Red wine and sleeping pills
Help me get back to your arms
Cheap sex and sad films
Help me get where I belong

I think you're crazy, maybe
I think you're crazy, maybe

Stop sending letters
Letters always get burned
It's not like the movies
They fed us on little white lies

I think you're crazy, maybe
I think you're crazy, maybe

I will see you in the next life


Lyrics submitted by Vache

Motion Picture Soundtrack Lyrics as written by Colin Charles Greenwood Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Motion Picture Soundtrack (Kid A version) song meanings
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  • +4
    General Comment

    i usually dont bother posting my interpretations, but I haven't seen anyone with mine yet for this song and I wanted to get it out there. I think this song is not about a relationship that is ending, but about one that has not begun, and never will. It's about realizing and accepting that it could never work ("its not like the movies") because while Thom (assuming he is the narrator) sees his object of affection as beautiful in an almost angelic way, and adores that person and the way they make him feel, he knows deep down he has too much baggage, or feels inadequate or "not good enough", or knows his own depression will just get in the way. (cheap sex and sad films help me get where I BELONG) The person he is singing to obviously wants to be closer to him because they are pursuing him, but he humbly declines knowing that he would just end up destroying this beautiful thing. (stop sending letters, letters always get burned) despite the seemingly depressing theme, he gives some hope with the last line ("I think you're crazy, maybe...I will see you in the next life) saying that while it woudn't work out in the life, maybe it will in the next one. This song has a lot of meaning to me personally, I have felt this same emotion before, and been in the same situation. But I could always be wrong, and I know Thom likes his songs to have multiple meanings. I just definetely pick up on that theme.

    BeaNson March 23, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Let me first say that I think Radiohead is allowing a lot of room for interpretation with 'Motion Picture Soundtrack,' and while some may have conflicting interpretations of the song, it's my belief that whatever you're moved to believe that it's about is the right interpretation.

    Now on to my thoughts on the song.

    This is a person who is in grief over a love that has ended, a relationship which is over. He (I'll just assume that the person speaking is a man) is sitting at home, and next to him is a glass of wine and a bottle of sleeping pills - a risky combination. Have you ever felt the heartache that a lost love brings? Don't we all try to fill that void with something - alcohol, drugs, pornography, sad movies?

    "I think you're crazy...maybe" Looking over at her picture he tells her, "you're crazy for leaving me. I love you more than anyone else could. Maybe, though, I'm just crazy for loving you. Maybe I'm the crazy one."

    The second verse is of him talking to himself. "You fool. Stop writing letters to her. You know she doesn't read them. You're attempts at winning her love back will not work. It's not like the movies where the right words will make her love you again. It's over."

    Again, "you're crazy for leaving me... but then again maybe I'm the crazy one."

    "I will see you in the next life." He takes all of the pills. Drinks the last bit of wine, and falls asleep.

    The long silence in the song is his dying.

    The bright sound that crescendos to the end is when he finds his love again. It's his next life.

    Now let me hit on the third verse, which was recorded in an early version of the song.

    "Beautiful angel, pulled apart at birth limbless and helpless, I can't even recognize you."

    This world corrupted this girl. Even from the time she was born her innocence and perfection was taken away from her. Maybe by bad parents. Maybe by people who misplaced her trust. Nevertheless, she lost the two feet which she could stand on. She trusts nothing. Not even this person that loves her the most. "I can't even recognize you," he says. "You've become so detached from me, I don't even know you."

    Overall, I may be wrong. Thom may not at all have had any of the ideas that I laid down, but this is what 'Motion Picture Soundtrack' means to me. It's the REAL motion picture soundtrack. It's the song to losing a love.

    gabe4auon May 23, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Unfortunately Wallamange, the 20 second "hidden track" is still part of the song, its just thrown in that far out to get listeners to keep the music playing.

    I read somewhere that the pause in between and afterwards is so long so that listeners can "get ready for the play-again" (sounds pretty pompous to me, but I guess its possible).

    Anyways, my interpretation is as follows:

    The song really seems to be about how life isn't anything like the movies.

    In the movies you almost always get some resolution or some sort of closure and comfort, but reality is never like that.

    People want romance and true love and happiness with someone, when in reality, most settle for cheap sex.

    The "pills part" and "get back to your arms" I think is more or less one metaphor meaning "Help me lose sight of reality and return to fiction".

    I mean, really think about it. If you watch a lot of movies, you realize, none of it is ever real. Even the movies that try to be "realistic" aren't. Everything else always turns out with some fictional ending or some stretch that just doesn't happen in real life.

    "I think you're crazy" is probably meaning "I think you're crazy (for believing that everything can work out, b/c the reality is, things rarely ever do and we just can't have that happy ending that we want).

    RTBRAND1on September 01, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Radiohead songs aren't meant for line-by-line translation/interpretation as if there were a hidden meaning; rather, the goal is to directly communicate to the listener the profound experience of some particular mental state. In this case, there's nothing more specific going on than a person who is experiencing the greatest depths of emptiness but who just can't bring himself to declare with certainty that the optimists are deluded. Maybe there is hope for something better after all.

    Evynnon April 09, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    seems to be about lover's grief but of course you can never tell what radiohead lyrics are about. that song is wonderful, by the way :)

    holyzarquonon May 08, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    yeah, radiohead - especially latter-day radiohead - material is so incredibly obtuse sometimes. freakin amazing stuff, though! they're utter geniuses.

    slaphappyon June 06, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    it is simply beautiful i could listen to it all day.

    soundgoroundon June 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    just a thought but it seems to me like it's someone who's been dumped by they're girlfriend and are drunk and sadened and wants to get back, he sounds like it's a drunken talkins and the "stop sending letters, letters always get burned" sounds like the girlfriend refusing his attempts to get back together. "it's not like the movies" where things always end perfectly, I could however be completly wrong :P

    Stu62_ukon July 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    well I think the song speaks about a couple that just broke. The two parts are to be thinked as said by two different people: in the first speaks the one (man, maybe) left alone and in the second speaks the other person who broke the relationship. that's what I think, anyway its simply great, in 8 lines thom describes a huge amount of feelings!!! bye.

    ilnannion September 25, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    well.. what can i say. this song is emotional. i love this song so much. "its not like the movies" .. someone once said this to me when he decided we werent going to work out.. this song leaves me with the realization that sometimes things just can't work out, no matter how promising they seem, and it sucks for both sides.

    motionpicturesndtrckon October 15, 2002   Link

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