Reviews for No Surprises LyricsPerformed by Radiohead
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No alarms and no surprises please | Reviewer: Niall Davies | 3/8/11
this song is actually about having a simple life, with like he says, no alarms and no surprises.
The handshake of carbon monoxide is what you get from your car every day,
the song is about being left on your own to be free in life, and not told what to do. No alarms and no surprises.
not quite | Reviewer: Idontthink sotim | 3/7/11
"c'mon, its about suicide"
yes that LINE is about suicide, that's a very 2 dimensional view of the lyrics however, which you shouldn't do with radiohead.
The song is a social commentary about the way we live our lives. He is insinuating that our lives are wasted and we give up any sense of excitement or achievement for safety "no alarms and no surprises please" and that our personal achievment "such a pretty house, and such a pretty garden" (which he seems to say ironically) are essentially moot, considering the fact that our lives are made up of pointless nowhere jobs (that slowly kill you) and that essentially by conforming, we are letting ourselves slowly and quietly die (a handshake of carbon monoxide)
c'mon, its about suicide | Reviewer: ptrflrs | 2/28/11
have to agree w/jenni:
"I'll take a quiet life
A handshake of carbon monoxide"
I'm not sure what u guys are reading but i bet ur exremely optimistic. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of petrol combustion engine and exits from ur car's tailpipe and kills you silently by putting u into an unrecoverable sleep.
"This is my final fit, my final bellyache" more hints here accentuating finality, death.
Choose Life! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/27/11
How the hell is having a nice house and garden a waste of your life? I bet Tom (er, I mean Thom) Yorke has a fucking nice house and garden and every other member of Radiohead. Hey, maybe the song is autobiographical? As for all the sad stoners wanking off on here about falling for the 'American Dream' enjoy your tin pot BA Hons degree course while it lasts, I've heard call centre work is really shit. Seriously, the crap these guys talk is just cover for their own failure or fear of it. Most Stoners I know never travel anywhere or do anything exciting, preferring to spend their benefits in the same boozer night after night. Still I suppose it's better than the gutter where they eventually end up. Great song, though.
Such a pretty house | Reviewer: Tom | 2/7/11
My interpritation of the lyrics has always been about the moment when someone wakes up a realizes they have waisted their life.
"Such a pretty house and such a pretty garden" being the cries of someone who ultimatly feels thuroughly bored with life after chaising what they were "supposed" to have done and ultimatly finding it unfulfilling.
"No alarms and no suprises" being a sort of tongue in cheek assessment of the life they have ended up with.
It is of my opinion that certainly by this album Thom had moved on from school boy poetry about suicide and was writing social commentry. Links in nicely with sonme of the other interpritations regarding government and bland politics too. I find this song terifying.
Please | Reviewer: Bruno | 2/5/11
This song needs no explanations
Everything is there
It talks about life
How to live
How to take the easy way and get into the american dream, and how that stuff kills you with fucking regular life and fellings
It's perfect, as Fake Plastic Trees
No Surprises | Reviewer: sandra | 11/10/10
The way I see it is that this song is about having bad luck,like when he says 'No alarms and no surprises,please' ,I think he's saying that he's not surprised by anything that happens to him anymore,my favorite line is 'Such a pretty house and such a pretty garden' because he wishes he had luck or a better life,like someone else does :]
Another interpretation | Reviewer: Aaron Bang | 10/28/10
I think this song is about how political apathy and a lack of involvement in your government means that you can't really complain about the state our current government/economy/ state of the world is in. I think they're saying that most of us are content to bury our heads in the sand, to "take the quiet life with no surprises". It's like the system is designed to wear you down until you don't even WANT to fight for things that should be morally reprehensible. We'd rather have a life with no alarms and no surprises.
The point of view from major depression | Reviewer: Jenni | 10/13/10
It is so obviously a beautiful ballad to finally being free of a horridly mediocre and painful existence- th freedom of a peaceful suicide. Take the first lines: "A heart that's full up like a landfill, a job that slowly kills you, bruises that won't heal". - So you look at life, and this is your existence. All the emotional garbage, the hurt, letdowns, heartbreak, loss and misery that are incredibly powerful toxins just bursting from your heart- too much damage done to ever get right (hence the "bruises that won't heal"). "Being sown the government, they don't speak for us" I believe is a metaphor for no one truly understanding this misery, and bitterness at the world for the pain you're in now. While day in and day out, you're going to work, putting on that facade that everything is okay cuz you have to, doing what ya gotta do to exist as a human. But that's stealing all of your time, leaving you not even a MOMENT to try to get your head together, leaving you with no choice but a slow death (especially emotionally) in the grind. One day, you really look in the mirror and truly realize- you're so tired-unhappy, this will never end and you just can't take it anymore. Enter the "handshake of carbon monoxide", the eternal sleep, quiet and uneventful, just like the rest of your mundane existence. It just ends, no alarms and no surprises. There's no more pain, just "silence, silence". A death like this would be the "final fit, my final bellyache"... No more mental racket, it all just ends. "get me outta here". And as you drift off into that final, beautiful sleep (hence the lullabye tone of the song), you realize that the entirety of your pathetic existence came down to "such a pretty house and such a pretty garden". It wasn't enough to keep you going. No alarms and no surprises, please. Sounds beautiful to me.
my interpretation | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/11/10
I feel this song is in most respects pretty straight forward when it comes to the lyrics.
his heart has been all the way filled up with garbage hence the landfill. A lot of the things that are in his or her's heart are not all bad. just old and have lost the value they once had. But the heart is filled so there is no room left for anything new, Too old to make room for anything.
I also feel the handshake of carbon monoxide is talking about cigarettes. Just a quite but deadly way to get over all of the stress of the job that slowly kills him/her.
I also like the Carbon monoxide being about suicide. And the no alarms and no surprises is pretty much just saying he/she wants one moment in their life without them. just to sit back and not have to worry about anything. And slowly fade into nothing without someone or something wanting or complaining or telling them how to be or what to do like the government or the job that kills them.
And the pretty house and pretty garden seems to be what most people can show for their whole lives. Which in itself is depressing.
It is a beautiful song but I can hardly listen to it because I had a panic attack while listening.
No Surprises | Reviewer: Karen | 9/20/10
This song has nothing to do with any episode of House. Thw song was written long before that episode was aired. And i doubt radiohead, being the anti-pop-culture group that they are, would ever write FOR a television show.
and wikipedia is highly unreliable. I would suggest, if you insist on looking for further meaning rather than accepting the song for the beauty that it is, that you look on their official websites. Also, it is unlikely that you will actually find the accurate meaning. Thom Yorke laughs at those who do. They only write for their own pleasure. And he never gives a straight answer when directly asked about lyrics.
No Surprises | Reviewer: Please | 9/16/10
I'm not so sure it is talking about suicide. I believe he's now middle age, all life sorted out, with a 'Such a pretty house and such a pretty garden', which in reality lacks importance in our lifes. When we are teenagers we just think about changing the world. Later on we realize that changing your own lifes is difficult enough to even bother about the rest. Carbon Monoxide is in my opinion refered to how life kills you silently, without you even noticing. Therefore he only asks his final favor, 'no alarms and no surprises please', probably the ones that made him those 'bruises that won't heal'.
Ode to Middle age suicide | Reviewer: Elbatcho | 9/11/10
This song really covers the feeling you get when you hit middle age and all your grand views have faded and left you, and one morning you turn around and your mowing grass in the burbs wondering how you got here. You just accept this is life, with no alarms, no surprises. This song truly speaks to the suffocation of getting older, and the suicide of your beliefs just to join the middle class.
Handshake of Carbon Monoxide | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/10/10
Carbon Monoxide or else CO is often referred as the silent killer..
it's a highly toxic and lethal gas that doesn't have a smell or colour and when you a breath a whole bunch of it you die of asphyxia
so i can pretty much assume that this song is talking about leaving this boring life with a silent death...no surprises..
Handshake of Carbon Monoxide | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/17/10
In contrast to other interpretations posited, I think that a 'handshake of carbon monoxide' may refer to some kind of unsatisfying corporate job, particularly because this is contextualised by the previous line 'I'll take a quiet life'.
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