Reviews for No Surprises LyricsPerformed by Radiohead
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quiet life in a house with garden , no alarm no surprises | Reviewer: salman | 1/29/08
it's a very beautiful song... sad and desperate
it's like someone with pain that wont heal
he gave up everything in life , he doesnt believe in government
he want to live in such pretty house and pretty garden
take a quiet life... and that house is a grave with garden
( i just looked this beautiful images of graves in a garden)
so beautiful..so quiet.. no alarm and no surprises
<3 | Reviewer: Desiree | 1/25/08
I love this song. I never get tired of hearing it. And it doesn't matter what kind of mood I am in, this song is so sobering and uplifting to me. Justaposition in feelings just like the lyrics are to the music, imho.
I just appreciate life a bit more everytime I listen. I appreciate the little things that make my life great. That's what it means to me.
my final bellyache | Reviewer: Ann | 1/23/08
this is such a pretty song. I think it's about choosing to dye and beind peaceful with it.
the first verse [before death] details the trouble that comes with being alive.
"You look so tired-unhappy...they don't speak for us" is what people tell him - that's how they cope with being unhappy, they find something to live for, something to fix. he says he has no need for that. he's not like the rest of them. all he wants is quiet(death - carbon monoxide)
"This is my final fit,
my final bellyache" - committing suicide (or maby writing this song) is he's last ordeal. [just before]
"Such a pretty house
and such a pretty garden." - after. that's what people would say about him, that his life where so nice and normal. just like in the first verse, they wouldn't understand.
it's a sad song but kind of optimistic in my opinion
no surprise this song is so good | Reviewer: omegatux | 1/22/08
To me this song is about giving up on life an all of it's bullshit, when he talks about the house & garden I think he means that
there's more in life than material things.
the guy feels he has such a miserable life that nobody will get alarmed or surprised when he's gone
I'll take a quite life | Reviewer: Alexander (Laika) | 1/21/08
I think all the reviews so far have helped me make sense of the song. I relate to it in terms of my own desire to live the idealistic life that I envisaged when I was a kid. But having set out to climb that mountain only to fall back down to earth, having "loved and lost" etc... Perhaps I'll take a quite life instead. I dont want anymore alarms or surprises. Perhaps I'll take up smoking again because I used to enjoy it even though they will kill me sooner than otherwise and I wont be able to see my pretty house and garden... but I dont care about that anymore, cos I want out. I didn't ask for any of this. I'll take a quite life from now.
Such a pretty house and such a pretty garden | Reviewer: Iggy | 1/19/08
For me this song's lyrics looks like the first part is describing life like how it is nowadays, and saying that in despite of everything i still take a quiet life, no matter how much CO (carbon monoxide) i have to breathe anyways.
Nothing's a surprise, no need to alarm about nothing.
And the part "Such a pretty house and such a pretty garden" it's like when you're writing a song, said everything you wanted, and suddenly the true inspiration comes, you realize how life is beautiful, and stay without words to describe it. It's when you come with those lines that it seems like no one can understand, like "can't no one see that this house is so pretty? And this graden?"
I can't stop playing it on the guitar.
. | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/13/08
To be honest, I think that the song is beautiful but that it doesnt matter too much about what the songs original meaning was. It has a personal meaning to myself and I think thats what musics about...To create your own unique meaning...or...I could just be talking baws!
However..Radiohead are amazing..and just..very influential =]
Suicide? | Reviewer: way out | 1/8/08
It’s all about hunger and government trying to pull their plans out of life of the people ("This is my final fit, my final bellyache"). It's about different types of person feeling the same in their own country. It’s about being tired of the same old stuff, the same tricks that are always performed. Try to relate electioneering with this one and you could have an idea. I think it has nothing to do with suicide; it has a meaning of rebellion and own ideal.
No Surprises | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/8/08
I think a lot of people try to analyze lyrics for exactly what they mean and in my opinion that's part of what makes music great. At the same time, it doesn't matter what the song was written about, it's more about how the song relates to you. To me, No Surprises is simply about getting away from everything and living a simple life, something that I think a lot of people want to do, including me. Why do I need a garden or anything material? What is the significance of that? I just want a quiet life, like the song says.
I love this song, and pretty much all Radiohead because their music is so well written and I can relate to most of the songs.
I'll Take a Quiet Life | Reviewer: Danae | 1/9/08
Sorry in advance for quoting most of the song in my interpretation of it. No,this isn't really a review, but good point MIXER.
First- this is among the most beautifully sad songs I know. Doubly so because of it's upbeat sound (which allows the lyrics to sneak up on you).
I get the feeling that it sets up the situation. The first three lines illustrate WHY a person would "look so tired-unhappy".
I think that the government part is saying that there's no point in maintaining society for him, personally. "I'll take a quiet life".
It sounds like a song about a person who's so damaged that all they can handle is a life with "no alarms, and no surprises".
Separate from the rest of the lyrics in the song, I think that "such a pretty house, such a pretty garden" have a separate meaning as well. It's like a sidenote, where the meaning is in the tone. It's as though he's repeating what he hears bitterly. Where what others say as compliments are small jabs for him- It doesn't matter how nice his house is, he's dying on the inside, and no one can see that.
Those two lines are my favorite part, something about the utter agony in which they're sung. . .
Even the plea for a quite life. . he knows that it's futile. . .
It's not an exact "hey, I wanna kill myself". . .
but death seems like the only option.
who cares? | Reviewer: MIXER | 12/28/07
Since when did reviews try and nail down the precise meaning of a lyric? Unless Thom Yorke himself steps up and explains exactly what inspired the song, and what all the references mean, it's a fairly pointless exercise. Anyone who's ever written a song knows that they're rarely explicit or literal. They are fed by the imagingation; the melody or the structure dictate certain lines or images to the writer, seeking the right fit; and a whole other load of factors mean that it's foolhardy to approach the lyrics as though they are any kind of absolute statement, whose meaning can be fully grasped. That's not what art is about.
Having said that, reading over the first handful of 'reviews' here (more like lyrical exegesis) then it sounds like you're all on the right track. But my point is, even if one of you nails it, precisely and utterly, where does that leave you? It says nothing that the song doesn't already say better.
I wanted to say the song is haunting and beautiful, and one of my favourites by Radiohead. And that's about it. I love listening to it.
my final bellyache | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/13/07
usually I am confused about everything
but I think this lyrics is about people that are bored with their life. and even though they might have their house and their and a garden they still want to commit suicide... maybe it isnt about that at all, but thats how my life is and I want to go back to the days I was a kid... I hate this house its a prison to me :)
is all about consume | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/30/07
"such a pretty house and such a pretty garden" many people think that to be someone in life you gotta have a nice house, a nice car, maybe a dog and a great job. I think this part refers to those people. !obviously you dont need any of those things!
no surprises | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/27/07
It seems to me it's about suicide- "a handshake of carbon monoxide" "no alarms and no surprises" -meaning a silent death (such as inhaling carbon monoxide) and "get me out of here." It could just be about bloated ideals that are never fufilled and giving up as Alex said.
A heart that's full up like a landfill | Reviewer: laserblack | 11/24/07
like that guy on 20/11/2007 said: "feeling weighted down, almost out of breath despite the jingle like melody. Like a musical Brutus smiling music can conceal the knife aimed at your guts."
i'm not a huge fan of radiohead generally, but this song is touched by genius somehow
for me its about that point you get to in your life when you wonder if your fight against the hypocrites, the liars, the powers that be, is basically self-defeating as it starts to take toll on you and only serves to make you unhappy. maybe its better to just get on with your life now - take the carbon monoxide handshake... shut it out - let your brain become numb and this (album?) will be my "final bellyache" my last statement about the status quo.
"bring down the government" sounds to me almost like a self-depreciating joke as no one ever brought down a government. take the quiet life instead, no alarms no suprises. let my house and my garden become my preoccupation.
but of cousre, you cant switch off... the anger and a sense of unfullfillment remains, maybe even boredom comes in, as the song finishes with the main vocal sings "no alarms & no suprises" while the backing sings "get me outta here". but to me overall it has a way of saying the unsayable with the music - than it does by lyrics alone... something unresolved. its an awesome song.
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