Album: Kid A (2000)
Play Video


  • During live performances, Thom Yorke has sung this version of the chorus:
    "You can try the best you can, you can try the best you can. The best you can ain't good enough."
    Suggestion credit:
    Steven - Stockton, CA
  • Yorke revealed in 2003 that the song's chorus ("You can try the best you can. You can try the best you can. The best you can is good enough.") came from words of encouragement he received from his partner, Rachel Owen. He was worried that "nothing we'd done was releasable."

Comments: 6

  • Bodhi from RioI don't get the dinosaurs mentioning, anyone?
  • Josh from Chicago, IlIt's probably just my opinion, but the music (not the lyrics) makes me feel good, cheerful and OPTIMISTIC. Except for 3:09 to 3:16. That part is just plain eerie.
  • Ben from Lexington, KyNot a popular song on Radiohead's live setlists. Still a great song, one of the most conventional on Kid A.
  • Hebrew from St. Paul, MnWhen you rely on men to get your justice, self affirmations are all you are left with, as the only man one can then vaguely trust is self. This song comes off as sad and hopeless because when one seeks justice from men, who are imperfect, and will always let you down, one has no choice but to turn to another imperfect creature to affirm.... Self. What a disappointment. It's like a hole trying to use a hole to fill a hole. How sad. Indeed the best you can isn't good enough.
  • David from Austin, Txin response to dylan's comment and thom yorke singing "the best you can ain't good enough" .. this song always sounded very sarcastic to me. though it was written because thom's girlfriend told him "the best you can is good enough," it seems to me that thom yorke is twisting her words in a sarcastic manner, sort of making fun of the notion that the best you can is good enough to make it in such a cruel world. quite evil, really. of course i could be wrong, but radiohead isn't exactly known for writing optimistic songs.
  • Dylan from New Britain, CtThats funny because when I listen to this song I always feel like saying "The best you can isn't good enough" or that how I wouldve wrote it.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Dennis DeYoung

Dennis DeYoungSongwriter Interviews

Dennis DeYoung explains why "Mr. Roboto" is the defining Styx song, and what the "gathering of angels" represents in "Come Sail Away."

Rock Revenge Songs

Rock Revenge SongsMusic Quiz

John Lennon, Paul Simon and Lynyrd Skynyrd are some of the artists who have written revenge songs. Do you know who they wrote them about?

Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull

Ian Anderson of Jethro TullSongwriter Interviews

The flautist frontman talks about touring with Led Zeppelin, his contribution to "Hotel California", and how he may have done the first MTV Unplugged.

Glen Burtnik

Glen BurtnikSongwriter Interviews

On Glen's résumé: hit songwriter, Facebook dominator, and member of Styx.

Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire

Verdine White of Earth, Wind & FireSongwriter Interviews

The longtime bassist of Earth, Wind & Fire discusses how his band came to do a holiday album, and offers insight into some of the greatest dance/soul tunes of all-time.

Harry Wayne Casey of KC and The Sunshine Band

Harry Wayne Casey of KC and The Sunshine BandSongwriter Interviews

Harry Wayne Casey tells the stories behind KC and The Sunshine Band hits like "Get Down Tonight," "That's The Way (I Like It)," and "Give It Up."