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Pyramid Song is the second track off of Amnesiac, and the title track from the Pyramid Song single.

History

Yorke described the track Pyramid Song as:

"Me being totally obsessed by a Charlie Mingus song called 'Freedom' and I was just trying to duplicate that, really. Our first version of 'Pyramid' even had all the claps that you hear on 'Freedom'. Unfortunately, our claps sounded really naff, so I quickly erased them."

The song's lyrics were inspired by an exhibition of ancient Egyptian underworld art Yorke attended while the band was recording in Copenhagen. He said:

"Stephen Hawking talks about the theory that time is another force, that time is completely cyclical ... It's something that I found in Buddhism as well. That's what 'Pyramid Song' is about, the fact that everything is going in circles."

In 2001, O'Brien said he felt the track was "probably the best song we've recorded."

A high-pitched wailing sound can be heard in the background of the song, produced by Jonny Greenwood bowing his guitar strings whilst running his fingers down the fretboard. The resulting effect is supposed to sound similar to whale cries, a trick that his brother Colin used to do on the double bass. The same technique of bowed guitar is also used on Burn the Witch from A Moon Shaped Pool

Music Video

Radiohead - 'Pyramid Song' by Shynola

Radiohead - 'Pyramid Song' by Shynola

The music video for Pyramid Song was made by the visual artist group Shynola in 2001. The group said about the video:

"The majority is little more than a moving storyboard, but it also incorporates rendering tests in the middle and at the end, which were intended to show the band how the finished video might look."

Shynola also commented that the water texture seen forming the ocean at the start of the video was taken from the late 90's PC game "Duke Nukem 3D".

Lyrics

[Verse]
I jumped in the river and what did I see?
Black-eyed angels swam with me
A moon full of stars and astral cars
And all the figures I used to see
All my lovers were there with me
All my past and futures
And we all went to heaven in a little row boat
There was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt

[Verse]
I jumped into the river
Black-eyed angels swam with me
A moon full of stars and astral cars
And all the figures I used to see
All my lovers were there with me
All my past and futures
And we all went to heaven in a little row boat
There was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt
There was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt
There was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt