Radiohead: Lotus Flower Song Meaning and Interpretation

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Lotus Flower is a song by the rock band Radiohead and was released in 2011. In this article, we will look at the possible story behind Lotus Flower. Now, there can be several interpretations and we don’t really know what Thom Yorke was exactly pointing at, however this is my interpretation of the song.

Now, the lyrics go as:


Verse 1

*I will shape myself into your pocket*
*Do what you want*
*Do what you want*

This verse talks about Thom Yorke entering the listener’s life. The listener could possibly be someone special whose life Thom wanted to be a part of. It might be a love interest. Somehow, Thom finds a way to fit in her life. However, he does not have much of a presence and is invisible to her. She does what she wants and in a way Thom is not asking for much from her.


Verse 2

*I will shrink and I will disappear*
*I will slip into the groove and cut me off*
*And cut me off*

Although Thom enters her life eventually, perhaps in the hope of finding something new, he knows that eventually there won’t be much in it for him. He knows that his little presence will shrink even further and eventually he will disappear. So, despite knowing that separation from her is going to cause him distress he cuts himself off from her totally. Most likely, he knows that it is the best move to make for the long run.

Verse 3

*There’s an empty space inside my heart*
*Where the weeds take root*
*And now I’ll set you free*
*I’ll set you free*

Not having her by her side anymore, he feels an empty space inside his heart. So, he could be struggling with the realisation that he does not feel complete. This emptiness causes him despair which is symbolized by weeds taking root. He might be thinking of her maliciously or in general might have a negative perception on love after that. Even though he has been cut off from her life, he hasn’t released her from his mind. Eventually, he realises that he has to let her go meaning that he has to set her free.

Verse 4

*Slowly we unfurl*
*As lotus flowers*
*’Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick*
*Just to see what if*
*Just to see what is*
*I can’t kick your habit*
*Just to fill your fast ballooning head*
*Listen to your heart*

Well, as life goes on both of them grow up to be blooming individuals(not really sure about this interpretation). Later, Thom talks about wanting the moon upon a stick. Perhaps, he could be referring to things that he wants that might not be possible. Thom and his love being together was not going to happen. Maybe, he wanted to see what if they were together or what is it like to be with her. He can’t entertain her enough for her to be satisfied with him. This might be the interpretation of kicking your habit to fill your fast ballooning head.


Verse 5

*We will shrink and we’ll be quiet as mice*
*And while the cat is away*
*Do what we want*

Other lines

*The bird lights float into my room*

*’Cause all I want is the moon upon a stick* *I dance around the pit*
*The darkness is beneath*

Now, eventually their presence in the world will reduce and they will become lowkey like the mice. The cat could refer to the spotlight or perhaps the society which looks out for them. When the society doesn’t interfere they will do as they want. The moon and the bird lights are used to illuminate the room while he dances around the pit as his shadow(darkness) casts beneath.

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