A long, long time ago
I can still remember how that music
Used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they'd be happy for a while
But February made me shiver
With every paper I'd deliver
Bad news on the doorstep
I couldn't take one more step
I can't remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died

So, bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
And them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin', "This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die"

Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God above
If the Bible tells you so?
Now, do you believe in rock 'n' roll
Can music save your mortal soul
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?
Well, I know that you're in love with him
'Cause I saw you dancin' in the gym
You both kicked off your shoes
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues
I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died

I started singin', bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
And singin', "This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die"

Now, for ten years we've been on our own
And moss grows fat on a rollin' stone
But that's not how it used to be
When the jester sang for the king and queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
And a voice that came from you and me
Oh, and while the king was looking down
The jester stole his thorny crown
The courtroom was adjourned
No verdict was returned
And while Lennon read a book on Marx
The quartet practiced in the park
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died

We were singin', bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
And singin', "This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die"

Helter Skelter in a summer swelter
The birds flew off with a fallout shelter
Eight miles high and fallin' fast
It landed foul on the grass
The players tried for a forward pass
With the jester on the sidelines in a cast
Now the halftime air was sweet perfume
While the sergeants played a marching tune
We all got up to dance
Oh, but we never got the chance
'Cause the players tried to take the field
The marching band refused to yield
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

We started singin', bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
And singin', "This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die"

Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again
So, come on, Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
'Cause fire is the Devil's only friend
Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage
No angel born in Hell
Could break that Satan's spell
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

He was singin', bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
And singin', "This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die"

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I'd heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn't play
And in the streets, the children screamed
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken
And the three men I admire most
The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died

And they were singin', bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin', "This'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die"

They were singin', bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye
Singin', "This'll be the day that I die"


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

American Pie Lyrics as written by Don Mclean

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

American Pie song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

350 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +15
    General Comment

    "Day the Music Died" = Plane crash (buddy holley, etc.)

    "Jester" = Bob Dylan

    "Jester on the sidelines in a cast"= Bob Dylan appears in the "cast of characters" on the Sgt. Pepper album on the side.

    "King" = Elvis

    "Quartet" = Beatles

    "The Byrds" = The Byrds. Eight miles high was one of their songs.

    "Sweet Perfume" = smell of marajuana

    "Marching band refused to yield" - Beatles were top of the charts thru '60's

    "Devil" - Mick Jagger

    "Girl who sang the blues" = Janis Joplin

    "Father, Son & The Holy Ghost" = John Kennedy, Robt. Kennedy & Martin Luther King.

    Ferthukoon April 10, 2002   Link
  • +8
    General Comment

    The entire song is a tribute to Buddy Holly and a commentary on how rock and roll music changed in the years since his death. McLean is lamenting the lack of "danceable" good time party music in rock and roll and (in part) attributing that lack to the absence of Buddy Holly et. al. (Verse 1) A long, long time ago... "American Pie" reached #1 in the U.S. in 1972; the album containing it was released in 1971. Buddy Holly died in 1959. I can still remember how That music used to make me smile. And I knew if I had my chance, That I could make those people dance, And maybe they'd be happy for a while. One of early rock and roll's functions was to provide dance music for various social events. McLean recalls his desire to become a musician playing that sort of music. But February made me shiver, Buddy Holly died on February 3, 1959 in a plane crash in Iowa during a snowstorm. With every paper I'd deliver, Don McLean's only job before becoming a full-time singer-songwriter was being a paperboy. Bad news on the doorstep... I couldn't take one more step. I can't remember if I cried When I read about his widowed bride Holly's recent bride was pregnant when the crash took place; she had a miscarriage shortly afterward. But something touched me deep inside, The day the music died. The same plane crash that killed Buddy Holly also took the lives of Richie Valens ("La Bamba") and The Big Bopper ("Chantilly Lace"). Since all three were so prominent at the time, February 3, 1959 became known as "The Day The Music Died". So... (Refrain) Bye bye Miss American Pie, Don McLean dated a Miss America candidate during the pageant. Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry Them good ol' boys were drinkin whiskey and rye Singing "This'll be the day that I die, This'll be the day that I die." One of Holly's hits was "That'll be the Day"; the chorus contains the line "That'll be the day that I die". (Verse 2) Did you write the book of love, "The Book of Love" by the Monotones was a hit in 1958. And do you have faith in God above, If the Bible tells you so? There's also an old Sunday School song which goes: "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so" Now do you believe in rock 'n roll? The Lovin' Spoonful had a hit in 1965 with John Sebastian's "Do you Believe in Magic?". The song has the lines: "Do you believe in magic" and "It's like trying to tell a stranger 'bout rock and roll." Can music save your mortal soul? And can you teach me how to dance real slow? Dancing slow was an important part of early rock and roll dance events -- but declined in importance through the 60's as things like psychedelia and the 10-minute guitar solo gained prominence. Well I know you're in love with him 'Cause I saw you dancing in the gym Back then, dancing was an expression of love, and carried a connotation of committment. Dance partners were not so readily exchanged as they would be later. You both kicked off your shoes A reference to the beloved "sock hop". (Street shoes tear up wooden basketball floors, so dancers had to take off their shoes.) Man, I dig those rhythm 'n' blues Some history. Before the popularity of rock and roll, music, like much else in the U. S., was highly segregated. The popular music of black performers for largely black audiences was called, first, "race music," later rhythm and blues. In the early 50s, as they were exposed to it through radio personalities such as Allan Freed, white teenagers began listening, too. Starting around 1954, a number of songs from the rhythm and blues charts began appearing on the overall popular charts as well, but usually in cover versions by established white artists, (e. g. "Shake Rattle and Roll", Joe Turner, covered by Bill Haley; "Sh-Boom", the Chords, covered by the Crew-Cuts; "Sincerely", the Moonglows, covered by the Mc Guire Sisters; Tweedle Dee, LaVerne Baker, covered by Georgia Gibbs). By 1955, some of the rhythm and blues artists, like Fats Domino and Little Richard were able to get records on the overall pop charts. In 1956 Sun records added elements of country and western to produce the kind of rock and roll tradition that produced Buddy Holly. I was a lonely teenage broncin' buck With a pink carnation and a pickup truck "A White Sport Coat (And a Pink Carnation)", was a hit for Marty Robbins in 1957. The pickup truck has endured as a symbol of sexual independence and potency, especially in a Texas context. But I knew that I was out of luck The day the music died I started singing... Refrain (Verse 3) Now for ten years we've been on our own McLean was writing this song in the late 60's, about ten years after the crash. And moss grows fat on a rolling stone Rolling Stone Magazine But that's not how it used to be When the jester sang for the King and Queen The jester is Bob Dylan, as will become clear later. Elvis Presley is the king, which seems pretty obvious. The queen COULD be either Connie Francis, Little Richard, or someone else. In a coat he borrowed from James Dean In the movie "Rebel Without a Cause", James Dean has a red windbreaker that holds symbolic meaning throughout the film. In one particularly intense scene, Dean lends his coat to a guy who is shot and killed; Dean's father arrives, sees the coat on the dead man, thinks it's Dean, and loses it. On the cover of The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, Dylan is wearing just such as red windbreaker, and is posed in a street scene similar to one shown in a well-known picture of James Dean. And a voice that came from you and me Bob Dylan's roots are in American folk music, with people like Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. Folk music is by definition the music of the masses, hence the "...came from you and me". Oh, and while the King was looking down The jester stole his thorny crown A reference to Elvis's decline and Dylan's ascendance. (i.e. Presley is looking down from a height as Dylan takes his place.) The thorny crown a reference to the price of fame. Dylan has said that he wanted to be as famous as Elvis, one of his early idols. The courtroom was adjourned, No verdict was returned. The trial of the Chicago Seven. And while Lennon read a book on Marx, Literally, John Lennon reading about Karl Marx; figuratively, the introduction of radical politics into the music of the Beatles. The "Marx-Lennon" wordplay has also been used by others, most notably the Firesign Theatre on the cover of their album How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All? The quartet practiced in the park The Beatles. And we sang dirges in the dark A reference to some of the new "art rock" groups which played long pieces not meant for dancing OR a reference to The Door's song "Light My Fire" which said "... a funeral pyer..." in one line. The day the music died. We were singing... Refrain (Verse 4) Helter Skelter in a summer swelter "Helter Skelter" is a Beatles song which appears on the White album. Charles Manson, claiming to have been "inspired" by the song (through which he thought God and/or the devil were taking to him) led his followers in the Tate-LaBianca murders. "Summer swelter" a reference to the "long hot summer" of Watts. The birds flew off with the fallout shelter Eight miles high and falling fast The Byrd's "Eight Miles High" was on their late 1966 release "Fifth Dimension." It was one of the first records to be widely banned because of supposedly drug-oriented lyrics. It landed foul on the grass One of the Byrds was busted for possesion of marijuana. The players tried for a forward pass Obviously a football metaphor about the Rolling Stones, i.e. they were waiting for an opening which really didn't happen until the Beatles broke up. With the jester on the sidelines in a cast On July 29, 1966, Dylan crashed his Triumph motorcycle while riding near his home in Woodstock, New York. He spent nine months in seclusion while recuperating from the accident. Now the halftime air was sweet perfume This line and the next few refer to the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The "sweet perfume" is tear gas. While sergeants played a marching tune The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" music in general as "marching" because it's not music for dancing. But music with a message to which we march. We all got up to dance Oh, but we never got the chance The Beatles' 1966 Candlestick Park concert only lasted 35 minutes and there wasn't any music to dance to OR due to the break-up of The Beatles. 'Cause the players tried to take the field, The marching band refused to yield. A reference to the dominance of the Beatles on the rock and roll scene. For instance, the Beach Boys released "Pet Sounds" in 1966 -- an album which featured some of the same sort of studio and electronic experimentation as "Sgt. Pepper" (1967) -- but the album sold poorly. It's a comment about how the dominance of the Beatles in the rock world led to more "pop art" music, leading in turn to a dearth of traditional rock and roll. Do you recall what was revealed, The day the music died? We started singing Refrain (Verse 5) And there we were all in one place Woodstock. A generation lost in space A reference to the "famous" (and horrible) 60s TV "Lost In Space." With no time left to start again The "lost generation" spent too much time being stoned, and had wasted their lives. So come on Jack be nimble Jack be quick A reference to Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones; "Jumpin' Jack Flash" was released in May, 1968. Jack Flash sat on a candlestick The Stones' Candlestick park concert. 'Cause fire is the devil's only friend The Stones song "Sympathy for the Devil." And as I watched him on the stage My hands were clenched in fists of rage No angel born in hell Could break that satan's spell While playing a concert at the Altamont Speedway in 1969, the Stones appointed members of the Hell's Angels to work security. In the darkness near the front of the stage, a young man named Meredith Hunter was beaten and stabbed to death -- by the Angels. Public outcry that the song "Sympathy for the Devil" had somehow incited the violence caused the Stones to drop the song from their show for the next six years. And as the flames climbed high into the night To light the sacrificial rite About Altamont, and in particular Mick Jagger's prancing and posing while it was happening. The sacrifice is Meredith Hunter, and the bonfires around the area provide the flames. I saw satan laughing with delight Satan would be Jagger. The day the music died He was singing... Refrain (Verse 6) I met a girl who sang the blues Janis Joplin. And I asked her for some happy news But she just smiled and turned away Janis died of an accidental heroin overdose on October 4, 1970. I went down to the sacred store Where I'd heard the music years before The "sacred store" was Bill Graham's Fillmore West, one of the great rock and roll venues of all time. But the man there said the music wouldn't play Nobody is interested in hearing Buddy Holly et.al.'s music. And in the streets the children screamed "Flower children" being beaten by police and National Guard troops; in particular, perhaps, the People's Park riots in Berkeley in 1969 and 1970. The lovers cried and the poets dreamed The trend towards psychedelic music in the 60's. But not a word was spoken, The church bells all were broken The broken bells are the dead musicians: neither can produce any more music. And the three men I admire most The Father Son and Holy Ghost Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Richie Valens. They caught the last train for the coast A way of saying that they had left the scene (or died -- "went west" as a synonym for dying). The day the music died And they were singing... Refrain (2x)

    tlspatrioton September 09, 2012   Link
  • +6
    Song Meaning

    ok, here we go:

    A long time ago, im guessing when he was younger, the music of buddy holly and others was very influential to him. This music led him to want to be a musician and "make those people dance" and make the world happy with his music. But then, the Valens/Bopper/Holly plane crashed, hence the "bad news on the doorstep." he had to have been somewhat younger though "i cant remember if i cried when i read about his widowed bride." refers to Ritchie Valens, as he was to be married to Donna (i think) he then aptly named that day of the crash "the day the music died." the chorus sums up to their death and their loss of wanting to live "the american dream" he had wanted to be famous along with the bopper, his biggest influence, hence, "drove my chevy to the levy but the levy was dry" is a metaphor for making it big, yet his biggest influence was not there to see it. he may be refering to the three in the last part of the chorus, but i dont know for sure

    the second verse i never really got into. but my interpretation is: a girlfriend (maybe) left him for someone else at their prom. he had an idea that he was probably not gonna become famous because of "the day the music died"

    the third verse talks about the different artist that came up ten years after the plane crash. "moss grows fat on a rolling stone" means the Rolling Stones had become famous and accumulated "moss"(cash). Now the Jester to me could possibly be Bob Dylan, Elvis had to be the King and the Queen may be his wife. the "voice that came from you and me" in my mind relates to Bob Dylan because of his popular songs. plus, his songs were mellow and relaxing and to me seemed to relate to normal people. Now, it seems that "while the king was looking down, the jester stole his thorny crown" means Bob Dylan became more famous than Elvis. John Lennon had gotten into Communism and the beatles sang songs about "Helter Skelter" and others that MAY HAVE been about death or dying.

    "Helter Skelter in a summer swelter" refers to the actual Tate/LaBianca murders. While that was going on, the Byrds became popular. it refers to their song "eight miles high". "it" could refer to anything, but my view is the Pop Charts. (i could be wrong so please dont hound me). The 'players' being the Beatles trying to come back on top after Bob Dylan had the motorcycle wreck. The 'halftime air' meant during the middle of the 'hippie' ages marijuana was frequently used by alot of people. the 'sergeants' meaning the Beatles album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club". and we all wanted to love the beatles music, yet there was other bands trying to make a name for themselves.

    "Lost in Space" was a hit tv show, but he could be refering to the advancement in technology throughout the years. now, i agree with some on his dislike for the Stones, so i will go ahead and say he refers to the song "Jumping Jack Flash" by the Stones. that part of the verse was solely intended to show his dislike of the Rolling Stones, implying Mick Jagger was "the devil's only friend". he implies in the next few lines about being enraged by a concert (maybe a Stones concert?) and i believe he talks about the Son of Sam and riots and whatnot.

    The girl who sang the blues is Janis Joplin. He was hoping she could help bring happiness, "but she just smiled and turned away". The "Sacred Store" refers to a place he would go when he was younger to hear Buddy Holly's music. when he went back all these years later it had become something else. he may be refering to the plane crash again, due to his admiration for the three that died, i dont know, but i DO know that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is not JFK and Rob K. they were brothers, not Father and son. I do believe its Father=Bopper, Son=Valens, and Holy Ghost=Holly. "they caught that last train for the coast the day the music died" means they caught the ride to heaven.

    this is a very beautiful song. i may be wrong in some parts, but i did no research and took this meaning straght out of my heart. if i am wrong in any part please feel free to correct me.

    JoeCruzTKOon June 19, 2010   Link
  • +5
    General Comment

    This song was about the death of Buddy Holly in a plane crash. He died in february, hence the shivering with the delivery of 'bad news on the doorstep'. The joker is supposed to be Bob Dylan I think, and the King is Elvis Priestly. (at least I think that, but i could just be being obvious). I think the woman who turns away is supposed to be Janis Joplin, not sure about that though. The song is basically about how music 'died' on the day that buddy holly was killed, and since then everything else can't compare.

    Darren...

    darren_kifon February 26, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    music is poetry. the beauty of poetry is it has a different meaning for everyone and no interpretation is wrong. it is there to get your mind working and evoke emotions. music helps you relate something to your feelings and emotions. Don McClean knows this that is why he doesn't tell what the lyrics mean because his meaning only relates to himself. make your own meaning that is the only correct one.

    mulnixon May 01, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    To Stringofpearls: Flat out you're wrong. It was written about Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper. On February 3, 1959 and 1 AM their plane crashed and it was known as the day the music died. JFK has nothing t do with it, it doesn't even make sense...why would the MUSIC die when he was assassinated?

    marsbeautyqueenon March 19, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    don-mclean.com/i/analysis.asp

    In his own words, from his website, Mr. McLean says"I've never analyzed the lyrics to the song. They're beyond analysis. They're poetry." He does discuss that it starts with his memories of Buddy Holly, but goes on to discuss his image of America and what it could become." As I said, in an earlier posting, McLean does not discuss exact details of the cryptic meanings, so all of us are probably wrong, and all of us are probably right......

    .....except those who think the plane was American Pie. "the growing urban legend that "American Pie" was the name of Buddy Holly’s plane the night it crashed, killing him, Ritchie Valens and the Big Boppper, is untrue. I created the term." - Don McLean, 1999

    Ferthukoon May 28, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    When the jester sang for the King and Queen In a coat he borrowed from James Dean And a voice that came from you and me

    Oh, and while the King was looking down The jester stole his thorny crown The courtroom was adjourned No verdict was returned

    I think the jester is a musician that performed(maybe opened) for another musician who was #1 at the time. And the line when the king was looking down, is saying that he was becoming less popular. The fact that he says thorny crown is a religious refference, if he was Christian or not, and I think that if we contemplated that long enough, we may know who he is talking about. It possibly means some one who is humble, or maybe some one who sings gospels?

    I'm far from the era that this song reffers to so it's difficult for me to make the connections, but I think if you can figure out who the king and queen are for sure, figuring out who the jester is would be fairly easy. The jester is probably a "rebel" because of the James Dean refference, and the voice isn't reffering to their actual voice, but to what they sang about. They probably sang about the people, "a voice from you and me."

    mayonakaon June 06, 2007   Link
  • +2
    Song Meaning

    edlis.org/twice/threads/american_pie.html

    Don McLean's American Pie is generally regarded as a tribute to Buddy Holly and a commentary on how rock and roll changed in the years since his death. There are thought to be several Dylan references in the song. Each line in the song has been extensively analyzed. Some would say too much so.

    The Microsoft Conspiracy Interpretation of American Pi appeals to others.

    edlis.org/twice/

    EdRicardoon December 04, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation

    Despite the obvious Buddy Holly plane crash references, I always liked to think this song is about the 1960's in general.

    It makes references to Rock N Roll, Jesus freaks, Marxism, "A generation lost in space", Helter Skelter (which could be either a Beatles reference or a Charles Manson reference depending on how you look at it), and many more.

    I think, ultimately, he probably wrote it with Buddy Holly in mind, but I would have to think it was more than that, an attempt to capture a cultural Golden Age in an 8-minute song.

    Either way, this one is an absolute beauty :)

    cmi0616on May 19, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Fast Car
Tracy Chapman
"Fast car" is kind of a continuation of Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." It has all the clawing your way to a better life, but in this case the protagonist never makes it with her love; in fact she is dragged back down by him. There is still an amazing amount of hope and will in the lyrics; and the lyrics themselve rank and easy five. If only music was stronger it would be one of those great radio songs that you hear once a week 20 years after it was released. The imagery is almost tear-jerking ("City lights lay out before us", "Speeds so fast felt like I was drunk"), and the idea of starting from nothing and just driving and working and denigrating yourself for a chance at being just above poverty, then losing in the end is just painful and inspiring at the same time.
Album art
Mental Istid
Ebba Grön
This is one of my favorite songs. https://fnfgo.io
Album art
Mountain Song
Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell gives Adam Reader some heartfelt insight into Jane’s Addiction's hard rock manifesto "Mountain Song", which was the second single from their revolutionary album Nothing's Shocking. Mountain song was first recorded in 1986 and appeared on the soundtrack to the film Dudes starring Jon Cryer. The version on Nothing's Shocking was re-recorded in 1988. "'Mountain Song' was actually about... I hate to say it but... drugs. Climbing this mountain and getting as high as you can, and then coming down that mountain," reveals Farrell. "What it feels to descend from the mountain top... not easy at all. The ascension is tough but exhilarating. Getting down is... it's a real bummer. Drugs is not for everybody obviously. For me, I wanted to experience the heights, and the lows come along with it." "There's a part - 'Cash in now honey, cash in Miss Smith.' Miss Smith is my Mother; our last name was Smith. Cashing in when she cashed in her life. So... she decided that, to her... at that time, she was desperate. Life wasn't worth it for her, that was her opinion. Some people think, never take your life, and some people find that their life isn't worth living. She was in love with my Dad, and my Dad was not faithful to her, and it broke her heart. She was very desperate and she did something that I know she regrets."
Album art
Mountain Song
Jane's Addiction
Jane's Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell gives Adam Reader some heartfelt insight into Jane’s Addiction's hard rock manifesto "Mountain Song", which was the second single from their revolutionary album Nothing's Shocking. Mountain song was first recorded in 1986 and appeared on the soundtrack to the film Dudes starring Jon Cryer. The version on Nothing's Shocking was re-recorded in 1988. "'Mountain Song' was actually about... I hate to say it but... drugs. Climbing this mountain and getting as high as you can, and then coming down that mountain," reveals Farrell. "What it feels to descend from the mountain top... not easy at all. The ascension is tough but exhilarating. Getting down is... it's a real bummer. Drugs is not for everybody obviously. For me, I wanted to experience the heights, and the lows come along with it." "There's a part - 'Cash in now honey, cash in Miss Smith.' Miss Smith is my Mother; our last name was Smith. Cashing in when she cashed in her life. So... she decided that, to her... at that time, she was desperate. Life wasn't worth it for her, that was her opinion. Some people think, never take your life, and some people find that their life isn't worth living. She was in love with my Dad, and my Dad was not faithful to her, and it broke her heart. She was very desperate and she did something that I know she regrets."
Album art
No Surprises
Radiohead
Same ideas expressed in Fitter, Happier are expressed in this song. We're told to strive for some sort of ideal life, which includes getting a good job, being kind to everyone, finding a partner, getting married, having a couple kids, living in a quiet neighborhood in a nice big house, etc. But in Fitter, Happier the narrator(?) realizes that it's incredibly robotic to live this life. People are being used by those in power "like a pig in a cage on antibiotics"--being pacified with things like new phones and cool gadgets and houses while being sucked dry. On No Surprises, the narrator is realizing how this life is killing him slowly. In the video, his helmet is slowly filling up with water, drowning him. But he's so complacent with it. This is a good summary of the song. This boring, "perfect" life foisted upon us by some higher powers (not spiritual, but political, economic, etc. politicians and businessmen, perhaps) is not the way to live. But there is seemingly no way out but death. He'd rather die peacefully right now than live in this cage. While our lives are often shielded, we're in our own protective bubbles, or protective helmets like the one Thom wears, if we look a little harder we can see all the corruption, lies, manipulation, etc. that is going on in the world, often run by huge yet nearly invisible organizations, corporations, and 'leaders'. It's a very hopeless song because it reflects real life.