"Radio Cure" as written by and Jeffrey Scott/bennett Tweedy....
Cheer up, honey, I hope you can
There is something wrong with me
My mind is filled with silvery stars
Honey, kisses, clouds of fog
Shoulders shrugging off

Cheer up, honey, I hope you can
There is something wrong wit h me
My mind is filled with radio cures
Electronic surgical words

Picking apples for kings and queens of things I have never seen
Oh, distance has no way of making love understandable

Cheer up, honey, I hope you can
There is something wrong with me
My mind is filled with silvery stars
Honey, kisses, clouds of fog

Picking apples for the kings and queens of things I've never seen
Oh, distance has no way of making love understandable
Oh, distance has no way of making love understandable
Oh, distance has no way of making love understandable
Oh, distance the way of making love understandable
Oh, distance the way of making love understandable

Cheer up honey, I hope you can


Lyrics submitted by jonesth, edited by AnytimeAnyhow

"Radio cure" as written by Jay Bennett Jeff Tweedy

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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Radio Cure song meanings
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33 Comments

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  • +9
    My InterpretationHi there. I just joined because I'm impressed by the thought put into many of these interpretations. Many people overlook the genius behind Boss Tweedy's songwriting.
    I wanted to begin by addressing sugrpophrtstop's question regarding the lyric of "picking apples for the kings and queens of things I've never seen"
    I believe that to be Jeff's way of showing the faith that he still has in his wife and their relationship.
    Sometimes in a relationship you do things for the other person even though you may be at the point that you don't
    know why anymore. So it's like doing something in vain faith hoping that there will be some kind of benefit from it.
    Also, as a musician I garnered a slightly different interpretation of this song than the others. I certainly don't
    disagree with the fact that a radio cure is what we listen to in order to get us through the hard times. But from
    Jeff's perspective, a musicican, i think that what he means by his mind being filled with radio cures is that his
    mind is filled with songs he wants to write in order to ease his wife's mind even though she's probably tired of
    him using music as a way of apology and righting the wrong as opposed to him just using normal speech to say I'm sorry
    and I'll do better. The same way comedians have rough relationships because their spouses complain that to him/her,
    everything is a joke. Well, comedy is the only way that a comedian may know how to deal with problems. The same
    goes for musicians. Music may be the only way for that person to deal with problems. Regarding the lyric "my mind
    is filled with silvery stars..." I think Jeff is saying that his mind is filled with big ideas of how he can win
    his wife's heart with his music even though it hasn't worked before. It's a trippy song and just wonderful.
    PhillipPrillon April 18, 2009   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI think, basically, this song is about his way of using music to deal with things in his life. The song is called Radio Cure. You know, for anyone who has ever gotten off of a bad break-up, you tend to wanna listen to a lot of depressing songs that help ease you in and out of your moods. Well, that's what he does. His head is "full of silvery stars," which I think translates into the crazy things rushing about his head, that he hasn't quite figured out yet. He's probably just gotten off some breakup, and he's going through the phases, listening to whatever music helps him, and he realizes that breaking up really hasn't helped the original problem, which caused the breakup. "Cheer up," he says, "I hope you can. There is something wrong with me." Breaking up hasn't made him any different than he was and "distance has no way of making love understandable." So until he can grasp it, he'll just continue to play his music and stare long into the night.
    MaxpowerSupremeon December 28, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI think that the song is about a man who has terminal cancer- "there is something wrong with me"- who is saying goodbye to his lover.
    "Radio Cures" could refer to radiation therapy he is undergoing. However, it is not working. These "electronic surgical words" have no direct impact on his health. Later on he begins to succumb to death's pull- "My mind is filled with silvery stars"- and he begins to see heaven- "Honey, kisses, clouds of fog". He goes on to suggest that despite his metaphorical distance from our normal perception of earth (he is going up to heaven) he still cannot comprehend the sheer beauty of love; "Oh, distance has no way of making love understandable".
    Finally, he says goodbye by wishing "Cheer up honey, I hope you can...", in the hope that his lover will move on and enjoy the rest of her life knowing that he loved her and still does.

    That is one interpretation anyway...
    lwarneron February 24, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General CommentGosh. This song cuts straight through me and lifts me up at the same time, more than any other Wilco song.
    Rarely can we can pin down the meaning of a song, its more of how it resounds within us, deep in our gut.
    Radio Cure, to me, is about pain and separation within in a relationship. The "honey kisses, clouds of fog (other sites and my ears hear fluff?)" reminds me of the beginning of a relationship, you're mind gets taken over, your head is filled "with silvery stars". "distance has no way of making love understandable", whether this distance is figurative or literal, distance makes a relationship confusing and each person begins to see it differently, they begin to change and reflect. Even in the beginning of the song, before Tweedy begins to sing, you can feel this distance, you feel as if you're in space. Once the silvery stars go away, "my mind is filled with radio cures, electronic surgical words". He's uses music to soothe him, to heal the pain he's feeling in this separation, the electronic surgical words cut into him and and to heal him, he's using music to cure him. But even the music holds distance, because its electronic and coming from some other person you will probably never meet.
    Seawolfinon November 03, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentto me this song is about someone i loved who was crazy. he made me completely miserable because he had all these weird things in his head and this song seems to me like what he would say to me, wanting me to understand that while he wanted me to be happy he was so distracted by the weird things in his head that he couldn't do anything to contribute to that.
    derangedwombaton June 24, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti liked it better what i thought he said "AH distance has no way! of makin' love! understandable"
    anyway, the song is so visceral. in a puppy dogs and clouds type of way. Love is great and wonderful and life would be completely purposeless without it, but also drives you to madness most times... Some people moreso than others, Tweedy most likely one of the privileged ones capable of the extremes of the deepest most honest and inescapable love for another person as there is in the human realm of emotion, and the deep despair that results from things outside the action messing it all up......
    ieatseedson October 25, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentRobert Frost wrote a poem about Apple Picking. His was about fast approaching death and what he regrets having done with his life. (And the last line has refrence to a woodchuck... ridiculous Mr. Frost.)

    Listening to Wilco is like looking at surreal paintings or reading James Joyce or something.
    I'm lovin' it.
    Greyshoeson December 27, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is Tweedy's response to the common practice of turning to music to help in times of need. Radio Cure, the title, and the line about 'my mind is filled with radio cure/electronic surgical words' both seem to refer to music as a medical cure.

    Distance has no way, however, could refer to two things. The distance between two lovers, that commonly kills relationships, or the distance between the artist and the listener of the song. I prefer the former, but knowing Tweedy's lyrics, it could be either or nothing at all.
    loldoctoron May 13, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think I agree most with MaxpowerSupreme on this one. The title and lyrics support a notion that whatever songs we listen to are our "radio cures", particularly the salient lines that get stuck in our heads. what is really pretty cool (almost ironic) about this song is that the singer hits you with such a line of his own, "distance has no way of making love understandable"--is the line that listeners connect to the most, possibly making it their own "radio cure".
    teen_spiriton May 30, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionHe misses his wife when he's on tour, he did not get a divorce. "Picking apples for kings and queens of things I have never seen": him making money for the people above him to earn things he will never be able to enjoy.
    musicjammer34on June 13, 2009   Link

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