Reckoner Lyrics - Radiohead

Review The Song (7)

You can't take it with you
Dancing for your pleasure

You are not to blame for
Bittersweet distractors
Dare not speak its name
Dedicated to all human beings

Because we separate
Like ripples on a blank shore
In rainbows
Because we separate
The ripples on a black shore

Reckoner, take me with you

Dedicated to all human beings

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Wow.... | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/11/11

This song is just incredible... I only started listening to radiohead at the start of 2011 but i'm already hooked and i have to say this is my favourite song by far. A lyrical masterpiece... Well done Thom.

Godly | Reviewer: David Rauscher | 5/25/10

Honestly, I only recently got into Radiohead as a whole, though I had enjoyed their sound, but when I first heard In Rainbows, there were four songs that I considered superior, as a group. One stood out from the others though. Reckoner kicked off this so called "Core Four" that is the literal core of the album, Reckoner, House of Cards, Jigsaw Falling into Place, and Videotape. These four songs run the gambit of the sounds Radiohead has truly perfected, but Reckoner was something like I had never heard before, the guitar line was gorgeous, the use of extra percussion along with a very soothing drum line, and to top it off, Thom Yorke's amazing voice. Reckoner is one of a very select few songs I listen to almost daily, and when I hear it once, I play it back two or three times in a row, just to get the full effect. I walk to music too, and Reckoner is one of like, four songs that I can't walk to the beat of, because I am trying to walk to like 4 things at once, and nothing clicks. I love this song.

too good | Reviewer: allineed | 7/23/09

When i first heard the intro to this song i knew that i was in for something special, and with radioheads track record what else could i expect? But what i heard completely blew me away. Reckoner is the single most beautifull song i have ever heard. This song is perfectly tailored to Thom's voice, Thom has always given incredible vocal performances on radioheads songs, hear: There There and You and Whose Army? but to me this song is the song that Thom's voice absolutuely peaks, and not to mention that Thom guides us into the song with the most beautifull guitar riff. Radiohead are quite possibly the most talented band out there wheather it be Thom's voice that i can not get enough of or johhny not trying to upstage anyone with his playing and giving each song exactly what it needs to make it timeless. Radiohead are absolutely essential to anyone considering...... LIVING

One of the best... | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/13/09

What a hard claim to justify when there is so much Radiohead to take into account. The atmosphere created in this song truly rivals that of Nice Dream Street Spirit and so on. Radiohead don't know how to stop.

Golden Ratio of "In Rainbows / Reckoner" | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/15/08

In Rainbows is 42m 34s, or 2554 seconds long. 2554/1.618 is the 1578th or so second of the album, which is 2m49s into Reckoner, precisely when the strings come in with the album title.

This song is a masterpiece. It is so incredibly beautiful it almost brings me to tears every time I listen to it.

Ditto | Reviewer: Nicole | 1/30/08

Absolutely it was intended.

I loved your review. Radiohead is always brilliant. This album is a masterpiece.


Thank you for the musing for sure. After reading, it really hit me. I am listening with a whole new mindset.

Literary connections | Reviewer: Michael Young | 1/25/08

I am stunned by the depth and artistry of Radiohead’s music and lyrics. My background is literary and so I keep finding or making literary associations with their songs and perhaps they are intended. For instance, Reckoner keeps reminding me of a line from the opening of Book II from Goethe’s Faust, “Life is not light but the refracted color.” The meaning is that life is not pure but mixed, like rainbows. Radiohead’s album title, “In Rainbows,” and this song from which it comes, suggest there are deals made, and reckonings to be made by the life we live and these deals mean we live multiple lives, not a singular or pure one. Thus, as the song, Reckoner, says, “Because we separate like/ripples on a blank shore.” That is to say, we fragment and in the fragmentation make and are “in rainbows.” We are clothed and bathed in the colors of life. This is the exit door from the moral dilemmas that would condemn us to hell for the choices we make, the inflexible codes that demand we live an impossibly pure life. It is redemption and is similar to the redemption of Faust at the end of the story, at least in Goethe’s version. Interestingly, the song preceding this one is currently called “Faust Arp.” This further leads me to think it was intended. And Mephistopheles, shows up in, “Videotape,” which interestingly enough is a song about a kind of redemption. The album has the vague structure, to me, of the Faust story.

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