Here are the chords for this song. I don't have all of the picking from the version on The Bends, but these are the correct chords. If you have need of information on how to play any of these chords, I suggest The Everything Guide to Guitar Chords.


A green plastic watering can
      F#m              E  D
For a fake Chinese rubber plant
              A     D
In the fake plastic earth
This repeats for all the verses.


             Bm                A
It wears her out, it wears her out
             Bm                A
It wears her out, it wears her out

The chorus is used for the "It wears her out", "It wears him out", and "It wears me out" figures.


And if I could be who you wanted
If I could be who you wanted
       Bm            A
All the time, all the time

Let me know if you have any corrections for these chords, suggestions for the writeup, or additions you'd like to make

Fake Plastic Trees... an early single released by British alternative band Radiohead on March 15th, 1995, and has been performed on tour ever since. It has been covered by Alanis Morissette for her Jagged Little Pill tour, and, more recently, is being covered by Dashboard Confessional, for their ongoing Dusk and Summer tour. Many consider it to be among Radiohead's best. It happens to be my favourite song period.

But Mythi, Why?

Fake Plastic Trees is quite simply, one of the most perfect songs I've encountered, both in execution, and in concept. The sounds used in the song reverbate, express a sense of longing and sadness, and move the listener deeply. The lyrics and poetry of the song are impossible to ignore, and are powerful and sweeping.


A simple chord, repeated, begins the song, before the opening lyrics.
Her green plastic watering can,
For a fake Chinese rubber plant,
In the fake plastic earth.
That she bought from a rubber man
In a town full of rubber plants.
To get rid of itself.
It wears her out, it wears her out.
It wears her out, it wears her out.

The first section (or stanza) of the song is composed primarily of simple guitar chords and vocals, with some backing from what sounds like stringed instruments. After the line "To get rid of itself", the song is also backed by a ghostly, low toned sound. This continues until the next section. This section creates the feeling of frustration, and tiredness with everyday life. "She" is stuck in a process of caring for something which receives no benefit from her, something unreal and manufactured.

She lives with a broken man,
A cracked polystyrene man,
Who just crumbles and burns.
He used to do surgery,
For girls in the eighties.
But gravity always wins.
And it wears him out, it wears him out.
It wears him out, it wears...

This section introduces drums to the collection of sound in the background, keeping the rhythm and adding to it. The situation of our heroine, or anti-heroine continues, as it describes her apparent spouse. He's a wrinkled old man, past his prime, and a former plastic surgeon. His days of making people beautiful artificially are contrasted with time's destruction of his body. Gravity always wins. The line "It wears...." is lengthened, and powerful, leading to the orgasm climax of the song.

She looks like the real thing.
She tastes like the real thing.
My fake plastic love.
But I can't help the feeling.
I could blow through the ceiling.
If I just turned... around.

A male, as yet unintroduced, is lost in love with someone he knows is fake. Whether she's superficial in personality or in looks, we'll never know. The sound is more clearly defined here, with electric guitar in the background, and the lyrics being powerfully sung and expressed.

And it wears me out, it wears me out.
It wears me out, it wears me out.

We're reintroduced to the soft background noises of the earlier parts of the song. The vocals are sad and longing, carrying on this way until the end of the song.

And if I could be, who you wanted.
If I could be, who you wanted.
All the time.
All the time.

The song continues using much of the same sounds it's used in the background before the guitar stops and the haunting noises in the background fade away.

One of the reasons I love this song so much is that it succeeds as both a critique of the superficiality of modern society, and as a shattered tale of love. It's infinitely calming, yet also almost unsettling and haunting.

Fake Plastic Trees, is, quite simply, a magnificent song, deserving of praise and attention.

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