Old Yellow Bricks
Arctic Monkeys Lyrics


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Old yellow bricks
Love's a risk
Quite the little escapologist
Looked so miffed
When you wished
For a thousand places better than this

You are the fugitive
But you don't know what you're runnin' from
You can't kid us
And you couldn't trick anyone
Houdini, love you don't know what you're runnin' away from

Who wants to sleep in the city that never wakes up?
Blinded by nostalgia
Who wants to sleep in the city that never wakes up?

She was enraged but the way
That the emperor put traps in the cage
And the days she been dull
Lead to nights readin' beer bottles

You're such a fugitive
But you don't know what you're runnin' from
You can't kid us
And you couldn't trick anyone
Houdini, love you don't know what you're runnin' away from

Who wants to sleep in the city that never wakes up?
Blinded by nostalgia
Who wants to sleep in a city that never wakes up?

You're at a loss
Just because
It wasn't all that you thought it was

You are a fugitive, but you don't know what you're runnin' away from

She said, "I want to sleep in the city that never wakes up
And revel in nostalgia"




I know I said he wants to sleep in the city that never wakes up, but
Dorothy was right though

Overall Meaning

The Arctic Monkeys' "Old Yellow Bricks" seemingly centers around a protagonist who perceives themselves as an escape artist or "escapologist" dissatisfied with their current surroundings. The song opens with the line "Old yellow bricks, love's a risk, quite the little escapologist" that make it evident that the singer views love as a danger, and they associate themselves with escaping danger. Moving forward, the lyrics go "Looked so miffed when you wished for a thousand places better than this" which suggests that they try to escape their current location through imagination, wishing for better places. Hence, the singer is romanticizing the idea of running away.


Moreover, the chorus goes "Who wants to sleep in the city that never wakes up? Blinded by nostalgia. Who wants to sleep in the city that never wakes up?" The singer is expressing their desire to leave behind the city that never sleeps, most likely New York City, to escape the hustle and bustle and take refuge somewhere more tranquil. The singer is blinded by nostalgia, looking back at the past and hoping to relive the good times, therefore, obsessing over escapism.


The bridge of the song shifts to the third person, talking about someone who appears to be on the run from something, unwittingly looking to flee from themselves ultimately. Here, the lyrics go "You're such a fugitive, but you don't know what you're running from. You can't kid us, and you couldn't trick anyone. Houdini, love, you don't know what you're running away from." Although the singer wants to run away from their hometown, they don't have a clear idea of what they are running away from. The words "Houdini, love" are addressing Houdini, the famous escape artist. The thematic escape artist references thus run throughout the song.


Line by Line Meaning

Old yellow bricks
Reflecting on the past, when things seemed simpler and more stable


Love's a risk
Love is unpredictable and can be both rewarding and dangerous


Quite the little escapologist
Displaying resourcefulness and craftiness in avoiding undesirable situations


Looked so miffed
Appearing visibly annoyed, possibly due to feeling trapped or dissatisfied


When you wished
Expressing a desire for something better or different


For a thousand places better than this
Wanting a drastic change from current circumstances


You are the fugitive
Feeling like an outsider or trying to escape one's problems


But you don't know what you're runnin' from
Not fully understanding what is causing the desire to escape


You can't kid us
Others can see through attempts to hide or deceive


And you couldn't trick anyone
Lacking the ability to mislead or manipulate others


Houdini, love you don't know what you're runnin' away from
Comparing oneself to the famous escape artist, while acknowledging confusion about the real problem


Who wants to sleep in the city that never wakes up?
Questioning the appeal of a city that is always busy and never rests


Blinded by nostalgia
Being overly sentimental about the past and idealizing it


She was enraged but the way
Describing a woman who was angered by how she was restrained


That the emperor put traps in the cage
Metaphor for authority figures who limit one's freedom and autonomy


And the days she been dull
Suggesting a lack of excitement or inspiration in one's life


Lead to nights readin' beer bottles
Using alcohol as a way to cope with boredom or malaise


You're at a loss
Feeling uncertain and without direction


Just because
Without a clear reason or explanation


It wasn't all that you thought it was
Realizing that something did not live up to one's expectations


She said, "I want to sleep in the city that never wakes up
Expressing a desire to be in a bustling and stimulating environment


And revel in nostalgia"
Enjoying memories of the past and longing for its simplicity


I know I said he wants to sleep in the city that never wakes up, but
Clarifying a detail in the lyrics


Dorothy was right though
Referencing a character in The Wizard of Oz who found that the grass was not always greener on the other side




Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: Jon McClure, Alex Turner

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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robin

damn looking at these comments remind me that there is so many things to understand about the lyrics

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