True Love Waits (song)

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"True Love Waits"
Song by Radiohead from the album I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings
Released 12 November 2001
Recorded 20 August 2001
Genre Alternative rock
Length 5:02
Label Parlophone, Capitol
Writer Radiohead
I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings track listing
  1. "The National Anthem"
  2. "I Might Be Wrong"
  3. "Morning Bell"
  4. "Like Spinning Plates"
  5. "Idioteque"
  6. "Everything in Its Right Place"
  7. "Dollars and Cents"
  8. "True Love Waits"

"True Love Waits" is a song by alternative rock band Radiohead from their live extended play I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings. The song was first played in 1995, while the band were touring for their second studio album The Bends. The version of "True Love Waits" on the live EP is a simple acoustic ballad, played solo by lead singer Thom Yorke in 2001. The song's brief lyrics are about a narrator's longing for true love,[1] and the "simple desire not to be alone".[2] The song was well received by both critics and fans, and has gone on to become a fan favourite.[3] Despite its popularity among fans, a studio version of "True Love Waits" has not been released. The song has also been played at live concerts as an introduction to "Everything in Its Right Place", accompanied by synthesizers instead of acoustic guitar and with vocal effects applied to Yorke's vocals.

Background and recording[edit]

"True Love Waits" started being played live in 1995, during The Bends era.[4] Over the years, it became "one of their most requested live songs".[5] The version on the EP was recorded in a live show at Los Angeles, California, on 20 August 2001.[6] Radiohead attempted recording the song during the Kid A sessions, but did not include it on that album.[7]


A "straightforward" acoustic song,[5] "True Love Waits" was played solo by frontman Thom Yorke for I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings.[3] Pitchfork Media described the song as having "signature unexpected chord changes and a melody that both aches and soothes".[8] It is the last song on I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings, which, according to Marianne Letts in her book Radiohead and the Resistant Concept Album, is an "encore" of the EP.[5] The sound quality of the track is good,[8][9] although the noise of the crowd can occasionally be heard through the song.[5] The lyrics of the song describe a protagonist, declaring he will "drown his beliefs" and "dress like your niece" for an unnamed lover. Yorke explained the latter statement: "the difference between young and old [is] when people start to dress sensible and act their age. This person is offering not to do that to keep the other."[1] In the chorus, he begs the lover "just don't leave". The second verse describes the lover's "tiny hands" and "crazy kitten smile" although he also says that he is "not living, just killing time."[5] Around three minutes into the song, Yorke sings the line "true love waits in haunted attics and true love lives on lollipops and crisps". Yorke said that the phrase "lollipops and crisps" was inspired by a story he knew about a child who was locked in his house for a week and survived by eating junk food. According to Letts, the image of an "abandoned and forgotten child slowly dying" could be likened to "Radiohead's status within the record industry."[1]


"True Love Waits" received very positive reviews from critics; some of which named it the highlight of the EP. Matt LeMay of Pitchfork Media wrote that the song is "absolutely gorgeous" and "makes a very welcome ending to I Might Be Wrong." Along with "Like Spinning Plates", Pitchfork stated "True Love Waits" "justified the existence" of the EP.[8] The NME complimented Yorke's vocals on the song, calling it "a sound so clear and true that it's obvious why he's been making doe-eyes in interviews towards the electric guitar again."[10] Nicholas Taylor of PopMatters highly praised the song, saying that "True Love Waits" "is a bittersweet victory of love, plain and simple." He also wrote that the song "shows that behind all of Radiohead’s modernist nightmares is a fragile, desperate desire to connect, fully and meaningfully, with just one person."[2] The song was also well received by fans, as it went on to become a fan favourite.[3]





  1. ^ a b c Letts, p.175.
  2. ^ a b Nicholas Taylor (13 November 2001). "Radiohead I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings". PopMatters. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "I Might Be Wrong". Billboard. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Lucy Jones (7 March 2012). "What's Your Dream Radiohead Setlist?". NME. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Letts, p.174.
  6. ^ "Radiohead discography". Green Plastic. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  7. ^ Ed O'Brien (July 1999 to June 2000). "Ed's Diary Archive". Green Plastic. Retrieved 29 March 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ a b c Matt LeMay (17 December 2001). "Radiohead: I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Radiohead: I Might Be Wrong: Live Recordings". Recoil. Retrieved 29 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Ted Kessler (6 November 2001). "Radiohead: I Might Be Wrong". NME. Retrieved 19 March 2012.