song, as lyricked
above by JeffMagnus
, is widely regarded as having the best promotional video
of all time. And also the most exasperating. Directed by Jamie Thraves
There is a silent opening shot of a man
in a bathroom
. He stands before the bath and removes his robe.
Cut to, the band playing the song in the living room of an urban apartment. Intercut, the man gets into the bath. Band shots and plot shots are intercut for the remainder.
The same man, in a suit, walking down a tree-lined London street. Crosses a road. He slows, and then stops in the middle of the pavement. After waiting a few moments, he lies down on the pavement.
A young man strides down the road. He doesn't see the lying man, and trips over him. Thom looks down out of a window and sees the two men on the pavement below. Character dialogue appears, as subtitles
Young Man : Jesus, I'm sorry, I didn't see you there. Are you OK?
Lying Man : Yes.
Thom watches intently.
YM : What happened, did you fall?
LM : No, I'm fine, please leave me alone.
Young man kneels beside him.
YM : You've been drinking.
LM : I haven't been drinking.
Young Man jumps up, suddenly annoyed.
YM : Why are you lying in the middle of the pavement? You could have broken my neck!
YM : Look... what's wrong? Here, let me help you up.
He reaches forward. His hand is almost in contact-
LM (shouts): No! Don't touch me!
Young man backs off. Two more bystanders approach.
Bystander : What's the matter with him? Has he fallen?
Young Man : No... he hasn't fallen.
Bystander : Is he hurt?
LM : No, please, all of you, leave me alone.
A crowd is gathering.
Voice from crowd : He must be mad.
LM : I'm not mad. Just leave me alone.
YM : Why are you lying down? Why won't you tell me what's wrong?
LM : Look I can't tell you... ...it wouldn't be right.
Crowd members : - He must be mad. (a policeman on a motorcycle parks up.) - Oh look Officer!
Cop approaches. Kneels by man.
Cop : Are you alright?
LM : I'm fine. Please, will you just let me lie here.
Cop : I'm afraid I can't let you do that Sir.
Cop tries to put hands on Lying Man.
LM : Don't touch me!
YM : Just tell me why you're lying here. Tell me!
LM : You don't want to know, please believe me.
YM : You don't think there's any point right? What, that we're all going to die? Is that it? Is that why you're lying here?
LM : No.
Cop : Tell us! Tell us, for Christ's sake!
LM : You want to know why I'm lying here? You really want to know? Yes, I'll tell you. I'll tell you why I'm lying here... ...but God forgive me... ...and God help us all... ...because you don't know what you ask of me.
YM (shouts) : Tell us!
The lying man looks up. The band look down out of the window at him. We can only see his lips moving. There is no subtitle.
Dissolve to aerial view. The man is lying on the pavement. The camera pans down the street and we see all the bystanders, about 30 people, lying in the street motionless as well.
Of course, the great mystery is what does the man say? Why is he lying on the pavement? There are many, many unproven theories put forward by fans. These are some of my favourites. Points to note are the possible significance of the bathroom scene, the similarity in appearance of the Cop and the lying man, and the observation that the man only raises his voice and warns off the others when they attempt to touch him. In one of the shots ("Yes, I'll tell you...") the man's arm, that he is lying on top of, appears to be fake. This might not be the case, or have anything to do with the solution - they might have just given him a false arm as a prop rather than have the actor lie on his arm all day. Apparently, only the band and the crew know what is really said, and they are sworn to secrecy. Or at least, aren't telling. Here are some "solutions" that I've heard.