"Nude" as written by Thomas Edward Yorke, Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood, Colin Charles Greenwood, Edward John O'brien and Philip James Selway....
Don't get any big ideas
They're not gonna happen
You paint yourself white
And fill up with noise
There'll be something missing
And now that you found it
It's gone
Now you feel it you don't
You've gone off the rails

So don't get any big ideas
They're not gonna happen
You'll go to Hell
For what your
Dirty mind is thinking


Lyrics submitted by pinkandblurry

"Nude" as written by Edward John O'brien Colin Charles Greenwood

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Nude song meanings
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  • +28
    General CommentI think that this song is about the lies we tell ourselves, in relation with the things we want to do or who we want to be (our Big Ideas for our life, that won't happen). Also about our abilty to decieve ourselves from the ture person that we are (we paint ourselves white, even though we are not pure) and our ability to blind ourselves from our present situations, refusing to see, or hear in this case, (we fill up with noise). "But there'll be something missing", even though we lie to ourselves and convince ourselves about these things we want to achieve, there will always be something missing. This song is extremely pessimistic, going even further in it's analysis of the meaningless efforts we make to get the things we want in the next verse. "Now that you find it, it's gone, now that you feel it you don't", for me this verse is about a very common aspect of our human nature, first we convince ourselves that we need something, or someone, to be happy, to feel fulfilled, but when we get this someone, this feeling, or this thing, we find out that that wasn't the problem, that it didn't make us any happier. Now that we got it, it's gone, it doesn't matter, and now that we feel it, we don't. That which we thought we needed, was really a waste of time, and this make's us feel lost, it takes us off our rails. Lost and even nude, vulnerable and confused, as the title implies it. I'm a little lost with the meaning of the last line, "You'll go to hell for what your dirty mind is thinking", I understand that this line could leave the song open for sexual interpretations, but in my opinion it has nothing to do with it. Maybe it is directed to us as listeners to the song? Because really the easy interpretation for this song is about some sexual adventure, so it confronts us and our subconscious need to relate all thing to sex! I really have no idea... but in my opinion this song is about human desire for things and the frustration when we finally get them and find out we don't care for them at all.... it's very pessimistic and crude but at the same time indeniably true!
    nn1000on October 30, 2007   Link
  • +10
    My Interpretationto me this is more than sex. i can relate to this directly; i am in love with someone who's in a [nearly permanent] relationship. i constantly think about them, 'obsess', if you will. but it's pointless, i can't "get any big ideas, cuz they're not gonna happen". i "pain myself white" - white being the symbol of innocence. i pretend i didn't feel anything towards him, but that i deserve him. so i "fill up with noise" to forget. but no matter what i do, or how satisfied i am with my life "there'll still be something missing" since we met. "now that i've found it" [love], "it's gone" because i can't have it. "now that i feel it" [happiness], "i don't" because it pains me with guilt to see/think of him. "i've gone off the rails", i've lost my balance. what i thought was hard just became harder knowing him. i don't know how to live anymore, i've forgotten what i did before we met. "i'll go to hell for what my mind is thinking", to confess my feelings will lead to a greater disaster.
    toriephotographieon March 28, 2011   Link
  • +6
    General CommentCouple of quotes Thom Yorke said which I think highlights what the song means.

    1."I grew up under Thatcher. I grew up believing that I was fundamentally powerless. Then gradually over the years it occurred to me that this was actually a very convenient myth for the state."

    2. "The sad thing is, if an issue is laughed at and patronised by mainstream media, then it's up against it big-time. I read some journalist recently lecturing the anti-globalisation lobby, saying, 'This is the way capitalism works, all capitalism is exploitation and to make it try and do something else, it's never gonna happen.' And it's like, yeah, but where does that leave us? This is somehow God's will? All this? It's God's will that we sit in traffic? It's God's will that millions of people are gonna die this year because of some outmoded economic policies? No, it's not! It's like some deranged sacrificial altar, the high priests of the global economy holding up these millions of children each year, like (Arms aloft) 'We wish to please you! Oh Gods of free trade!' It's like... give us all a fucking break! If there is a Devil at work, then he rests in institutions and not in individuals. Because the beauty of institutions is that any individual can abdicate responsibility. The assumption that we're all utterly powerless, that's the Devil at work."

    These lyrics are the powers that be talking. That's what the institutions stuff into your heads, that you can't change the world around you. That message is one you've gotta fight.
    Thats how I see it anyway. The song still drives me to tears.
    WillAndWindon May 14, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI have to agree with logaphasia.

    It's about adultery, of wanting something more from someone you can't quite have.

    Seems to be the theme of In Rainbows- longing, wanting, loving, losing.
    glassphyxieon October 14, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General Commentwow cant believe noones posted on this song. ive got a fairly simple explaination to this song. i think its about lust and pornography and how maybe people are sucked into it but ultimately it is not fulfilling and will only lead to dissapointment and sexual frustration. very beautiful song i mean fucking hell jeez its soooooooooo beautiful
    Xeanson September 14, 2007   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationFor me it's about being in love whilst knowing its not gonna happen, knowing she doesn't love you, or rejected you.

    Hence the title nude: Nude is referring to how naked, vulnerable we are when we're in love.
    You've made yourself so vulnerable for emotions, you feel naked towards the one you love, your heart and soul has been stripped from its protection, its armour, leaving you nude.
    The song is spoken in third person, the narrator is speaking towards himself, or it's like its conscience, his sense talking to him.

    "Don't get any big ideas
    They're not going to happen"

    This is the narrator reminding himself it's not gonna happen, trying to convince himself of the impossibility, hoping that it might help him get over her. Because this feeling of nudeness is painful, he hates it, no man wants to be this vulnerable, nude towards the world.

    "You paint yourself white
    And fill up with noise
    But there'll be something missing"

    You paint yourself free and clean of the love, the nude, try to hide everything that reminds you of the stupidity you're in, you try to fill yourself up with noise, with things to compensate for the void in your heart, friends, partys, activities, whatever, but in the end, it just won't fill the void; something'll be missing.

    "Now that you've found it, it's gone
    Now that you feel it, you don't
    You've gone off the rails"

    The paradoxes are referring to how you think you've found the love, but then discovered it'll never be yours. It's there, but never yours;
    You were on the rails to love, but somehow you got off them, coincidentally, through internal or external influences, I dont know.


    But in the end, you still love her.
    You want her, no matter what, since that's simply what you feel.
    Even though you know it's not gonna happen, that maybe the consequences are terrible, you still want her, you can't help thinking about her, longing for her.
    You can't help having this 'dirty' mind, with 'dirty' desires and wishes, that'll never come true.
    You'll go to hell for what your dirty mind is thinking.

    A possibility is that like in other songs like House of Cards and Fake Plastic Trees, that the girl the guy wants already has someone else. So that might contribute to the "dirtyness" of the "mind".

    Anyways love this song, kinda resembles some of my situations, so I thought I'd give my interpretation on it, thanks for reading.

    Jin over and out :)
    Jin91on June 04, 2010   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationDon't get any big ideas about having a wonderful happy life because it's not gonna happen
    You try to make yourself better than what you are (I believe "painting yourself white" is pointing at us trying to add some meaning to our corny lives just like what Albert Camus says in one of his books"The Fall" : "Do you want a good clean life? Like everybody else?" You say yes, of course. How can one say no? "O.K. You'll be cleaned up. Here's a job, a family, and organized leisure activities." And the little teeth attack the flesh, right down to the bone. But I am unjust. I shouldn't say their organization. It is ours, after all: it's a question of which will clean up the other.”)
    So you try to have a good clean life full of sounds of happiness and laughter (which by the way prevents you from hearing other sounds) and with all of this,your life is still gonna be incomplete and null in it's own way
    Now that you've found that happiness by living a clean life,you realize that you haven't found anything
    Now that you feel true happiness,you realize you don't
    You've gone too far in understanding things which is not acceptable
    So don't get any big ideas because they're not gonna happen
    And once you do get big ideas and you realize you can't reach them,your life will turn into hell and all of that is because your dirty mind has realized the truth
    By the way,the name of the song is NUDE and i think it's trying to tell us that after all,we have got nothing and we're completely nude.
    rcnon August 01, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti think this is my favourite song from in rainbows
    girl_afraidon October 10, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Commentamazing song.

    ive only had a few listens, but my personal interpretation was after a one night stand, or a purely sexual relationship, he's wishing for something with more substance, but he knows he wont get it.
    KurupTon October 10, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is really very straightforward. To me it's about adultery, "don't get any big ideas/ you'll go to hell for what your dirty mind is thinking" because if you do cheat it'll be empty "just as you feel it you don't" and you'll have to live the rest of your life covering it up "paint yourself white"
    weird fisheeson October 11, 2007   Link

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