Hearing Damage – The Resonance of Dissonance in Modern Life

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Thom Yorke's Hearing Damage at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Primal Cry within ‘A tear in my brain’
  5. The Beauty in Devotion: ‘You can do no wrong’
  6. The Hidden Meaning Behind ‘The drunken salesman’
  7. The Ominous Echo of ‘Your speakers are blowing’
  8. Memorable Lines: The Duality of Desire in ‘You wish you felt better’


A tear in my brain
Allows the voices in
They wanna push you off the path
With their frequency wires

And you can do no wrong
In my eyes
In my eyes
You can do no wrong
In my eyes
In my eyes

The drunken salesman
Your hearing damage
Your mind is restless
They say you’re getting better
But you don’t feel any better

Your speakers are blowing
Your ears are wrecking
Your hearing damage
You wish you felt better
You wish you felt better

You can do no wrong
In my eyes
In my eyes
You can do no wrong
In my eyes
In my eyes
In my

In my eyes
In my eyes
In my eyes

Full Lyrics

Thom Yorke, the enigmatic frontman of Radiohead and a musical prophet of the modern age, presents us with a chilling soliloquy in his evocative track, ‘Hearing Damage.’ The song, which finds its place in the liminal spaces of electronica, etches into the mind a narrative of auditory decay paralleled with the madness of existence.

In an era where sound oft becomes noise and clarity is muddled by the disarray of daily life, ‘Hearing Damage’ resonates with a singular question: What are we allowing to penetrate our thoughts, and at what cost? This intricate weave of techno beats and introspective lyrics provides listeners a canvas to reflect on their interaction with the world and its cacophony.

The Primal Cry within ‘A tear in my brain’

As Yorke ushers us into his introspective realm with the opening line, ‘A tear in my brain,’ we are thrust into the vulnerability of the human psyche. It’s this tear, this breach, that becomes the gateway for external forces to seep in, depicted by ‘the voices.’ These are not just auditory hallucinations but a metaphor for the societal pressures that incessantly tug at the fringes of our mental sanctums.

The ‘frequency wires’ are symbolic conduits of influence and manipulation, questioning the struggle of retaining autonomy in one’s path amidst the barrage of expectations and opinions that aim to push us off course. This struggle ripples through Yorke’s delicate composition, unsettling yet utterly captivating.

The Beauty in Devotion: ‘You can do no wrong’

In a stark contrast to the disquietude, Yorke’s refrain, ‘You can do no wrong / In my eyes,’ offers a haven of unconditional acceptance. There’s a raw, almost spiritual devotion here, a sanctuary away from the clamor that seeks to disorient. This line encapsulates a form of purity amid the chaos—a sentiment that connects deeply with the yearning for connection and understanding.

Is this refrain addressed to another, or a poignant self-assurance? Yorke leaves that deliberately ambiguous, allowing the listener to seek out their own subject of faultless perception, be it self-love or love for another that transcends the imperfections imposed by the external world.

The Hidden Meaning Behind ‘The drunken salesman’

Yorke’s cryptic reference to ‘The drunken salesman’ serves as a stark emblem of indulgence and misinformation. Salesmen peddle dreams and promises, often founded more in fiction than fact, and our protagonist here is inebriated, perhaps by his own trickery. This persona embodies the modern day purveyor of noise, the relentless marketer of a lifestyle or product that leads to ‘hearing damage.’

There’s a moral vertigo at play, highlighting the consequences of succumbing to these sweet-nothings that breach our ‘eargates.’ Yorke’s syntax coils around the idea that our reality becomes tainted, our decisions skewed, as we navigate through the bombardment of these siren calls, ever-present in our march towards progress.

The Ominous Echo of ‘Your speakers are blowing’

Perhaps the most visceral illustration in ‘Hearing Damage’ is the disintegration of the barriers between stimulus and interpretation. ‘Your speakers are blowing’ conveys an overwhelming blast of auditory input, the kind that engenders destruction rather than communication. It’s the breaking point, the climax of sensory overload. Yorke sublimely captures the modern crisis where over-stimulation has turned jarring.

Simultaneously, ‘Your ears are wrecking’ denotes not only the physical repercussions of sonic abuse but also a deeper level of cognitive weariness. It’s an ache for inner peace in a time when such calm is a luxury, and it’s this yearning that strikes a chord within the resonant chambers of the listener’s own experiences.

Memorable Lines: The Duality of Desire in ‘You wish you felt better’

Encapsulating the essence of the song’s melancholia and yearning is the line ‘You wish you felt better.’ It’s a poignant acknowledgment of human desire to heal and to find solace amid the turmoil. Yet, Yorke’s repetition suggests an elusiveness, a yearning that remains just out of reach. It’s not only a wish to recover from the immediate ‘hearing damage,’ but also a metaphorical plea for clarity amidst the din of contemporary existence.

Beyond the maudlin, there is a glimmer of resilience in these words. They underscore a persevering spirit, the innate urge to push back against the forces that seek to disrupt our equilibrium. In these six words, Yorke encapsulates the human condition in the digital age: battered but defiant, cognizant of pain but forever in pursuit of better days.

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