"Rabbit In Your Headlights" as written by Josh Paul Davis and Thomas Edward Yorke....
I'm a rabbit in your headlights
Scared of the spotlight
You don't come to visit
I'm stuck in this bed

Thin rubber gloves
She laughs when she's crying
She cries when she's laughing

Fat bloody fingers are sucking your soul away...
(Away... away... away...)

I'm a rabbit in your headlights
Christian suburbanite
Washed down the toilet
Money to burn

Fat bloody fingers are sucking your soul away...

If you're frightened of dyin' and you're holding on...
You'll see devils tearing your life away.
But...if you've made your peace,
Then the devila are really angels
Freeing you from the earth... from the earth... from the earth

Rotworms on the underground
Caught between stations
I'm losing my patience

I'm a rabbit in your headlights
Christian suburbanite
You got money to burn....

Fat bloody fingers are sucking your soul away...
Away, away, away,
Away, away, away.

Lyrics submitted by nicole

"Rabbit in Your Headlights" as written by Thomas Edward Yorke Josh Paul Davis

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Rabbit In Your Headlights song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentAdmit it. You guys love me, right?
    thom yorkeon May 08, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI see a lot of people have pieced together what this song is all about. I'll try to summarize:

    -UNKLE was very influenced by the movie 'Jacob's Ladder' in the making of both this song and this album [sidenote: the videogame series, Silent Hill, was also influenced by the same movie...similarities are striking amongst all 3]. A voice sample getting at the underlying thematics of the song should clue you in to this.

    -The atmosphere of the song is that of fear, psychological confusion, spiritual despair, and utter human hopelessness...in the beginning. At the end, it is an atmosphere of sudden, almost explosive, enlightenment, empowerment, and metamorphasis for the better, after the confrontaion of a journey symbolizing life and the imparting of knowledge and wisdom only experience [read: trials and tribulations] can bring (i.e. refer to man walking down a highway tunnel in the music video).

    -The music video is chock full of symbolism, including a man who is considered an outcast by a society because he doesn't fit in and chooses his own path and who eventually partakes in the ultimate enlightment and causes earth-shaking change to occur [seems very messiah-like, supported by the visuals]; normal, everyday people zooming around, into, and by the man in their automobiles, going about their business and living in their own little worlds, unaware of the bigger picture, as well as unaware of the 'little' guy [one of these normal people is nice enough to stop and see what is the matter...he is a needle in a hay stack, symbolizing the inherent good and selflessness of mankind buried amongst his overt tendencies of greed and selfishness]; the road and tunnel which are the path of life for everyone; and the infamous jacket which represents this man's doubt, despair, victimization, lack of self esteem, confusion, etc. [he tends to hide his true self within this 'jacket of woe and sorrow'...using it as a wall or baracade between his true self and the outside the world...causing an introversion of his mind, spirit, and energy].

    -The events can be interpretted as the story of a little guy, a seemingly innocent, harmless rabbit, who cares not for social acceptance and recognition, but rather chooses to live life according to his own will, truths, and goals. He walks along the path of life, confused, lonely, and lacking faith in humanity because he sees its ugliness, unlike many others who foolishly think life is a race to get from one end of the tunnel to the other. In his despair, he shuts himself off from the outside world, shielding himself from it with the jacket and locking his true self inside. He, at first, doesn't realize he is doing more harm then good for himself by hiding within this 'jacket of woe'. He feels betrayed and victimized by humanity as others rush by him and even knock into him. He is so jaded after a while that he becomes completely unaware when a helping hand comes to aid him. He buries himself deeper and deeper within the confines of the jacket, mistakingly thinking that it will protect him...when it really just makes him more of a target. The introversion and hopelessness cause this. After getting knocked down repeatedly, he has an epiphany...a revelation. His fear and introversion are what is causing his downfall. His lack of faith in humanity had become a lack of faith in himself. In order to break free from this, he must shed his 'jacket'...he must unsheathe himself from the confines of his own mind and his inwardness--he must believe in himself and his ways and project his true self outward for all the world to see. When he sheds this 'jacket', his metamorphasis occurs and change in his life can finally take place. Not only is he empowered, enlightened, and changed, his projection is so powerful that it changes his surroundings and all of those around him, bringing them to a CRASHING halt. His will is unbreakable...insurmountable. His influence on this world will be felt. He has become aware of the pinnacle of all human truths:

    Mind over matter.

    The willpower of the human mind, body, and spirit, when harmoniously in accord, can shatter the delusions we have of this life, this world, and this universe...this very existence. When you believe in yourself and you are ready to fearlessly lead by example, your influence can and shall be felt. Change for the better can occur only at this point.

    -The underlying theme of this song is envoked by the vocal sample from 'Jacob's Ladder' and the 'jacket of woe and sorrow' I mentioned earlier. The two are very closely related. The vocal sample mentions that you cannot free yourself of the burdens of this life if you do not make peace with yourself and believe in yourself...you cannot wrecklessly hold on and try to control everything by clinging to your 'jacket of woe and sorrow' and directing your energy inwards. If you cling to this metaphorical shield, you will only become bitter, jaded, and miserable. You will only see the world and everybody in it, including yourself, as 'Devils'. Only when you change yourself by ridding yourself of this 'jacket' can you change everything for the better. You can finally see everyone, including yourself, as 'Angels' [seeing the good/positive in everything--not focusing on the bad/negative]. By accepting what you can and cannot control, you can use the wisdom and knowledge garnered from experience to project your will unto the world. Believing in yourself and your cause; being fearless; confronting your adversaries: general apathy, greed, fear, and negativity; and leading by example and taking action comprise the recipe for change for the better. In the beginning of the song, the rabbit in the headlights--the victim--is the man. By the end of the song and after the enlightenment and epiphany take place, the man becomes the messiah...the deliverer of change and truth...and an ultimate victor in life.
    rog27on June 13, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've heard this song and had seen the video long ago. But have never understood or better yet comprehend anything about what is being said until getting a bit wiser and more experienced. After listening to and reading the lyrics only, the song at its core is about the sample from jb's ladder. The rabbit is representative of one's soul. It avoids the attention it's getting and has no choice but to crawl in its hole. The next 4 lines could possibly refer to in my mind a trophy wife who can't stand to be in contact with anything and/or get her hands "dirty" and possibly her husband, a fat greedy and power hungry individual, who looks at others as sheep to be used in anyway they please represented by the bloody fingers like a mastermind puppeteer making you dance to his voice. Then he reiterates a point by comparing himself to the wasteful. After the sample he’s on the subway in a cart stuck between two stations. I’m not exactly sure what the stations are meant to represent but it could possibly mean life and death. But since the subway is meant to take you somewhere but not moving he’s losing his “sanity” and wraps it up by making us figure out the ending to the story or make one up.

    This is just a simple interpretation and I will not connect the dots for you. If you can’t then it’s a good idea to start with the bible. I have more details and interpretations. If you agree with this, then I leave it to you to find the morals of the story and let me know.
    MidnightRageron February 29, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentoh man.....the moment i first heard this the feelin went straight to my stomach...thom yorke is so powerful!!!
    Spin Piggieon February 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't see why more people haven't responded to this song! It's so powerful, and i was amazed to see the video could rip at your gut as the way it did. Radiohead rocks! I love this song!
    daisie_bfaon May 23, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentok...thom yorke is not radiohead...he is a member of radiohead and thus, since this song features only thom and was not written or performed by any other radiohead member, it is technically not a "radiohead" song. and since it was a collaboration of thom yorke, dj shadow, and james lavelle (UNKLE) it is rightfully affiliated with the UNKLE project.
    chairman_maoon May 30, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti really cant understand this song :(
    UNKLE help me plz ! :P
    herOon June 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentand yes, the video is SO good
    herOon June 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah the video is good. I think sometimes for Radiohead songs they dont really have meaning or there is a meaning but they will never say what it is. Let me quote Albert Einstein "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
    rubenon June 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment I agree with JoveW. The video is so amazing, especially the ending!!
    China_Moonon June 16, 2002   Link

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