Fake Plastic Trees
Radiohead Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

A green plastic watering can
For a 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

And 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

And if I could be who you wanted
If I could be who you wanted
All the time




All the time
Oh

Overall Meaning

Fake Plastic Trees is a song that speaks to the illusion that we sometimes create in order to cope with life's difficulties. At its core, the song is about the desperation to feel authentic in a world that appears fake and hollow. The image of a green plastic watering can for a fake Chinese rubber plant in the fake plastic earth is a metaphor for this idea. The fact that the main character bought this from a rubber man in a town full of rubber plans to get rid of itself is a commentary on consumer culture and our tendency to create illusions for ourselves in order to stay comfortable.


The song goes on to describe a broken man who is unable to maintain his identity and crumbles under the pressure of life. This man used to do surgery for girls in the eighties, but gravity always wins, which could be seen as the physical and emotional toll of addiction. This man and the woman he lives with are both struggling to maintain a sense of authenticity in a world that appears fake and illusory. The singer of the song is also struggling with similar feelings of inauthenticity, as he describes his relationship as a "fake plastic love."


Overall, the song is a powerful and insightful commentary on modern life and our struggle to remain authentic in the face of so much superficiality and illusion.


Line by Line Meaning

A green plastic watering can
Talking about a cheap watering can made of plastic


For a fake Chinese rubber plant
Watering a fake plant made of rubber that was probably manufactured in China


In the fake plastic earth
The plant is placed in artificial soil, adding to the general sense of fakeness


That she bought from a rubber man
The artificial soil was purchased from a seller who sold rubber products


In a town full of rubber plans
The town is full of factories that produce rubber items


To get rid of itself
The town wants to eliminate its identity by focusing solely on rubber production and forgetting other things


It wears her out
The artificiality of her surroundings and life is tiring for her


She lives with a broken man
She lives with a man who is emotionally or psychologically damaged


A cracked polystyrene man
The man is fragile and easily broken, symbolized by the use of polystyrene


Who just crumbles and burns
He is self-destructive and incapable of dealing with his own problems


He used to do surgery
The man used to have a successful career in the past


For girls in the eighties
He used to perform cosmetic surgeries for women back in the 80s


But gravity always wins
However, he has now lost his youthful looks and charm due to aging, and this realization affects him negatively


And it wears him out
The man is also tired of his life and situation


She looks like the real thing
Describing how the woman appears genuine and authentic on the surface


She tastes like the real thing
Even her love seems real and genuine


My fake plastic love
However, the reality is that their love is also artificial and not genuine


But I can't help the feeling
The person singing admits to knowing that their love might not be genuine, but they can't stop feeling it


I could blow through the ceiling
The feeling of their love is so intense that it can almost make them transcend to a higher level


If I just turn and run
However, the person is considering ending the relationship and walking away from everything


And it wears me out
The artificiality of everything in their lives is also exhausting for the person singing


And if I could be who you wanted
The person would change themselves if it meant being what their partner wanted them to be


All the time
Permanently


All the time
Repeated twice for emphasis




Lyrics © Kanjian Music, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Jonathan Richard Guy Greenwood, Colin Charles Greenwood, Edward John O'Brien, Philip James Selway, Thomas Edward Yorke

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@xxCasanova98xx

Lyrics:
[Verse 1]
A green plastic watering can
For a fake Chinese rubber plant
In a fake plastic earth
That she bought from a rubber man
In a town full of rubber plans
To get rid of itself

[Chorus 1]
It wears her out
It wears her out
It wears her out
It wears her out

[Verse 2]
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

[Chorus 2]
And it wears him out
It wears him out
It wears him out
It wears
[Verse 3]
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

[Chorus 3]
And it wears me out
It wears me out
It wears me out
It wears me out

[Outro]
And if I could be who you wanted
If I could be who you wanted
All the time
All the time



All comments from YouTube:

@petersmith6248

Heard this blasting out of my teenage daughters room last night. My work is done here

@LoneShot95

well done you should check on her though

@KJ-je9pm

She got good taste

@ScorpionGaming5

This is both a great and very concerning thing...

@edgargomez66

Smart kid

@Snowcrash777

Good show Sir! lol True though! Radiohead has some great lessons/observations. ;)

509 More Replies...

@ronneyrendon

"And if I could be who you wanted......if I could be who you wanted......all the time.......all the time." Just KILL ME ALREADY. My god, this pulls at my heart strings like no other.

@_Listen_to_Solar_Kama_Sutra

1

@Smilthy

It was 1995 when this masterpiece came out. 1995 and life was already “fake”; if only they knew what would happen in the end, Facebook, Instagram, having to buy countless things to “fit in.”
Radiohead, they were always ahead of their time. Always excellent, brilliant.

@charlessutherland274

❤🤗

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