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These lines portray a youthful romantic journey. Things seem blissful and easy. Until…
Thom Yorke showing his R.E.M. influences here with a sentiment similar to “Everybody Hurts.”
“It will stay stung” perhaps reveals that Yorke has emotionally “stung” someone in the past causing them to break up with him and though he would do anything to take it back, he can’t.
The opening lines are about fear and rejection and doubt. All those dark feelings. Could be any one of them.
“You can taste it but it will not form” — Yorke is trying to form words but can’t express what he really wants to say.
The entire song is alluding to communication in all forms. The first lines are about being creative and not being able to find words.
This goes with the prevalent sea metaphor of he song and recalls the line from Sorrow where he says “Sorrow’s my body on the waves”.
It’s hard for him to know that Jo loves them because of how frequently he goes under the waves and gets depressed.
This is the lyric from which the album takes its name.
Ahh yes, defeatism at its finest
As architect Frank Lloyd Wright said, “Love is the virtue of the heart.”
In saying that “love is a virtue”, Berninger is implying that it should be unconditional, and no matter how many times he screws up, Jo should still love him.