Album: OK Computer (1997)


  • Regarding the line, "We are standing on the edge," Thom Yorke said: "The history of our times calls to mind those Walt Disney characters who rush madly over the edge of a cliff without seeing it. The power of their imaginations keeps them suspended in mid-air, but as soon as they look down and see where they are, they fall." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    rob - Newport Beach, CA
  • Radiohead recorded this in one day on September 4, 1995. It was originally released on the album Help: A Charity Album For The Children Of Bosnia and was chosen as a single from the album. It was then included on OK Computer. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Radiohead received lots of praise for recording a brand new song for the Help album, but Ed O'Brien later admitted it was because the band were terrible at covers. All five of the band thought this was the best thing they'd done. They were ashamed that the single release flopped and didn't make any money for the charity.
  • "Lucky" was sparked by a weird high-pitched chord Ed O'Brien played on his guitar during a sound check in Japan. The chord can be heard at the beginning of the song when he strummed the strings above the nut on the headstock of his guitar.
  • This was the first song on which Nigel Godrich was billed as co-producer. He became their full time producer on OK Computer and subsequent albums. Thom Yorke later described this track as "the first mark on the wall" for the album.

Comments: 10

  • Matt C from PerugiaI think it all can be seen as a love song, even though the lyrics seems to be open to multiple interpretations (that's what makes this song so powerful!). This song is basically positive as the singer hypothesizes a brighter future ahead, a future in which he is "lucky" ("It's gonna be a glorious day" "I feel my luck could change"). Notwithstanding this, he is now experiencing a sense of alienation ("I'm on a roll"). He does want to escape this poor condition. Alienation is generated by today's society, in which you are just a cog in a ruthless machine; all people are expected to always behave, feel and even think in certain ways and not in others. The singer wants to fight back against this de-humanizing mechanism but he is aware it's not easy ("the head of State has called for me by name, but I don't have time for him"). He realizes that Love is definitely the only thing that can save him. Yeah, it can hurt ("kill me Sarah, kill me again with love"), but the beloved one can also save you. His requests are very clear ("pull me out of the aircrash" "pull me out of the lake"). However, in order to be saved, you don't have to be passive in the process, but rather you must take concrete action ("I'm your superhero"). If love wins against alienation, then "it's gonna be a glorious day "
  • Nati from Buenos Aires, ArgentinaHi everybody! I was just wondering : what 's the connection between this particular song and R.E.M? I ask because Thom dedicates Lucky to REM "who are sitting over there" in a Glastonbury show and also because I saw an old vídeo today and Michael was singing it on stage with the band it was a big surprise! Does anybody know?
  • Gary from UsaThis song is about a guy who is at the moment of death with all these thoughts in his head. He dreams that for a second he can save himself and the others as a superhero. He had no time for the head of state which is g-d. He's not ready for death. In a split second he thinks of all these other scenarios and that his luck may change. But in that split second it's over. His life is on the edge. We are all on the edge of oblivion.
  • Brad from Kansas City, Ksbeautiful guitar outro
  • Garoud from Arica, Chilefirst I MUST say that i hate to do personal comments on a song, and second...if the woman who i'm about to tlak you ever finds out...well I doubt it she doesn't read english.

    My former fiancée was Sarah...she dumped me and about 6 months later she change her mind and try to come back...I refused because I joined the military aviation at that time and said to her: "I'm on a roll"..months latter she tried that time i was really down and blue...and ask her "why do you want me back? to kill me again with love?...
    she used to call me "her superhero", because she said that I remember her of Mr. Incredible (pixar movie)...a month after her last attempt I still was on the blues...and after a call I told her that maybe there was a possibility of getting back...I was leaving the aviation at that time, and I said "I feel my luck could change..."
    but a week later I had an aircraft accident and ended badly wounded in an hospital...where my brother went to see me and brought my favorite album from highschool, OK computer (he actually brought me the Cd we used to listen when we were younger)...and this song...and one day in recovery...listened to it...and for the first time in my life I made the translation while listening... and when the song finished and the nurse came into my room...I was pale white white white...

    pd: she got married, she called me the night before getting married to tell me she still loved me, and that she was going to get married...(...).
  • Jennifer from Belfast, IrelandOne of the best things about the song is the ambiguity. Good lyrics will get the writers point across but allow a bit of room for the listener to get something a bit different from them. I always thought it was about not helping, hoping that someone else will and trying to numb yourself to any feelings of responsibility for what's going on around you. 'The head of state has called for me by name' is like a personal call for each of us to act, and '...but I don't have time for him' is the feeble excuse we all make for not making the effort. 'It's gonna be a glorious day' etc. is both false optimism (the situatution will improve without me having to do anything personally) and a quick change of subject from an uncomfortable topic. There's also the whole idea that we numb ourselves to other people's suffering. 'Kill me Sarah, kill me again with love' makes me think of how we refuse to show real love or compassion for others most of the time because we are so determined to protect ourselves.
  • Wayne from Hudson, Fl"The head of state has called for me by name, but I don't have time for him" part refers to making excuses to avoid something you're afraid of doing, no matter what rewards might come from it. "It's gonna be a glorious day" refers to the false hope you give yourself if you can never overcome that one obstacle. "I feel my luck could change" is the exact same. The chorus ("pull me out of the aircrash, cause I'm your superhero, etc.") represents someone begging for help, but is so stuck on themselves and too stubborn to change that it will never happen. The title sarcastically represents exactly how the character in the song isn't. It's about asking for help because you're too afraid to do something yourself. That and hopelessness.
  • Christine from Sunderland, England"The video is more proof which shows the horrors of children in war, and is a call for us to help." - Jeremy, Shelbyville, KY
    I've never seen the video. This is my favorite radiohead song.
  • Jeremy from Shelbyville, KyI thinks its more about not helping, hence "We are standing on the edge".

    "The head of state has called for me by name
    but I don't have time for him.
    It's gonna be a glorious day!
    I feel my luck could change."

    That passage to me shows that we aren't answering the call because of our excuses that we don't have time and the fact that we are preoccupied with ourselves. The video is more proof which shows the horrors of children in war, and is a call for us to help.
  • Pete from Wheaton, MdThis is one of the more optimistic songs on OK Computer. About getting lucky and being the hero.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Keith Reid of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

As Procol Harum's lyricist, Keith wrote the words to "A Whiter Shade Of Pale." We delve into that song and find out how you can form a band when you don't sing or play an instrument.

Sam PhillipsSongwriter Interviews

Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind - Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand, is a fan.

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the SongSong Writing

How a goofy detective movie, a disenchanted director and an unlikely songwriter led to one of the biggest hits in pop history.

What Musicians Are Related to Other Musicians?Song Writing

A big list of musical marriages and family relations ranging from the simple to the truly dysfunctional.

David Bowie Leads the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired MenSong Writing

Bowie's "activist" days of 1964 led to Ziggy Stardust.