Radiohead Lyrics

Bodysnatchers

I do not
Understand
What it is
I’ve done wrong
Full of holes
Check for pulse
Blink your eyes
One for yes
Two for no

I have no idea what I am talking about
I am trapped in this body and can’t get out
Ooooohhhh

You killed the sound
removed backbone
A pale imitation
With the edges
Sawn off

I have no idea what you are talking about
Your mouth moves only with someone’s hand up your ass
Ooooohhhh

Has the light gone out for you?
Because the light’s gone for me
It is the 21st century
It is the 21st century
It can follow you like a dog
It brought me to my knees
They got a skin and they put me in
They got a skin and they put me in
All the lines wrapped around my face
All the lines wrapped around my face
And for anyone else to see
And for anyone else to see

I’m a lie

I’ve seen it coming
I’ve seen it coming
I’ve seen it coming
I’ve seen it coming

 

SONG INFORMATION

Released: October 10, 2007 digitally, December 3, 2007 CD & Vinyl
Found on: In Rainbows

Bodysnatchers“ is the second track on their 2007 album In Rainbows. The song was released alongside “House of Cards” as a promotional single from In Rainbows in late June 2008.It was also released as a promo single for the album in the United States after the album was released and achieved a Top 10 placing on the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart in that country, going to number eight, their highest charting song on that chart since “Creep” in 1993.

It was recorded in a live take that was made at a dilapidated mansion. Nigel Godrich, the producer of the album, thought that throwing the band into an “uncomfortable” situation would create an interesting atmosphere for the recording sessions, not unlike the OK Computer sessions that took place at the St. Catherine’s Court mansion in Bath. The band lived in caravans surrounding the mansion while the recordings were taking place.

This was recorded at Tottenham House in Wiltshire England, a Grade-I listed building, which dates back to the 1720s. In an interview with the Columbia Daily Spectator November 30, 2007, Ed O’Brien commented on this song: “‘Bodysnatchers’ will always remind us of Tottenham House, a decrepit mansion where we recorded some of the album. This track reflects the weird energy of the house.”

Yorke has described the song as “a little bit like Neu! meets dodgy hippy rock. It sounds like that new Australian band Wolfmother.”. Yorke told the New York Times that “Bodysnatchers” was inspired by Victorian ghost stories, The Stepford Wives and his own feeling of “your physical consciousness trapped without being able to connect fully with anything else.”

In an interview with the New Musical Express December 8, 2007, the interviewer commented that he felt this was the most aggressive sounding Radiohead track to date. Lead singer Thom Yorke replied: “I have this thing… just before I get sick I’ll have this 120 hour hyperactive mania and that song was recorded during one of those. I felt genuinely out of it when we did that. The vocal is one take and we didn’t do anything to it afterwards. We tidied up my guitar because I was so out of it, my guitar playing was rubbish. My best vocals are always the ones that happen there and then.”

Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood debuted “Bodysnatchers” at their gig for The Big Ask Live at London’s Koko (1 May 2006). A full band version premiered on the band’s first date of their 2006 tour at KB Hallen in Copenhagen on 6 May 2006.

Record company ATO Records pushed the song along with the British lead single “Jigsaw Falling into Place” in hopes of being chosen as the band’s US record label, which did indeed work. The song hit number eight on the US Modern Rock chart in February 2008 after receiving airplay since late 2007. The song is increasing its airplay each week through this station, usually being in the top five songs that increased its airplay since the previous week.

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  • bodysnatcher

    don’t they say:
    5th line from bottom:
    “I’m alive”
    and not “I’m a lie”
    please check..

  • meatflake

    It does sound that way, doesn’t it? ”I’m trapped in this body and can’t get out”; “They got skin and they put me in;” “You’re mouth only moves with someone’s hand up your ass,” etc.: Call me crazy, but the lyrics remind me of torture situations wherein a prisoner feels that to confess information (whether he or she has such information or not, whether the information he or she confesses is true or not) is to betray some part of his or her world, hence the sense behind “I’m a lie.” By the same line of reasoning, “I’m alive” makes a lot of sense, too, the prisoner feeling in his or her tortured state and by virtue of extreme pain not much else than alive, his or her state of aliveness implying the intense proximity of death. This is the torturer’s strategy; to sharpen the sense of aliveness so that it becomes the only perceived collateral for the victim. I guess Yorke with his vocal vagueness obscures the difference, that the very fact of being alive in such a situation depends upon a betrayal, no matter how illusory. So, in short, I think he sings both at once.    

  • Matt Casebier

    Still to me this song isn’t ‘aggressive’, but rather frenetic/energetic, and full of pent-up, almost unfocused happiness.

  • Ryan

    Personally, i think it’s “I’m alive” because it goes better with the rest of the lyrics, the title, and the overall lyrical theme of the song.