Langston Hughes and The King of Limbs

Ann Powers at the L.A. Times has drawn an interesting and maybe incidental connection between lyrics in Radiohead’s new song “Codex” and Langston Hughes’s three-line poem “Suicide’s Note.” It’s not the first time that Thom Yorke has written about jumping into water. 2001’s “Pyramid Song” and Hughes’s poem are both about jumping into rivers. In “Codex,” it’s a lake. Here are Hughes’s poem, the lyrics to “Codex” (released today on Radiohead’s new album The King of Limbs) and the lyrics to “Pyramid Song,” from 2001’s Amnesiac.

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Suicide’s Note

The calm,
Cool face of the river
Asked me for a kiss.

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Codex

Slight of hand
Jump off the end
Into a clear lake
No one around
Just dragonflies
Flying to the side
No one gets hurt
You’ve done nothing wrong
Slide your hand
Jump off the end
The water’s clear
And innocent

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Pyramid Song

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

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