"Just" as written by and Thomas Edward/o'brien Yorke....
Can't get the stink off
He's been hanging around for days
Comes like a comet
Suckered you but not your friends

One day he'll get to you
And teach you how to be a holy cow

You do it to yourself, you do
And that's what really hurts
Is you do it to yourself, just you
You and no-one else
You do it to yourself
You do it to yourself

Don't get my sympathy, hanging out the fifteenth floor
You've changed the locks three times
He still comes reeling through the door
One day I'll get to you
And teach you how to get to purest hell

You do it to yourself you do
And that's what really hurts
Is you do it to yourself, just you
You and no-one else
You do it to yourself
You do it to yourself

You do it to yourself you do
And that's what really hurts
Is you do it to yourself just you
You and no-one else
You do it to yourself
You do it to yourself, whoa

Say, hey

You do it to yourself, you do it to yourself
Yeah, yeah, you do it to yourself, yes-yes, you
Do it to yourself


Lyrics submitted by piesupreme

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

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Just song meanings
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  • +13
    General CommentI love Thom Yorke's lyrics, they're so oblique that they can be interpreted in many ways. But "Just" has always been about depression to me: "you've changed the locks 3 times, he still comes reeling through the door", he's saying that it's not something you can shake off; and with "you do it to yourself you do and that's what really hurts" that depression can hit you, without any reason.
    Paegaon March 20, 2003   Link
  • +8
    General Commentcan't get the stink off,
    he's been hanging around for days.
    comes like a comet,
    suckered you but not your friends.
    one day he'll get to you,
    teach you how to be a holy cow.

    Our past sins will always come back to haunt us, its about guilt and karma. Guilt is something that can never be erased from our conscience, we can never get the "stink" off. It comes like a comet, as in you can let yourself forget about your past sins but this is always temporary.. it comes back like clockwork.

    don't get my sympathy hanging out the 15th floor.
    you've changed the locks 3 times,
    he still comes reeling through the door.
    and soon he'll get to you,
    teach you how to get to purest hell.

    Thom doesn't feel sympathetic towards people who put themselves in a position where they will be haunted by their sins. They can hide out (running all the way up to the 15th floor) but it will always come back. Radiohead is very much into the "what goes around comes around" mindset.

    Guilt is crippling, it strips us of our passion for life. The man lying down in the video doesn't want to go any further with life, he wants to isolate himself from the world. When they ask him why he's lying on the ground, he sheds light on all our past sins and suddenly everybody else cannot go on with a guilty conscience.
    radiodredgon May 01, 2003   Link
  • +4
    General CommentUmm, all you guys, the theme of this song is not depression or friendship. The theme is Existentialism. Existentialism is a philosophical movement which posits that individuals create the meaning and essence of their lives, as opposed to it being created for them by deities or authorities or defined for them by philosophical or theological doctrines. The man during the music video, is confined by his everyday jobs, but when he is most vulnerable on the street it hits him.
    HirestGreeon September 04, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIs there anyone that can't relate to this song? I mean who doesn't know that one person that makes themself a victim?

    But more specifically this song seems to be about a friend of his that dated an abusive loser...You try to convince the friend that this guy is trash, but she just keeps letting him back into her life...So after a while she's no longer a victim because she's enabling him.

    It's also just a damn rockin' radiohead song that's surprisingly coherent (compared to their later stuff)
    thisboyon January 28, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song feels like the singer is talking about a friend who feels so guilty about something it hurts. He feels so guilty that he almost personifies the guilt, ('he's being hanging round for days'; 'he'll get to you'). And no matter how hard he tries to get away from the guilt he can't avoid it because it's inside his head ('you've changed the locks 3 times, he still comes reeling through the door').
    Thom is just trying to explain that the reason the guilt feels so bad is that he's doing it to himself (someone he can't get away from) and you have to pull yourself together, cause no-one else can help you with this.

    Don't really get how the song relates to the video, anyone have any suggestions.
    psu80eon September 04, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commentlike Niam said, it is important to not know what it is the man says. its like when you hear people whispering about you, you want to know what they are saying, but when they do tell you, you feel bad and wish you didnt know. They didnt have to tell you, but you "brought it on yourself"
    bass-ment rockeron June 18, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think the meaning is simpler than it seems and I think it's the video that throws everybody off. Personally I always thought that this song was about a person's kindness being taken advantage of. Someone is making them feel guilty and emotionally blackmailing them into helping them. But the person always gives in out of pity:

    "He's been hanging around for days
    Comes like a comet
    Suckered you but not your friends
    One day he'll get to you"

    I think the video is just reflecting the lyrics but a lot of people don’t pay attention to the words. The guy lying on the floor pleads not to be helped yet he is lying right in the middle of the pavement to the point where you can't help but notice him and ask what's wrong. In the end when the passerby and co try to find out they all end up lying down with him. It's that old saying of if you help those that don't deserve it, if you help those that bring it on themselves you end up being dragged into the mud with them and YOU become the real victim.
    TheWacknesson March 05, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationTo me I think that he's singing about a friend of his who is in an on-off relationship with an arsehole, maybe he likes whoever she is, maybe she doesn't want him as he's a creep (see what I did there) etc.

    Thom doesn't like the bloke, referring to him as a stink. There are sexual innuendoes aplenty in this song: "Comes like a comet" "Suckered you but not your friends" The holy cow bit may be saying that this bloke will try to convince the girl that she is the love of his life.

    "Changed the locks three times" another innuendo.
    He'll teach you how to get to purest hell is drawn as a parallel to holy cow, so whatever he promises her, is actually a lie, perhaps.

    The chorus shows that she brings it upon herself, and that she should cut this bloke from her life, but doesn't and "that's what really hurts." Which is why I think he has feelings for her, whoever she may be.

    Quite likely I'm completely wrong, soz Thom (and the rest of Radiohead), but that's how this song comes across to me.

    MattofDerbyshireon May 30, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is basically existentialism in a pop song. "You do it to yourself, just you, you and noone else". We're all completely alone and as a result are entirely responsible for our own actions.

    Well, that's what Sartre would say, but he's not here. I don't really agree with us all being entirely responsible for our own actions, so I choose to look at this song as saying "get off your arse and do something if you're not happy, it's not that hard to change things for yourself". As I've said, that's not what I think it was written about but I differ from the writer greatly (i assume it was cheifly Thom) in my beliefs on the matter.
    nomishoodon January 17, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've wondered lately if the Bends is about what becomes broken in human relationships...alienation and all that Radiohead M.O. It seems that while Radiohead albums are never hermetically-sealed Concept Albums, that they often have a cohesiveness based on the interests of the band at the time of recording.

    This song seems to describe how someone can be so oblivious to the fact that she drives away the people she tries to impress and befriend. Similar to Fyodor Karamazov...only at times, I think he knows exactly what he is doing. Either that, or someone who constantly invites pathological relationships. In either case, the obliviousness of the subject seems key.
    thawhiteshadowon August 27, 2011   Link

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