2+2=5 Lyrics - Radiohead

Review The Song (62)

(We're on. Thats a nice way to start Jonny)

Are you such a dreamer
To put the world to rights
I'll stay home forever
Where two and two always makes a five
I'll lay down the tracks
Sandbag and hide
January has April showers
And two and two always makes a five
It's the devil's way now
There is no way out
You can scream and you can shout
It is too late now
Because you're not there
Payin' attention
Payin' attention
Payin' attention
Payin' attention
yeah I feel it, I needed attention
Payin' attention
Payin' attention
Payin' attention
Yeah I need it, I needed attention
I needed attention
I needed attention
I needed attention
Yeah I love it, the attention
Payin' attention
Payin' attention
Payin' attention
Soon oh
I try to sing along
But the music's all wrong
Cos I'm not
Cos I'm not
I'll swallow up flies?
But like flies the bugs keep coming back
But I'm not
Oh hail to the thief
Oh hail to the thief
But I'm not
But I'm not
But I'm not
But I'm not
Don't question my authority or put me in the box
Cos I'm not
Cos I'm not
Oh go up to the king, and the sky is falling in
But it's not
But it's not
Maybe not
Maybe not

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George Orwell | Reviewer: JGreenwood | 12/19/13

2+2=5 is a reference to George Orwell's "1984", I think in this it symbolises the ability of the press and those in power to influence what and how we think. It's like a kind of exageration to the extent of pure totalitarianism that you see in "1984". Apparently Thom has said that it contains refences to "Dante's inferno". The thing I love about Radiohead's lyrics though are that they can be interpreted in so many ways, even though they mean a specific thing to Thom they might mean some other totally valid thing to me or you.

Apocalypse nuts | Reviewer: Anhaedra | 5/19/13

It's about apocalypse nuts and their false reasoning and empty threats.

"Go and tell the king that the sky is falling in when it's not."

"I'll stay home forever where two and two always makes up five."

"It's the devil's way now, there's no way out, it's too late now, because you have not been paying attention."

1984 | Reviewer: English Student | 4/27/13

I believe this song is a reference to the book 1984 by George Orwells, as many previous comments have said. 2+2=5 is a quote from the book, and an important one at that, when the main character succumbs to the brain washing of the government in Oceania's dystopian society. It refers to 'double-think', when people will contradict their own thoughts to believe in another. They will believe whatever the goverment tells them, even if they said the opposite yesterday. That is why, if they say 2+2=5, then it must. The lyrics show confusion that is experienced in the book

Lyrics Correction | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/9/13

It's "because you have not been/payin' attention (x4)/you have not been payin' attention/payin attention (x3)/ you have not been payin attention" and so on. It's not I need attention.

and it's "i swat at them like flies but like flies the buggers keep coming back" and "go and tell the king the sky is falling in"

Light | Reviewer: Some John | 12/28/12

Everyone has the right to give an opinion, opinion's are great, but who made the song, made it with a certain objective. If I write a beautiful poem and you read it, you could say it's beautiful and it means something to you in your own way. That's great, but doesn't mean much to me, I wrote it to describe a certain aspect of my life, I wrote it to for example, teach something to nowadays youth, and you still didn't get it. It was created with that purpose, you can think and interpret all you want, but you'll never know the truth if you don't know the poem's purpose.

Blow up the outside world | Reviewer: Brandin | 10/9/12

Loved this song when I first heard it, and still do hence why I decided to look up the lyrics. Not sure if all the band members contributed to the trippy wordplay but they appear to be of like minds. But Let's face it, Thom is the dark horse and the words he reels off don't exactly conjure up thoughts of love & joy & wondrous things. It could be likened to 'Archives of Pain' or Layne Staley's stark vision turned reality 'Hate to Feel'. But really this song is more a combination of Kafka meets Sartre, i.e locking yourself away from a world you despise or can't assimilate with therefore losing yourself within yourself and becoming a hero of a war inside your own mind. It's where Psychosis and delusions collide. Once there you're caught, trapped somewhere between a vague sound and recurring nothingness. My stomach does flutter while butterflies stir, an unknown memory. Here are some examples; "It's a jungle out there". "I spend time searching my mind, walking blindly. I'm alive but I don't know why, my thoughts plague me". "Don't place faith in material things, material things will fail you". "Society is a hole". "It's always they that are dying, but now it's we that's dying, so sooner comes the trying, to understand what loss could weigh". "I cannot move, I cannot grow, I cannot feel my age". "Out of sight, out of mind, you can see but you're now blind". "I Know I'm headed for the Bottom but I'm riding you all the way". "You are not dead, you never existed". "You know where you are? You're in the jungle, baby, You're gonna die! "Time is running out", "...and flowing like a river on & on to the sea til it's gone forever" Cut to the chase... Interpreting lyrics is an exercise in pure futility. Full Stop. Just focus on the music. Hope I proved my point. Thanks for reading.

1984, guise pls. | Reviewer: Justin | 7/14/12

This is based off 1984 by George Orwell, Yorke has said as much previously. 2+2=5 is part of the torture that the protagonist experiences in room 101, where anyone can be made to believe anything. January has April showers is the doublethink, whereby Big Brother's word is law, and part of the Ministry of Truth's job, whereby Eurasia might be at war with Eastasia now, but wasn't it just Oceania a week ago? If one reads 1984, then it is easy to notice the similarities. Also recommended: "The Resistance - 1984: A Space Rock Opera" by Muse. Same book.

whats the big deal? | Reviewer: anon | 5/22/12

Lilydo, maybe people might like to give their opinions regarding the song, not just Thom's. The world would be a very boring place without opinion, reflection and viewpoints - and ironically, that's what this song regards. Touche.

perception | Reviewer: Jake | 4/21/12

The song is about perception.You can relate it to any kind of perception: love, health,society, politics ... it's about understanding and perceiving things , and the way you react to it(how york would react to it)

All is wrong with the world. | Reviewer: Alex | 10/26/11

To me, this song is all about whats wrong with the world, and what is messed up about it. Hence 2 + 2 = 5 and January has April showers and its the Devil's way now. the January April thing could actually be a reference to global warming. I course, its just a song, maby just about a parallel world that actually is scrwed up or something idk.

Also, Tony, wtf where did that come from??? Your messed up man.

Thom was a psychoanalyst | Reviewer: Tony | 10/15/11

This song is obviously about children playing with their parents. If you dissect a frog, you will find secrets. Penises, when counted, sum to 5. Penises in both hands and your moms mouth, always sum to 5. If you have two penises, and you combine two penises to that, you have five penises. Your mother contributes one. It's science.
I'm not gay or anything, but I think gay sex is nice. My father used to rape our pets.

??? | Reviewer: lilydo | 10/11/11

Guys, Poetry is smth very personal & his interpretation so subjective.. So, instead of spitting on Gloria foR thinking differently than you (maybe becoz being girls, we have another sensitivity to the world..), well you could try to understand her point of view too, no? I think only Thom yorke could give you the real interpretation of his lyrics, and pretending to know better what they mean isn.t respectful either for the author, Thom, or gloria who only tried to show you guys that you aren.t in Thom.s head to know what he meant & your interpretations ARe only yours, subjective, not an absolute truth & she.s right! Poetry is music, first of all, the meaning comes after.. Maybe thom has been inspired by those books or maybe just by his own life experience.. Probably even him could not explain every details of the song.. Freedom of expressi├Ân is important & Radiohead have always said it in their songs.. So if you like the band, respect the other fans too, to respect Radiohead.s spirit! xx

Share of thoughts... | Reviewer: chernobyl | 10/2/11

This is definitely related to Orwell's 1984 (highly recommended to read, if it's legal to even own in your country). What's really awesome is it begins w/ static in a control system (thought police monitoring)and radiohead makes clear statements of the screwed up totalitarian world. As the song continues what they say become more and more contradictory, ending w/ a maybe not, suggesting that the thought police have once again taken over (doublethink). Gotta understand the backgrounds, study the text, then study the music =) Advice for understanding any kind of music from a music student >) So much to say on this song! The different sections and meter and harmonization and change of vocals and emotions w/ the words (desparateness w/ falsetto at the last section); love it!

Love them since Creep | Reviewer: Gloria | 8/8/11

Mr Beefy first and Clay then, First of all I apologize if my opinion was offensive to you.This is your point of view but in my opinion you both have gone to far by assume that I don't care about Radiohead lyrics and stuff like that and it has been offensive to me because I love Radiohead as much as you probably do and of course I do care about their lyrics, what I just tried to say in my post is that some of the people here are to much fixed on it but it was just my opinion, I am sorry again.

understanding lyrics | Reviewer: Clay | 7/6/11

yeh the old hippy adage- just listen to the music play and everything will be peachy. i remember the first time i actually listened to and comprehended radioheads lyrics. it put me into my first bad trip. radiohead is a deep band that needs to be listened to and understood. the music will take on a whole new meaning and the sounds will sound much better and more profound if you take some time to listen to thom yorke. he'll show you the dark side. i dont think you're ready gloria, one day youll listen and you might not like what you hear.

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