Please excuse me but I got to ask
Are you only being nice
Because you want something?
My fairytale arrow pierces
Be careful how you respond
Because you'd not end up in this song
I never gave you an encouragement
And it's doing me in
Doing me in
Doing me in
Doing me in
Doing me in

The more you try to erase me
The more, the more
The more that I appear
The more, the more
The more you try the eraser
The more, the more
The more that you appear

You know the answer so why do you ask?
I am only being nice
Because I want someone, something
You're like a kitten with a ball of yarn
And it is doing me in
Doing me in
Doing me in
Doing me in
Doing me in

The more you try to erase me
The more, the more
The more that I appear
The more, the more
The more I try to erase you
The more, the more
The more that you appear

No, you're wrong, you're wrong
You're wrong, you're wrong
You're wrong, you're wrong
You're wrong

Lyrics submitted by black_cow_of_death, edited by masanbol, BIRDDUDE830, casiopt1

The Eraser Lyrics as written by Thomas Edward Yorke

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Eraser song meanings
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  • +6
    My InterpretationI love the image of a kitten with a ball of string. From my perspective, this is a love song about a woman who seems soft, wide-eyed, playful and innocent but is capable of completely unraveling a man and his tightly bound life. Maybe these are two people who had an attraction to one another in the past and but now maintain a friendship. He's questioning why they are still being "nice": is it really just a facade masking stronger feeling? What do they both really want from one another? The more that they try to "erase" or suppress this undercurrent of desire for each other, the more that they keep thinking of one another.
    befuddledon May 06, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentIt's probably about obsession. Obsession keeps the narrator from being able to erase this woman from his mind, even though he let her go because he didn't trust her. He decides all she was really after was being with him, and what he's saying in this song is that he will make sure she doesn't erase him either by writing more songs for her. The entire album can be interpreted to match with this idea, or with the threat of flooding, etc., but this song really doesn't work well with any other type of interpretation. It's very clear.
    eatenbythewormson December 23, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentWell, it kind of seems like that. it's not like when older people fall in love its any different from love when one is a teenager. all our doubts and insecurities come to the surface. So you, algunmae, are probably right.. It does seem like a very straightforward love song, but it could also work on other levels, though not as well. But I don't think this girl necessarily doesn't like (or love) him. It's just that he's insecure and he doesn't dare ask her except in this song.
    eatenbythewormson July 29, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI felt very sad listening to the song but I couldn't give it some solid meaning. eaten by the worms, thank you so much, I realized why it was. Its a love song. I cant believe thom can write love songs still, he's married, not to mention.

    why my fairytale arab princess?
    because she's so impossible to be real?
    or so beautiful for him?
    I love to search context in his songs.

    as you say this song sounds like a sequel.

    one love

    but its so sad in a way. I feel to be a part of this. And I always criticize my behaviour and I feel like I might end up in this song. You know, I really feel sad for whatever thing is making him sad.

    I feel I'm wrong.
    that's why I seek for all the comments on songs. I want to understand them, see them from all people's eyes. I'm so afraid of not understanding him, or misunderstanding. And all the comments are wonderful anyways. I want to thank everybody on this site.You are generous people.

    global warming. Thats really a scary&funny thing. A lurking monster. Like we've been lenghtening the human life spam and what for? to live in a radiation-hell landfill?? to destroy ourselves and our race with bombs? We save an embryo ethically to kill hundreds of children without a doubt in wars?? I'd say don't be funny but its far beyond any fun now. Its the final human tragedy. Its called "I dont know what to do" tragedy. we are just watching, while thom's singing, telling.

    I hope there was some solution to all this
    why not?

    I dont want no future children to make wars for a glass of pure drinking water. Isn't it the same? 1 more litre of petroleum. 1 more piece of land under control. So inhuman. So unimaginably evil. For a short short life.

    love is life. I feel so. there's no magic erasers for the errors we make continuously to the environment.
    there probably isn't a substitute planet that we'll use up. And we should care for the ones we love while we're still alive.
    vusion September 03, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"To me the most exciting... you know... exciting music I ever had is when you get all those things mixed up together and you can't tell where one starts and one ends... you know there's something else going on....It's probably lazy and a little bit just a response to what people think I am or I am not to say that this is a political record because it has a lot of love songs and personal songs..."

    Thom Yorke on XFM, 21 August 2006
    eatenbythewormson October 01, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYeah, and I guess Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen is about terrorism too.

    "Let him go!
    Bismillah! No we will not let you go!".

    Those lyrics are obviously about the 9/11 hijackers. The first line is obviously the passengers of the airplane begging the terrorists to release them. The next line is the hijackers saying "in the name of Allah, we will not let you go". (Bismillah means "in the name of Allah".)

    But then, of course, the movie United 93 was about one of the airplanes that was highjacked on 9/11. It was also directed by Paul Greengrass. And I'm sure if you go through the six degrees of sepreration, Paul Greengrass will be connected to Kevin Bacon somehow. So Bohemian Rhapsody could be about Kevin Bacon, too. Damn that Freddie Mercury was sly.
    black_cow_of_deathon September 16, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commenteatenbytheworms' last post should end the arguement...Thom's shit is multideminsional...I can see this song from everyone's POV...
    ...bottom's so fucking smooth, it ain't even funny. Dance to it, if even only in your mind.
    sailingallaloneon December 08, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI first listened to this song after my girlfriend decided to suddenly start ignoring me. The first verse and chorus is me begging for a reply or explanation, "Doing me in" is pretty much how I felt. The whole Eraser aspect is her trying to forget me, and me hoping she won't be able to.

    The second verse and chorus is her reply, she chastises my naivety: "Your like a kitten with a ball of yarn" and everything before that is her telling me I was just a pastime. Then the chorus she agrees that I cant erase her, and then says "The more I try to erase you, the more you appear. Your wrong" as if saying that actually she can erase me and forget me.

    Anyway, I love the song even if its hard to listen to sometimes. I guess I made an explanation for her in these lyrics when she failed to give me one. I wonder how many other people see it the same way.
    Jinx_Voxon January 03, 2008   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretationmy interpretation: in a relationship, one is torn between the urge to be faithful and the need for freedom. "the eraser" in the song represents the instrument of detachment, with which one "erases" obligations, connections, memories, and facts; out of fear, for convenience, or selfishness. hence the more one tries to erase reality the more it comes rolling back in spite of it all. thom may be talking about an unfaithful, detached, or scatterbrained girlfriend, and sees shades of her weaknesses in himself too.

    "i never gave you an encouragement" is particularly interesting. one tries to make themselves important to their significant other... maybe thom is regretting that he can be a detached, head-in-the-clouds person sometimes.
    casiopt1on July 15, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Commentfirst ??? = "my fairy tale arrow it says" or something, i lose it after the word arrow, but it sounds like that.

    i think after the encouragement line, it's "and it's due in the end", like he eventually will have to.

    "you're like a kitten with a ball of yarn" or "in a ball of yarn" or something similar.

    again, i think it's "due in the end"
    Nodimaon May 31, 2006   Link

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