“Fake Plastic Trees” by Radiohead

“Fake Plastic Trees” is Track 4 from Radiohead’s 1995 Album, The Bends. The Bends is my Favorite Radiohead Album, always has been, always will be. It holds so many personal memories attached to it.

It was the third single to be released from that album in the UK, but in the US, it was released as the band’s first single from the album. Fake Plastic Trees marked a turning point in the band’s early career, moving away from the grunge sound of their earlier hit single Creep. (from Wikipedia)

Songs like this one are the reason I love The Bends so much. Though I will readily admit that I do not understand every Lyrical refrain in the Song, the feeling, and those ending lines, hit so deeply that I almost always end up in tears when I play it. There is something in that plea, in that wish, in that wanting to be what someone else wants that feels so desperate, raw, and heartbreaking – and yes, relatable – because haven’t we all felt that way before? Wanting to be the right person for someone, but never making the cut?

What a lonely feeling that is.

“Fake Plastic Trees” by Radiohead
from the Album, The Bends (1995)

“If I could be who you wanted,
If I could be who you wanted,
all the time.”

In 1995, when The Bends, and “Fake Plastic Trees” came out I certainly was feeling those not good enough sentiments in an overwhelming way. I can remember wanting someone so badly, but feeling so far less than what they would ever want. Instead of pushing through I ran fast in the opposite way. I ran and hid in the arms of someone I didn’t really want.

The unfortunate reality was this – I was wrong. I was what the person wanted, just as much as I’d wanted him. But, because I ran away from it I never got to know how we could have been together. Self-esteem, what a fucking mess it can make us when we lean too far into that low end of self-worth. Instead of heartbreak, I was left with the weight of a “what if” regret to carry around with me.

What a lonely feeling that is.

Regardless the painful memory this song evokes, I still love it. Sometimes I need to feel it. Sometimes we all do. Right?

“Fake Plastic Trees” (live, Glastonbury 2003) by Radiohead

Radiohead Fake Plastic Trees Song of the Day

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