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Jack’s Music Box – Radiohead: Fake Plastic Trees


Jack's Music Box - Radiohead: Fake Plastic Trees

Hi folks!

Welcome back to another edition of Jack’s Music Box. Today we are going to be looking at Radiohead’s Fake Plastic Trees.

The Artist

Radiohead are a band that needs no introduction. The five members of the band met whilst at school in Oxford. In 1985 they formed the band however under a different name: On a Friday, because this was the day that they would rehearse. 

In late 1991 the band signed with EMI and changed their name to Radiohead, after a Talking Heads song. In 1992 the band released its debut single Creep which would become a worldwide hit. Following on from Creep the band released their debut album Pablo Honey in 1993.

Dissatisfied with their first album and feeling the pressure to match the success of Creep, the band returned to the studio in 1994 to record their second album: The Bends. The album would see an increased confidence in the band and further experimentation using more keyboards and complex guitar parts. The Bends would finally give the band both critical and commercial success.

From here Radiohead became more and more popular as they further experimented with their sound. Radiohead would go onto release landmark albums such as Ok Computer in 1997 and Kid A in 2000. Radiohead are now widely known as one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the world.

The Song

Today’s song is Fake Plastic Trees from The Bends, one of the band’s better known songs. I chose this song as it is a fairly slow song so the lyrics should be quite easy to follow. The song is a call against capitalism. Take a listen below!


The Lyrics

Her green plastic watering can
For her fake Chinese rubber plant
In the fake plastic earth
That she bought from a rubber man
In a town full of rubber plans
To get rid of itself

It wears her out, it wears her out
It wears her out, it wears her out

She lives with a broken man
A cracked polystyrene man
Who just crumbles and burns
He used to do surgery
For girls in the eighties
But gravity always wins

It wears him out, it wears him out
It wears him out, it wears

She looks like the real thing
She tastes like the real thing
My fake plastic love
But I can’t help the feeling
I could blow through the ceiling
If I just turn and run

And it wears me out, it wears me out
It wears me out, it wears me out

If I could be who you wanted
If I could be who you wanted all the time

All the time
All the time

Interesting Vocabulary


Watering Can – A container used to water plants.

Fake – Artificial/not genuine

Rubber – An elastic material made from latex.

To Get Rid of – To dispose of/lose something.

To Wear Out – To tire or exhaust somebody or something

Broken – Damaged

Polystyrene – A synthetic material.

Crumbles – To break or fall apart into small parts.

Surgery – Treatment of injuries and illnesses.

Gravity – A natural force which attracts a the body towards the earth.

Ceiling – The upper surface of a room.

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