High And Dry

Album: The Bends (1995)
Charted: 17 78
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  • According to Q magazine April 2008, this delicate acoustic track, which mocks macho vanity, was never intended for the album. Thom Yorke dismissed it as "not bad... it's very bad." Eventually it was included on The Bends because of its presumed commercial appeal.
  • This was originally written by Yorke when he was a student at Exeter University.

Comments: 11

  • 20 from Houston, TxI agree with all of these comments but this is what I think of the song after listening to it for so long. Personally I think its about somebody reaching the breaking point of insanity. "Turning into something you are not" "kill yourself to never ever stop" I believe the song is not from the perspective of the person, yet one of the people closest to them. Leaving them "high and dry" is leaving them without meaning or purpose after reaching that point of insanity. idk but this is just what I thought. I also like the one about popularity. thanks!
  • Adrian from United StatesTo me this song is about a suicidal person (B) from their friend's or close relative's (A) perspective. "Two jumps in a week" to me is about person B's suicide attempts. This guy wants to kill himself so he'll be remembered as he is now, but because of his obsession and infatuation with it, he's losing his sense of self and hating himself for existing, which only fuels his anger and depression. The chorus is person A telling person B not to kill himself and "leave me high and dry". The second verse is person A talking to person B about his mentality. The bridge at the end makes me think that maybe something that drove person B to this state was maybe the ending of a relationship, or "the best thing that you ever had".

    Just my interpretation. I know this song is about Evel Knievel.
  • Cm1000 from Surrey England I’m sure I heard definitively years ago that this was written about motorcycle stuntman Evel Knievel. “Two jumps in a week”, “flying on your motorcycle, watching all the ground beneath you drop”, “kill yourself for recognition”. And “you broke another mirror, you’re turning into something you are not” and “all your insides fall to pieces, your just sitting here wishing you could still make love” are talking about his horrific injuries. Yes, could also have double meanings about daredevil type characters, but clearly written about Evel Knievel.
  • Soul Frequency from CanadaLet it rain...I see the peak! Absolutely love this song.
  • Selky from UsaFor those of you with stereotypical "jo-jobs" you may not realize the strain of those who sacrifice finances (aka indentured servitude), health and sanity to uphold stressful professions (ie: the medical field). To us, this song represents the big "F-U" we so often get for placing our best foot forward to win, lose, or draw in a toe to toe match with God, Mother Nature, AND Fate. Regardless of outcome, we are CONSTANTLY judged for our decisions/actions. Sometimes we are magicians, others- just a pawn in a variable "s--t-show". High and Dry represents a day in the life of helping others and the flack from that...
  • Jeff Ward from Buffalo, New YorkThe song is about Evel Knievel.
  • Ethereal from United States Of America This song is about popularity. About social customs. Being that Thom Yorke was in college when writing this song, this would make the most sense in a contextual environment. This song is basically talking about someone who acts like they’re all that for the popularity, and look so great, but on the inside and in reality thier life is crumbling. High and Dry line is referring to these friends and this lifestyle that betray him at his weakest moments.
  • Aaron from Los Angeles, CaThis song is on two levels the first one is saying that don't leave when i most need you, don't leave me high, and also it is also has an Evel Knievel reference, you'd kill yourself for recognition, you'd kill yourself to never ever stop, thanks!
  • Caroline from Cincinnati, OhI know Thom Yorke doesn't like this song much, but I think it's beautiful.
  • Tam from Guelph, Oni think it could be about a guy that treats his girl like an object, he's selfish and losing control of the reasons he should want somebody not why he has to have them. Not being true and wanting so much recognition when that's not what it's supposed to be, it's for him not the world Saying she needs to speak up when he himself will eventually have nothing to say to anybody himself, those who will do him wrong are those who say too much now, like he himself does, that's why it can be good to listen to what people are really saying and not be overbearing, if you take too much, you're left with nothing
  • Jordan from Toronto, OnI think this is about stupid stunts just for recognition then getting hurt. You can't do anything else ever again but you still live as punishment for your stupidity. You will sit there and regret what you did for the rest of your life praying for people not to leave you "High and dry"
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