Chorus:
Don't haunt me
don't haunt me...

Gather up the lost and sold
In your arms
In your arms

Gather up the pitifull
In your arms
In your arms

What seems impossible
In your arms
In your arms

I think I have had my fill
In your arms
In your arms

I've been told to give up the ghost
Into your arms
Into your arms


Lyrics submitted by eatenbytheworms

Give Up the Ghost song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI think it's about dying and saying goodbye to all your loved ones, and it's difficult for everyone to accept what's happening, more difficult for them than it is for you.
    Reedyon February 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMany thanks, Worms!
    befuddledon April 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about letting go I guess...
    It's odd I keep finding new radiohead/thom stuff when I've got an issue with something as if songs come in and out to help you through the thinking...
    toocoolforyouon June 19, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti feel he's talking to death as an entity, kind of like in street spirit...
    i mean, it could easily be about a relationship or something like that, but it feels a lot deeper to me.
    just my opinion.
    waltzaon October 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Give up the ghost" can also mean to give up negative feelings or thoughts.

    The "Don't haunt me" phrase is a mantra (or cantus firmus), and it's cycled through a loop to eventually lose it's prominence, as a second, third voice of "in your arms" cover the first loop in the second part of the song. Eventually Thom's voice becomes the forth voice over the loops singing "into your arms" at the end. It becomes quite comforting in a sad way. Three voices singing about "your arms".

    There are a few haunting ideas in this song: 1. A feeling of no longer being of worth ("lost and sold", "pitiful"). 2. The unresolved issue ("what seems impossible"). 3. The missing energy to pursue a matter ("had my fill").

    Maybe a wise person spoke to Thom and suggested he "give up the ghost" - negative thoughts and feelings that were haunting him.
    8onSharpShirtChartson February 12, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThe ghost might also translate into spirit like with wine and strong booze.
    Addiction always haunts us all who has had any knows what I am talkinga about.
    Also everybody like the "lost and sold" and "pitifull" are strongly attracted by these ghost. They gather in bars on weekends and make the impossible happen - forgetting all your fears,tears and maybe the sorrow. And having your fill just means that you are so drunk that you again reached the level where you even begin to disgust yourself. This in your arms might mean while beeing drunk. Because everybody knows once you have eaten plenty you say to yourself - I have to give up on eating so much - I have to eat less after this etc. This is the same with every drug I have ever taken. While beeing high (in the arms of the drug) you just have this moment where you just want to stop.

    Finally the "don't haunt me" sometimes sounds like "don't hurt me" and beeing hurt is the number one reason for taking drugs in the first place.
    aforestmightyblackon February 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationdespite all my flaws and mistakes, pitiful as i may be, take me into your arms

    be gentle with me. do not haunt me with my mistakes. don't hurt me

    it seems impossible for both of us to take it. we are both haunted by my past

    A: I've had my fill. In your arms i can recover and start fresh.
    B: I've had my fill of you haunting me with it all. My only way to salvation and renewal is if you nurse me to it in your arms; only if you stop haunting me

    A: you want me to recover and start anew. to give up the ghost. I've had enough of the past, its time to move on. Safe in your gentle arms, keep protecting me
    B: the final ultimatum: start fresh and get healthy or we can't do this. Please stop hurting me. Its gentle love I need, not tough. I just wanted to be warm in your arms
    syrianon February 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentare you guys afraid to think that perhaps he's accepting "god" or a higher power that he seeks refuge in? hence..."I've been told to give up the ghost
    Into your arms
    Into your arms"

    dont mean to be the religious one over here but hey you cant deny the truth.
    carolanoiron June 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthank you syrian for sharing your sentiments.

    this song saved my life this week.
    the only thing able to reach inside me and find the innocence and hope i thought i had lost long ago.

    for me, this song is about addiction.
    and finding the hope to let it go.

    vulnerable and hopeless.. and alone. or i thought i was.
    until i came across this song.

    thank you radiohead. i am still alive.

    lostandsoldon September 30, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningGather up the lost and sold in your arms
    Gather up the pitiful in your arms

    These two statements mean just what they sound like. Help the people in this world less fortunate than yourself.

    "What seems impossible" - the statements above and all the other things that you know is right but is just so difficult to do - take those on (world peace, human rights, global warming I suppose)

    "I think I've had my fill" - sick of how everything is right now, sick of doing nothing about it.

    "I think I should give up the ghost" - Just give up on trying to convince you (or self) to try to do the above.

    "Don't haunt me" - giving up the ghost will come back to haunt us all.
    choo123on March 11, 2013   Link

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