show some understanding of Buddhism and I'm sure it's not for nothing that he chose the lotus of all types of flowers. The lotus is pivotal to Buddhism. It is the "seat" of Buddhas. One's becoming a Buddha is also often compared to the opening of a lotus blossom.

    Also, the lotus only grows in mud.
    sjamesgrayon November 05, 2009   Link
  • +9
    General CommentI'd like to get away from the whole sexual innuendo thing here for a minute and really break this song down as it should be- in reference to the music video that accompanies it.

    Now to me this song is pretty special, even for Radiohead. It is Buddhist in some regard. Yes, Lotus Flower is the title and yes that is one of the eight auspicious symbols of the religion. But whats important here is something much more simplistic- it about Letting Go.

    It begins with the line, "I will shape myself into your pocket". This is an attempt for Yorke to explain that he can be exactly who WE want him to be and his shape is different for everyone. Then he can be "invisible", and we can "do what we want" with him. I believe this is because we will never see what he could wish us to see, the way he sees it. It is OUR life but his music makes him a part of it each time we listen to him, and he is in our own pockets because he is the one who is pouring his soul into his music and revealing just how much he has in his heart. Then there is the fact that it is done with unbelievably truthful yet enigmatic lyrics and accompanying music video. So can you see what he sees? Highly unlikely.

    Also notice that in the music video he unfurls much like a lotus flower would, he is in a very real sense becoming a blossoming one as the song goes along. And notice the use of color. Strictly black and white for a reason? Definitely.

    "I will shrink and I will disappear ". This is likely his greatest fear and yet he readily admits it. What do you think gives Tom Yorke the greatest joy? For people to listen. Listen hard. Real f-ing hard. And maybe for just one moment you might begin to grasp the complexity of what he is trying to reveal so artistically with his diction. And yet we don't. We like the sounds and take it as another stupid sex song thats hitting Billboards top 40. Then he says, "I will slip into a groove and cut me off, cut me off". We will place him somewhere that it makes sense inside our minds and then cut him off thinking that we've figured out what he is trying to say. At that point, we'll feel content with his song. Like we got it all figured out. But for him... all the while... its driving him insane.

    And thats why, "there's an empty space inside MY(Thom's) heart where the weeds take root and so now I'll set YOU free"

    Because all he can do as an artist is try to explain himself in this regard when he has so much that he wants to say that he feels as though no one could ever understand. So what does he have? Well he can continue to do whats tearing him apart and sing beautiful songs and have it be "nice sounding" for US so it can set US free. Because for most, thats all we need(sound and a beat). But if you don't think there are about 200 meanings to every line in this song for him then you are off your rocker. As off your rocker as Thom Yorke is whenever he listens to his heart, which is always, which is why he continues to make music for us to listen to that we will never fully grasp they way he could wish...

    And so slowly we unfurl, each in our own way at our own pace, as lotus flowers, cause all I want is the moon upon a stick... (to be able to shine this bright light for everyone in darkness so they could see what he sees. "Just to see what if" we could, "Just to see what is" what his truth is which is probably very right by highly complex, and yet we can't, but regardless he can't kick our habit of giving his heart out to society with his music as it is replaced by growing weeds, just to feed our fast ballooning heads- as we enjoy his music with no conception of what he is actually saying.... NOW. "Listen to your heart". Sucks doesn't it?

    Next comes, "we will shrink and be as quiet as mice". Very straight-forward. When the pressures on, when we are implored to think critically about ourselves or given a brutal truth(by him) or are asked to fight for what someone else believes in, so many will shrink and be as quiet as mice. But. "While the cat is away"... as long as nobody's after you and you don't feel any fear of getting caught stealing cheese or however you'de like to interpret. Well in that case, we, society, "do what we want."

    Now after the second time he says, "just to see what is"... he then says, "bird lights float into my room." Likely my favorite line of the song, as it serves nicely in accompaniment with the moon and the bird lights are most likely a reference to the stars. And he sees them very brightly. But for what they are... Beautiful flying birds which is what he is and what he can see in his room. But what can you see in your room? Perhaps a poster of Mr. Yorke? Do you go look at the stars and see what he sees? Probably not.

    Once again he wants the moon upon a stick to illuminate the darkness that is beneath as he dances around the pit so artfully with his words and music even as he loses his heart which drives him insane and what does he want at the end, still, after all that....

    For YOU to listen to your heart, let go, and hopefully one day see what he sees and is really trying to say. First you got to unfurl though.
    F8TBoy100on January 20, 2012   Link
  • +5
    My InterpretationOk so as this is my first time using the site, I guess I can say what everyone already knows, Radiohead is probably one of the most interesting bands to consider lyrical meanings for!
    Like many other fav artists of mine (for eg, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam), I feel like the lyrics are made intentionally abstract so the listener can apply their own background or understanding to interpret them.
    Perhaps there is a bit of personal truth as well, hidden in between the lines as artists are often inspired to write about their own thoughts and experiences.
    A second theme I feel also is the struggle between wanting to innocently love his partner and himself.

    A heads-up to die hard Thom fans, I do try to frame some aspects of his personal life in here so don't get crazy mad ok ;)

    Art is after all in the eye of the beholder right?
    Then again, maybe it is more science, like a roscharch test, where one is again asked to interpret the shadows according to their own thoughts.

    In that matter, I will say that I basically got this vibe from the lyrics from hearing the song but actually read the Wiki explanation later regarding a sensual abandon into the moment and the music or thereabouts.
    I think my explanation is far more interesting ;) and perhaps the Wiki page meanings are more or less decoys Thom is throwing around..
    read on to see what I mean :)

    Major Themes: A soured, worn love. Narcissism. Borderline Personality. Megalomania.

    I feel this is a conversation a person with the above traits is having with himself as he copes with the finality of loss of his love...this is not about him losing love, but losing control. Also he is having conversations with his now lost love.

    So even as he struggles to understand this loss- he alternates between power-trips (ego defenses)
    DigitalTrxon September 30, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General CommentSounds like it could have 2 possible meanings to me. the first sounds like wanting some one they can't have or them just not being what they want. so letting them go because you know you can't have it. Buddhism is about acceptance & not coveting .

    the other being because they can't have what they want sleeping with some one because it's easier then finding love
    Inkiesaidon October 18, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIsn't it "where the weeds take root"?
    Ripefigon February 18, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe original use of the Lotus Flower in literature was in The Odyssey--the scene where Odysseus and his crew come to the island of the Lotus-eaters, where the people eat the fruit of the lotus flower, which puts them into a state of continual apathy and contentedness. For the crew of Odysseus's ship, eating from the fruit is a terrible thing because it makes them forget about their longing for their home. Odysseus eventually has to literally drag some of his crew away from the island.

    I thought this song was working off that idea. But then I read on Wikipedia that the in Buddhism and some other religions, the Lotus Flower is a symbol of dis-attachment and sexual purity. Both those ideas seem to work better with this song than the Odyssey reference... unfortunately for my original theory :(.

    Caveman7on February 18, 2011   Link
  • +3
    Lyric CorrectionMy attempt (signed up specifically, as you might be able to tell by the username!):

    I will shake myself into your pocket
    Invisible
    Do what you want
    Do what you want

    I will shake and I will disappear
    I will slip into the groove and cut me off
    And cut me off

    There's an empty space inside my heart
    Where the weeds take root
    And now I'll set you free
    I'll set you free

    There's an empty space inside my heart
    Where the weeds take root
    So now I'll set you free
    I'll set you free

    Slowly we unfurl
    As lotus flowers
    'Cos all I want is the moon upon a stick
    Just to see what if
    Just to see what is
    I can't kick your habit
    Just to feel your fast ballooning head
    Listen to your heart

    We will shake and we'll be quiet as mice
    And while the cat is away
    Do what we want
    Do what we want

    There's an empty space inside my heart
    Where the weeds take root
    So now I'll set you free
    I'll set you free

    'Cos all I want is the moon upon a stick
    Just to see what if
    Just to see what is
    The bird lights float into my room

    Slowly we unfurl
    As lotus flowers
    'Cos all I want is the moon upon a stick
    I dance around the pit
    The darkness is beneath
    I can't kick your habit
    Just to feel your fast ballooning head
    Listen to your heart
    TheKingOfLimbson February 18, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentOk so as this is my first time using the site, I guess I can say what everyone already knows, Radiohead is probably one of the most interesting bands to consider lyrical meanings for!
    Like many other fav artists of mine (for eg, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam), I feel like the lyrics are made intentionally abstract so the listener can apply their own background or understanding to interpret them.
    Perhaps there is a bit of personal truth as well, hidden in between the lines as artists are often inspired to write about their own thoughts and experiences.
    A second theme I feel also is the struggle between wanting to innocently love his partner and himself.

    A heads-up to die hard Thom fans, I do try to frame some aspects of his personal life in here so don't get crazy mad ok ;)

    Art is after all in the eye of the beholder right?
    Then again, maybe it is more science, like a roscharch test, where one is again asked to interpret the shadows according to their own thoughts.

    In that matter, I will say that I basically got this vibe from the lyrics from hearing the song but actually read the Wiki explanation later regarding a sensual abandon into the moment and the music or thereabouts.
    I think my explanation is far more interesting ;) and perhaps the Wiki page meanings are more or less decoys Thom is throwing around..
    read on to see what I mean :)

    Major Themes: A soured, worn love. Narcissism. Borderline Personality. Megalomania.

    I feel this is a conversation a person with the above traits is having with himself as he copes with the finality of loss of his love...this is not about him losing love, but losing control. Also he is having conversations with his now lost love.

    So even as he struggles to understand this loss- he alternates between power-trips (ego defenses)
    DigitalTrxon September 30, 2012   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningPerhaps the song is about a sexual addiction and an affair. Yorke definitely can hypnotize us again in this one with his amazing and honest voice.
    painterleslieon October 29, 2009   Link

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