"Sulk" as written by and Thomas Edward/o'brien Yorke....
You bite through the big wall, the big wall bites back
You just sit there and sulk, sit there and bawl
You are so pretty when you're on your knees
Disinfected, eager to please

Sometimes you sulk, sometimes you burn
God rest your soul
When the loving comes and we've already gone
Just like your dad, you'll never change

Each time it comes it eats me alive
I try to behave but it eats me alive
So I declare a holiday
Fall asleep, drift away

Sometimes you sulk, sometimes you burn
God rest your soul
When the loving comes and we've already gone
Just like your dad, you'll never change

Sometimes you sulk, sometimes you burn
God rest your soul
When the loving comes and we've already gone
Just like your dad, you'll never change


Lyrics submitted by piesupreme

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

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Sulk song meanings
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21 Comments

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  • +6
    General CommentI don't understand why this song gets such a bad rap by so many people, as I personally love this song and is one of my favorites on The Bends. The tumbling guitar in the verses is magical and some of the best I've ever heard; it's just so soothing and almost sad. This song, to me, is really about the feeling you get when you feel sad about something and you just want to hide away and be resigned. This song defines resignation and really hits me hard when I feel down about something that has happened or may happen. This is also one of my favorite Radiohead songs overall, and I love singing it on the top of my lungs (especially the final chorus). It's a simple song for Radiohead, but it has enough guitar effects and noises going on to keep my interest throughout the song. Excellent, excellent depression song.
    tigertour02on August 10, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Commentapparently this song - terrifyingly wonderful song- was inspired by the Hungerford killings in England 1987. go on and look up the newsprints about it. you'll see the parallels.
    aydayzayon June 26, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's funny. Back when I was an enraged teenager, I thought this song could be a description of my own father, who had problems "inherited" from my grandfather (who died when he was a teenager). It seemed to me like it was a cycle of parental failure, which I saw regarding him and me, and his father and him. We all sulked and bawled, caught in a rage, crashing against walls of problems. Yeah, teenagers can be cruel to parents, can't they?

    Ironically, I saw the same "inheritance" in myself later, so I thought the song could apply to me AND my father as well! I don't think that way anymore, but it led me to give a possible interpretation of the "just like your dad" metaphor.

    The song itself seems to talk about dealing with someone with big problems, who complains about them but can't solve them (bites the big wall, the big wall bites back) and suffers. The narrator is clearly angry with him/her and on the last verse tries to get away from it all, because each time (the problem) comes, it eats him alive, it bothers him up to the point of outrage. So he gets by declaring a holiday (i.e. giving a truce, stopping talking about it). The chorus uses the "dad" metaphor as a way to reinforce that it's impossible for the person to change. The person could be a friend, a lover, a relative, his parent (hehe) or the narrator himself.

    Musically, I love it. The aforementioned tumbling guitar is simple yet moving (check that harmonizing on the second verse!), and when everything goes one step up and Thom bellows out those high notes on the last chorus, it always sends chills down my spine. One of the best and most underrated songs in The Bends.
    Santiagofon September 29, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is such an awesome song, one of my favorites on The Bends. What a great album. Although I don't know exactly what this song is about, it is so beautiful and Thom does an awesome job on the vocals.

    "i try to behave / but it eats me alive"
    polarbears?on December 28, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commenta surprisingly overlooked song from the bends. i read on greenplastic that it hasnt been played for over 10 years
    ilovealkalineon July 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust like your dad
    You'll never change :)
    rubenon July 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmy thoughts exactly, ruben. "sometimes you sulk, sometimes you burn, god rest your soul when the loving comes and we've already gone just like your dad you'll never change."
    My thought is on how that thoght is broken up. Does it mean "We've alread gone, just like you dad," or "Just like your dad you'll never change," and the unknowing of which it could be bothers me, but its just a trifle in a world where we shouldnt be listening to frivolous music and buying albums but saving the world. But I think this works better for us, I guess.
    periwinklebydayon July 01, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThose three lines could all be the same thought. "We've already gone -- just like your dad -- you'll never change." It could almost imply the death of the "dad" in the statement.
    peripheralon June 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlove the line "i declare a holiday"

    fall asleep and drift away. exactly what i want to do when listening to this song... one of mymost favourite radiohead songs.
    king_midason December 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe sounds like roy orbison on parts of this song
    Arthurianon February 16, 2005   Link

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