“The Daily Mail” Radiohead Interpretation

For my first blog, I’m going to write about my interpretation and opinions about “The Daily Mail” by Radiohead. After listening to this song MANY times, I broke it down into parts every time. First listening to the song normally, then just the music itself, then with the lyrics, then the full song again. I was very confused at first, because without looking at the lyrics, at some points it is extremely hard to comprehend what Thom Yorke is singing because he is sort of mumbling.

 The song begins with a piano intro, which has a sort of calm and melancholy tone. The song sounds very relaxing, his vocals are very soft and quiet. After listening to the song a bit more, the piano gets louder and somewhat “darker”. Soon after, drums and guitar are introduced. The tone of the song automatically changes, it is somewhat dramatic. Is this done on purpose to put emphasis on the hidden meaning in the lyrics?

 After following the lyrics of the song to get a deeper understanding, my mind is somewhat changed. The mood of the song isn’t so calm after all, it has somewhat of a melancholy feeling to it. After already having previous knowledge that Thom Yorke is heavily active in attempting to make the public aware of certain political, cultural, and social issues, I know this song could not be a love song of any sort.

Thom Yorke begins the song saying “The lunatics have taken over the asylum, waiting on a rapture.” The first things that comes to mind…who could these “insane people” be? What could this asylum symbolize? And what kind of (rapture) joy could these people be waiting for? To understand the connection between the intro’s lyrics, I researched the definition of a rapture and the religious beliefs of Thom Yorke. In the dictionary, there were two meanings. One of which being “delight” and the other being “an experience anticipated by Christians of meeting Christ midway in the air upon his return to earth”. That made me make the connection that someone is standing on a mountain waiting to meet with God. However upon reading that Thom Yorke is not a Christian and supposedly believes in spirituality, those lyrics could not have been religious but had to SYMBOLIZE something, but I have yet to make the connection.

 “We’ll keep your prices down, we’ll feed you to the hounds”. Automatically, I got a sense that this set of lyrics is about the government, but in Thom Yorke’s eyes, it symbolizes an anti-government sort of feel. When “we’ll feed you to the hounds” is stated, I start to believe that maybe that symbolizes that the government will feed us to the hounds when the people have done something wrong. Still, very confused, I continue to analyze this song.

 Next, the song says “you made a pigs ear, you made a mistake”. At first I said, what does a pig’s ear have to do with any of this? Stupid, yes. But I researched and found that “a pig’s ear” symbolizes a mistake. But anyways, “paid off security and got through the gate. You got away with it but WE lie in wait”. I believe these words could symbolize someone maybe going through a metal detector, and getting away with something. Perhaps a weapon, gun, etc.? Yet, the government (“we”) keeps their mouth shut and lies to the public.

“Where’s the truth what’s the use
I’m hanging around lost and found
And when you’re here innocent
Fat chance, no plan
No regard for human life “

 I believe this set of lyrics symbolizes the public’s opinions towards the government on where the actual truth is and what is the use of lying. The people are “hanging around lost” and innocent, yet the government has “no regard for human life” and still continues to find anything negative in these mostly innocent people.

“You’ll keep time, you’ve no right
You’re fast to lose, you will lose
You jumped the queue, you’re back again”

 Once again, this set of lyrics has somewhat of an anti-public sort of feel (from the government’s perspective). “You’ve no right” perhaps could represents the government saying that the people in America have no right and that we will eventually lose. Thom Yorke finishes off the song by summarizing his ideas and station We’ll “jump the queue”, meaning we will figure out something to solve this corruption in government but we will eventually return to where we started.

After fully analyzing the song and its lyrics, I will go back to the introduction. After analyzing this song and stating my opinions, I will go back to the very beginning of the song and say that perhaps the moon on top of the mountain represents the government who is supposedly “on top” of everyone. In addition, the lunatics waiting for a rapture could represent the people (us) waiting for a happy ending or, “rapture”. Now for the music itself and it’s melancholy mood, maybe that could symbolize Thom Yorke’s and the people’s end of hope.


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