No Surprises Lyrics - Radiohead



Review The Song (149)


A heart that's full up like a landfill
A job that slowly kills you
Bruises that won't heal

You look so tired and unhappy
Bring down the government
They don't, they don't speak for us
I'll take a quiet life
A handshake of carbon monoxide

No alarms and no surprises
No alarms and no surprises
No alarms and no surprises
Silent, silent

This is my final fit, my final bellyache with

No alarms and no surprises
No alarms and no surprises
No alarms and no surprises please

Such a pretty house, and such a pretty garden

No alarms and no surprises (let me out of here)
No alarms and no surprises (let me out of here)
No alarms and no surprises please (let me out of here)




Writer: YORKE, THOMAS / O'BRIEN, EDWARD JOHN / GREENWOOD, COLIN CHARLES / GREENWOOD, JONATHAN RICHARD GUY / SELWAY, PHILIP
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.



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suicidal tendencies | Reviewer: ambiguous lyrics | 1/3/14

The lyrics obviously have different meanings, depending on the people and their mood when listening to it.

It's about resignation and how to handle it. Suicide (a handshake of carbon monoxide, a very common practice to commit suicide) CAN end all those bad feelings, unhappiness and pain. And all that remains is silence.

But I don't think that song stops right there. As some others have mentioned before: this would just be a pittyful end for a wasted life. And that's just a silly and childish behaviour and I think it's not a coincidence this song sounds like a lullaby ...

So I think this song implicitely suggests that you look deeper, actually grow up and change/ stop what makes you dieing long before you have to.

Don't waste your life, make the best out of it.

The System, man. | Reviewer: Yabeen Sees | 1/23/13

I've taken it to mean coming to terms with "the system". To stop rebelling, not just against authority, but against every little thing that annoys you. Not enjoying it, but just giving up and accepting it, because you're really just wasting your time when you try to fight it. You're just one little person, and when all is said and done, it's really not so bad to give in. It seemed obvious to me, but I don't know. I definitely don't think that it's about suicide, though.

oldddd | Reviewer: ULACKsaid | 11/14/12

To the people who say this song is about what?> Death?! It's not about death - it's about putting up with stuff until you don't want to take it anymore. And become melancholically detached from it. If not then you become actually detached. Meaning you solve your problem. It's like saying to yourself 'if it's not going to resolve then it's already resolved because I decided'.

lyrics | Reviewer: aldo | 6/19/12

to me, this song has always been about suicide or dying, but suicide especially... i started to listen to this song while i was getting through a very bad moment of my life, so probably this affected my interpretation to the lyrics, but still...

The Cancer Inside Me | Reviewer: MaraLee | 12/17/11

The album "OK Computer" was the soundtrack to my cancer surgery & treatment. From the perspective of a dying mother w a young child & a husband who is sleeping w a harlot from work, this song was literally what I so desperately longed for... No Alarms and No Surprises.
We lived. I lived. Our daughter turned 18. He left, after lying for 8 years. Now, I'm addicted to my Radiohead, again. It is the only thing that expresses how I feel.
I am old and alone.
But I am alive.

YOU give LIFE meaning! | Reviewer: daryl | 11/12/11

It may be true that a life of security is bland, and
boring. I think that to Thom, security means death..What most fail to see, is we give life its
meaning.. If a person is adventuresome, the most mundane life can be made exciting. Every moment, there are chances to recreate our world...

It's About-What is wrong with you?! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/23/11

The chief amount of reviewers think that this song means, "This is my fit, my final bellyache" means suicide and "Such a pretty house, such a pretty garden" means that everything may look nice, but it all means nothing. Then the reviewers go on to say that life really is meaningless, we will all die, so what's the point? We all have small, insignificant wants and needs, but they don't matter, nothing matters, because in the end, it will all be gone, eventually.
YES, you will probably be gone, this planet will probably be gone, and many, many other things will die. But things will still be created, there will not just be this endless, black void of nothingness. It's almost as if everyone is purposely giving up. This is not meaningless! Our lives, what we do, our choices, what we decide to make of our lives is NOT meaningless. You can choose to sit by and do nothing, to rot your life away and refuse to live a day of your life because nothing will have meaning in the long run, but look at our past hundreds of generations! They didn't just choose to sit down and not progress, or change their environment, or waste away their time. Look at how their choices have impacted us today. Good, bad, or indifferent, they made choices, and we live by many of them. Hundreds of millions of years in the future, will those choices matter? Probably not, but your life is YOUR time, what you do, what you feel, and what you need DOES have meaning because they are yours, and you impact other people. Life is not empty because we inhabit life. Well actually, there would be no life if there were no organisms, so life cannot be meaningly or empty. Do whatever you want with your life, but know that it is not meaningless and empty because there is so much to do and improve and to make, it may not have a very important presence in the far future, but it makes a difference now, it makes meaning now, and you are the key to your own happiness in the present, which is what matters, so don't waste it away.

Light Midnight Opinion | Reviewer: Mauro | 10/3/11

i do not know..but i think you're all right..something has been taken from our lives..the changes we've made in the last few decades have surely changed our society, but after all, we're the same as thousands of years ago..scared and lonely..there's a void we're unable to fill..and that void will always be there, right inside us, awaiting us everytime we stay and think for more than few seconds..
..this song is a lullaby..it drives away my pain..to make space for our common pain..wherever it comes from..i think, it sounds like that song..sweet and sad..like our destiny..

That's what you want | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/4/11

The song is about death about leaving. it is slamming the small wants the small desires that people fill their meaningless existence with. life is empty and meaningless and that life is empty and meaningless is also empty and meaningless. it all chance and circumstance. let your hopes for brighter more meaningful tomorrows die. life is eating fucking shitting sleeping......repeat....repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat. The planet will die we will die before that. all of it will have meant nothing.

Pessimism | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/5/11

The song's literal content is about being desperate to leave the monotony of modern life, but I believe it's also about coming to terms with defeat and finding peace in the fact that you've lost everything. Accepting that in leaving the stresses of urban life, you've doomed yourself to an all-too-similar mediocrity and disconnecting yourself.

Don't submit! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/4/11

My opinion is That the principal message of this song is bot to submit and just live your Life the way you entend it. "bring down the government" and " they don't, they don't speak for us" are prooving it. The gouvernment is toi strict so people can't take advantage from life. Maybe have you realise the american dream, but are you really happy with it? Is it really what you want and need? Would you prefer cash and material possesion to lové and friendship. I finaly think That the real message un this song is just " don't let tour job, tout cash and the american dream ruin your life". Just be happy of what you have and don't try to obtain more... It might slowly kill you...

Don't submit! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/4/11

My opinion is That the principal message of this song is bot to submit and just live your Life the way you entend it. "bring down the government" and " they don't, they don't speak for us" are prooving it. The gouvernment is toi strict so people can't take advantage from life. Maybe have you realise the american dream, but are you really happy with it? Is it really what you want and need? Would you prefer cash and material possesion to lové and friendship. I finaly think That the real

do or die | Reviewer: jones | 5/9/11

Make 1 decision:

Either be a rebel and be poor but have an exciting interesting life OR be well-off with material wealth and have a very boring fake life.

Both options have pros and cons.

As long as you make this decision consciously, life will not be wasted.

Good luck !

9o | Reviewer: Anonymous | 4/21/11

This is all my personal views and ideas, but I don't think the term "no alarms and no surprises" is used in a positive light. Like many other songs on the album, it's about the monotony of modern life. A story about a man who has so much but really has so little. Never taking chances, never ceasing anything in life.

A handshake of carbon monoxide = you are dead

If you sit around all your life with "no alarms" and "no surprises", you are already a dead, shell of a person.

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.


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------ 04/19/2014

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