It is beautiful...but I think their most beautiful songs are Lucky and How To Disappear Completely. When he sings "Strobe lights and blown speakers; Fireworks and hurricanes"...I still get goose bumps. But Reckoner is definitely up there.
Reckoner Can't take it with you Dancing for your pleasure You are not to blame for Bittersweet distractor Dare not speak it's name Dedicated to all you All human beings Because we separate like ripples on a blank shore In rainbows (background vocals) Reckoner Take me with you Dedicated to all you All human beings
One of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. I also would be interested to learn the background of the lyrics. I suppose "dare not speak his (it's) name" refers to the "bittersweet distractor", but who or what that is, I don't know.
This is an old post, but the topic is still relevant. Since Radiohead has recently started to take fan generated music videos for "Reckoner" on their website there have been various interpretations of the song. Listen to the song, and make your own assumptions, then go watch the video that is posted on the website and see how it compares.
Right now the video gives, what I feel, has been the best interpretation of the song to date: the impending doom of nuclear war.
I think Thom and the gang want us to make our own interpretations, much like they did for "Kid A." They all got frustrated when legions of casual listeners as well as critics completely missed the mark (in many ways) with "OK Computer." Personally, I've taken the entire album to be about relationships, break-ups, unrequited love, and the like. Their most personal album, and their best album, in my mind.