Daydreaming: Thom Yorke’s life, nature, universe

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This story is part of the book:
Mama Mia Let Me Go!
A journey through the most intriguing lyrics and stories in rock music

Buy it on Amazon

Let’s not beat around the bush: Daydreaming, from Radiohead’s album A Moon Shaped Pool, is a masterpiece, full of deep and surprising meanings.

The song is accompanied by a symbolic, poetic video. The protagonist is Radiohead’s lead singer, Thom Yorke. We see him emerging from an intense light that symbolises the place where souls remain. From there, from that initial state of bliss, each of us walks towards a state of being and faces an earthly path.

This goes
Beyond me
Beyond you

Once there, Yorke opens the doors to see what kind of life is waiting for him, what kind of life he chose. He walks once again through the salient moments of his childhood, the hospital that will mark his first years. As a child, Thom Yorke was subjected to various surgeries to correct a congenital paralysis of the left eye. In the first five years of his life, he went through many operations, which would cause partial blindness and a problem with his left eyelid – the same feature that would one day become his unmistakable somatic trait.

Radiohead - Daydreaming

We see different places, different houses, reminding us that the Yorke family never establishes itself in a place for long; something that has created some difficulties with forming new friendships, thus creating an atmosphere of isolation and solitude around Yorke.

You often encounter doors with “Exit” written above, but in his music, we see Yorke take the opposite way every time. He wants to go on, he wants to see, even if certain visions can hurt.

We are
Just happy to serve
Just happy to serve

Then we have some scenes of daily life, people in the laundry, people eating, or at the beach. Then an empty house, a sign of the separation with his wife Rachel Owen, the companion of a lifetime. It was a painful separation that would mark him deeply, something that emerges when you listen carefully to the most recent album. In an emblematic scene, we see a teenager slamming the door on Yorke, as he passes through a hallway. It is a moment that symbolises and recalls his children, who will become more distant towards him after the separation.

Then, suddenly, natural images come into view and elevate the soul to a higher stage of consciousness, recalling the place where everything began, from where the protagonist’s soul took his the first steps. It’s only in nature that we can all find serenity and peace.

The white room
By a window
Where the sun comes through

The verses represent the deep human desire to live immersed and in symbiosis with nature. It is a nature, however, that not even dreamers can protect now, as Thom seems to warn us. His message arrives very directly to us: pollution, climate change, the melting of the polar icecaps. The damage is done.

We never learn
Beyond the point
Of no return
And it’s too late
The damage is done

Then, at last, he falls asleep next to the fire. He saw what life is waiting for him and he acepted it with a smile, because ultimately, every life is chosen by us and it’s there to be lived, along with all the challenges we are supposed to face.

This story is part of the book:
Mama Mia Let Me Go!
A journey through the most intriguing lyrics and stories in rock music

Buy it on Amazon

One comment

  1. Radiohead is one of the greatest rock bands ever.Their work has the same great quality even now ,after 20 years of creation.

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