June 1997
Length: 4:23
Disc: OK Computer
Tablature: Guitar | Bass | Drum

Other Versions:
Nellee Hooper Remix - Romeo & Juliet End Credits
Brad Mehldau's Piano Version - Groundwork Organisation CD 2001
Cover by Motor Industries - Plastic Mutations Tribute LP
Cover by Miranda Sex Garden - Anyone Can Play Radiohead Tribute LP
String Version - Strung Out On OK Computer

While on tour with Alanis Morissette in September of 1996, Radiohead was sent the last half-hour of Baz Luhrmann's film William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and asked to write a song for the closing credits. Band members were impressed by the clip, and Thom wrote this song for the movie. At first he attempted to use lines from Shakespeare's play as lyrics, but finally ditched the idea.

Thom recorded the vocals outside in the stone courtyard of their studios at Bath. However, the band didn't feel like releasing it as part of the Romeo & Juliet soundtrack, so put forward a version of Talk Show Host for during the film, and Exit Music was used to play over the credits at the end.

Arguably the most moving of all the band's songs, Exit Music's lyrics tell the story of a couple who have to escape, before it's too late. If you look at it from the point of view of Romeo, it's easier to understand the lyrics. Musically, it's equally, if not more beautiful than lyrically. It begins acoustically with Thom singing on his own, and continues like this for the majority of the song. Towards the end, the rest of the band join in and finish off what ends up being a powerfully moving piece of music. The repeated lyric at the end 'We hope that you choke' is also quite shocking.

Wake from your sleep
The drying of your tears
Today we escape, we escape

Pack and get dressed
Before your father hears us
Before all hell breaks loose

Breathe, keep breathing
Don't lose your nerve
Breathe, keep breathing
I can't do this alone

Sing us a song
A song to keep us warm
There's such a chill, such a chill

And you can laugh a spineless laugh
We hope your rules and wisdom choke you

And now we are one
In everlasting peace

We hope that you choke, that you choke
We hope that you choke, that you choke
We hope that you choke, that you choke
Thom Yorke "When we saw the scene in which Claire Danes holds the Colt 45 against her head, we started working on the song immediately. I had something with 'Romeo & Juliet' a long time already. I had a crush on Olivia Hussey, who played Juliet in the sixties, for a long time. I saw the Zeffirelli version when I was 13 and I cried my eyes out, because I couldn't understand why, the morning after they shagged, they didn't just run away. The song is written for two people who should run away before all the bad stuff starts. A personal song." - Thom Ed O'Brien

"We wrote this on demand for the soundtrack of the 'Romeo & Juliet' movie. We were on tour in the States with Alanis Morissette, when we received the video with the last 30 minutes of the film." - Ed

"Thom looked at Shakespeare's original text and tried to incorporate it into the song - but he gave up on that quickly. But I still think it fits with the film amazingly well, especially as the lyrics are actually quite personal." - Ed

"The worst I think is that 'Exit Music' only starts at the end-credits. It will have to compete with the sound of chairs clapping up." - Ed
Jonny Greenwood
"We got the request to make song that would be played during the final credits of the film Romeo & Juliet. They sent us parts of the - unfinished - movie and it was a creative challenge to make the music for it." - Jonny
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