Wake from your sleep
The drying of your tears
Today, we escape, we escape

Pack and get dressed
Before your father hears us
Before all hell breaks loose

Breathe, keep breathing
Don't lose your nerve
Breathe, keep breathing
I can't do this alone

Sing us a song
A song to keep us warm
There's such a chill, such a chill

And you can laugh
A spineless laugh
We hope your rules and wisdom choke you
Now we are one in everlasting peace

We hope that you choke, that you choke
We hope that you choke, that you choke
We hope that you choke, that you choke

Lyrics submitted by piesupreme, edited by jvernon521, Radiohead123

Exit Music (For A Film) Lyrics as written by Edward John O'brien Colin Charles Greenwood

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Exit Music (For a Film) song meanings
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  • +24
    General CommentI was in a relationship where the girl's parents were opposed to us dating. When you're young and your parents essentially own you, you feel pretty trapped. When you're young and naive and optimistic, you can do anything if you put your mind to it. And it seems like the couple in this song were laying in bed and decided to run away together. "Pack and get dressed, before your father hears us" But when you're young and run away you usually find that you can't survive on the streets. I get the feeling that the couple in the song has run away on a winter night, finding some hidden place to sleep outside. "Sing us a song, a song to keep us warm, there's such a chill" He's asking her to give him hope, to make him continue believing that they can be together.

    In the last part it seems that the couple addresses the cynical adults of the world. As if they could see them suffering on the street, laughing at them. Spineless because they gave up hope a long time ago. That their rules and restrictions bind them, but the couple has refused to let them bind themselves. Then at last he tells them how he feels about "them". "We hope that you choke".

    It's a song that I think most of us can relate to, and translates well to the story of Romeo and Juliet.

    (sorry for the long explanation)
    thisboyon January 27, 2002   Link
  • +10
    General CommentI don't know about anyone else, but ... in the lines:

    "Pack and get dressed, before your father hears us, before, all hell breaks lose"

    It isn't parents. It's father. And without going too much into my personal bullshit ... I do remember hearing something similar coming from my mother as a kid one night.
    So I always kinda related it to that and had thought it was about a mother and her child fleeing an abusive (or maybe non-abusive father/husband).
    "Pack and get dressed..." that would have already been done most likely were it lovers fleeing. This leads me to believe in a decision made almost instantly or something along those lines.
    "Sing us a song, a song to keep us warm, there's such a chill, such a chill "

    This could have been the children asking the mother for a lullaby. They are in the streets possibly, or sleeping in a car...who knows. They are asking for her song to soothe them in that cold night.

    Whatever happens, I've always a sense of tragedy in the end and a prayer for vengeance at whatever had happened.
    I never had taken "choke" as literal, but interpreted it as "to choke on your words".

    But, I guess, according to some, Thom wrote this exclusively for the movie lol can't deny that I suppose.
    DeSadeon March 04, 2005   Link
  • +9
    General CommentActually, it was written FOR Baz Luhrmann's 1995 interpretation of Romeo and Juliet (Romeo+Juliet). Which is why it is called "Exit Music (For a film)" it was played during the closing credits. Taken from the official radiohead website,
    "While on tour with Alanis Morissette in September of 1996, Radiohead was sent the last half-hour of Baz Luhrmann's film William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and asked to write a song for the closing credits. Band members were impressed by the clip, and Thom wrote this song for the movie. At first he attempted to use lines from Shakespeare's play as lyrics, but finally ditched the idea.

    The moment in the film when Claire Danes (Juliet) holds a Colt 45 to her head was the actual inspiration for "Exit Music." Thom also had the 1968 version of the film in his head: "I saw the Zeffirelli version when I was 13 and I cried my eyes out, because I couldn't understand why, the morning after they shagged, they didn't just run away. The song is written for two people who should run away before all the bad stuff starts. A personal song."
    missa809on July 14, 2006   Link
  • +5
    General CommentEscaping a situation, with a friend, with a girl. It's the exit out of the regular situation, leaving something you don't like behing. Your parents, your old neighbourhood, school, your job. Fucking nice track!
    Boreqon October 25, 2010   Link
  • +5
    Song MeaningThe song is about a young couple killing themselves in one of their parent's car by carbon monoxide poisoning.
    Ivoryinflameson March 02, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General Commentwhen i finally get the courage to just leave, this song will be on repeat.
    bengton July 18, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentWell this is one of fave Radiohead songs and one of the most depressing songs ever.Thom Yorke said that it's about the morning after the last night he spent with Jullitte and made love..the morning where he goes to the banishment and never sees her alive again.It's just so sad and beautiful especially the music which completely haunts you.
    Joekubrickon February 17, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentRadiohead is one of the best things to happen to music, since the electric gutair.
    sierpon May 07, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI have many things to say about this song. First of all, one thing that most people don't understand is that no one feeling or emotion goes into a song. nor is it common at all for a song to be specifically about one thing. In explaining, a writer usually doesn't cite this fact, but it is true. So this song most likely has multiple meanings on different levels. A big evidence of this is how it changes from a song about "us" to a song about "you". Radiohead has the most difficult to interpret lyrics of any band on the mainstream, especially if you don't fully comprehend the genius of every word. Keep in mind that you won't ever be able to understand the writer's pains and experiences and that most writers will wish for you to at least in some way interpret the song in a way that fits best for you, rather than having an isolated view of it's meaning. That being said, it's about illicit love.
    sundayatnoonon June 22, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this song is so beautiful (like most Radiohead) and it is the perfect song for Romeo & Juliet.
    Hysteriaon April 01, 2005   Link

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