"Dollars and Cents" as written by Thomas Yorke, Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood, Edward John O'brien, Philip Selway and Colin Charles Greenwood....
There are many things to talk about
Be constructive
There are weapons we can use
Be constructive with your blues

Even when it's only warnings
Even when you talk the war games

Oh why don't you quiet down? (maybe I want peace and honesty)
Why don't you quiet down? (maybe I want to live in the children's land and you know maybe, maybe I)
Why don't you quiet down? (maybe I'll wander the promised land I want peace and honesty)
Why don't you quiet down? (I want to live in the promised land and maybe wander the children's land)
Quiet down (yeah, and there, there we can free)

You don't live in a business world and
You never go out and you never stay
We won our goals in a liberal world
Living in times when I could stand it, babe

All over, baby's crying
It'll all be, baby, I can see out of here
All over the planet's dead
All over the planet, so let me out of here
All over the, all over the, all over the, all over the

We are the dollars and cents and the pounds and pence (quiet down)
And the mark and the yen, and yeah
We're gonna crack your little souls (why don't you quiet down?)
We're gonna crack your little souls (why don't you quiet down?)
We are the dollars and cents and the pounds and pence (why don't you quiet down?)
And the pounds and pence, and yeah
We're gonna crack your little souls
Crack your little souls
We are the dollars and cents

Lyrics submitted by shut

"Dollars & Cents" as written by Edward John O'brien Colin Charles Greenwood

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Dollars and Cents song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentWow, who came up with lyrics... whoever wrote that screwed up the meaning. First of all it doesnt say "bear witness, we can use" it says "their weapons, we can use" and at the end it says "crack your little souls" not "kill." This song is a threat to those in control of our society that the people could knock over the entire capitalistic system simply through economics. The line Why don't you quiet down? is the reaction to thoms message. All the types of currency represent the people of the world. Basically i think this is what thoms saying... hey their anarchists anyways! Niam... your a materialist too... all of us are.
    radiohead1125on September 17, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI think this song is fairly obvious. It seems to me, that Radiohead is directing this lyric towards the record executives. "Be constructive with your blues, bear witness we can use".

    Essentially, he's taking the role of the record companies, who are more interested in squeezing the creative juices out of depressed and screwed up people than they are about the souls of the people who are producing the music for them.

    How much great music is created by depressed, upset people, who use music as their outlet? If Jeff Buckley had been a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, his music wouldn't have been as recognized as it was.
    davyflaveon February 25, 2008   Link
  • +4
    General Commentsoulless materialism and the evil things done in the name of money
    and the never shutting up, constant advertising, constant hot air blowing around
    and just singing "quiet down" at the top of your lungs but you can't be heard over the noise
    what an incredible album
    rhodesondeson September 12, 2008   Link
  • +4
    Song MeaningI think this song can be taken as many different contexts. Such as much of Radiohead's lyrics are flexible, which makes them so unique. Personally, I sense the meaning of this song as a bitter confrontation with a depressive state of mind. "There are better things to talk about, be constructive with your blues." To me this serves as a reality check for a ruminating, depressed mindset that gets someone nowhere. Being constructive with your blues, in my view, relates to the troubling truth that often times we know what we want, what would make us happier, so if only we could be constructive with our "blues" and get the hell out of this hole by taking action towards our respective directives.

    "Why don't you quiet down?" Rumination that drives us further down; we want these thoughts to stop, but the more we fight them the more we want them to "quiet down", as this question is repeated several times.

    "He never goes and he never stays." The warnings never leave, and when they just so happen to, it never stays that way. Back to square one.

    "All over the planet's dead, All over the planet so let me out of here." Nothing we encounter in the outside world can truly assuage the pains that leave us back-drifting. Pleasure is temporary, never long lasting - everything lies to you, even though it doesn't.

    Just my thoughts...
    SoundDriftson October 06, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe instrumentation of this song is incredibly eerie. If im listening to this song in the dark, I feel as if death itself is hovering over my shoulder. Definitely a great song though.
    Transamericismon September 07, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commentwhen thom says that we are the dollars and cents, i think it means that we're controlled by the CEOs and business execs and stuff. When he sings "why dont u quiet down?" its kinda like the CEOs telling us to do our job so then can make their money
    sean7711on July 24, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI always ask myself how differents views of the whole world we can have, me in Argentina, South America and lot of you in developments countries. You really don´t realize how strong are messagges like "D&C" in societies that are still discussing about capitalism or socialism...
    Amnesiac24on October 15, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commentradiohead 1125 makes sense. it's within our power to stop the advancement of capitalism by not spending our hard-earnt money with these massive corporations. shop local!
    derykon November 09, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis has got to be one of the best songs Radiohead's ever done (along with "Bullet Proof...I Wish I Was...", "Street Spirit", "The Bends", and "Amazing Sounds of Orgy"). It sounds beautifully brooding, with a modern twist in it. I love this beautifuly repetative resonance! It has a modern jazzy feel to it, and at the same it has a rock beat. It has a desperate tone to it that cries out to you. It seems to me that Thom must have been influenced by Miles Davis, or Talk Talk (after all, their favorite artist is Mark Hollis). This song is very close to perfection!
    Phrogexon November 16, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commentradiohead, thom in particular, is against globalism and the central banks, the IMF, the WTO, and other organizations that are moving us towards a one world government. And he should be, just like every one of us should be. The agendas of these people are not in the interest of the people, the people are their dollars and cents. It seems to me, like a lot of people I know, that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    Nonlinear314on July 12, 2006   Link

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