I'll drown my beliefs
to have your babies
I'll dress like your niece
and wash your swollen feet
just don't leave
I'm not living
I'm just killing time
your tiny hands
your crazy kitten smile
just don't leave
and true love waits
in haunted attics
and true love lives
on lollipops and crisps
just don't leave
just don't leave
On december 5th 1995, the song had its live premiere. Thom played it acoustically, with Jonny adding arpeggios from the middle onwards:
'True Love Waits' was recorded during the sessions for OK Computer, apparently several times in different arrangements. Two session tracks, called 'True Love Tape Loop' and 'True Love Space Loop', were released in 2017 on the cassette that was part of the OKNOTOK 20th anniversary release of OK Computer:
'True Love Tape Loop' was used during the Kid A sessions to create 'Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors'.
The "just killing time" line can be seen in this page of radiohead.com from the OK Computer period:
food and sex dont go
wilting before my eyes
they will peck out your eyes
he blubbered under the bubbles of his overflowing mud bath
now seems like a good time to ask for your hand
just killing time before the inevitable
a lottery winner
the life line
a wee artery
with a few veins
but the possibility of babies
as blindfold referees
this is what you get when you fuck with me
This page appeared in radiohead.com during the OK Computer period under the title 'waving or drowning':
paranoid android. in a bar in hollywood* the centre of the western universe, standing at the bar (social drinking) after doing the talk show bit. do you want to know this? this is what we aspire to is it? it is dark, there is a woman opposite me
o is as sociably anorexic as her poodle, she looks desolate in her make up and lost eyes, next to her her husband boyfriend is persuading a younger fleshed half his age stewardess to come back to the hills to their mansion to sample his wine. she looks
t him like he's a character in a hammer house horror. one of our friends spills a glass of wine over a vacuum packed gucci outfit complete with matching white hand bag. the witch goes crazy, we think it is fuunny. until we see the evil in her eyes. m
friend is asked to leave. the gucci creature is the closest thing i have seen to the devil. the woman is possessed.
i cannot sleep that night asking what we've got our selves into. voices talking like fax machines, hissing and spitting like demons, this is the master race. and now im part of it. anyway you didnt want to know that.
motion picture the pulsing of a life support system . that's as far as we've got.
lull there is nothing more dull. than talking talkin about yourself. what i meant to say. im sorry that i lost control. distracted and irrelevant. the stress and the tension. coming through the keyhole when. im in lull.
transport motorways and tramlines starting and then stopping taking off and landing the emptiest of feelings disapppointed peoople clinging onto bottles and when it comes its so so disappointing.
True love waits are you a virgin? every night we are haunted it paces up and down outside my room, it talks to me in its sleep. its in the tape going round and round. it stops and starts the tape machine. goes into record when it feels like it.
just let it happen. just dont leave. dont leave. it waits patiently. mum left her 8 year old locked in for a week with lollipops and crisps. she had to work or forgot or something. stanley says.
you, like everyone else need to feel important.
Early alternate titles of this song were 'Mortigi Tempo' and 'Awaits'.
This piece of artwork appeared in the Dead Children Playing book that accompanied the exhibition of artwork that Stanley held at Iguapop Gallery in Barcelona in 2006 (click image for full size):
The song was not played live from 1996 to summer 2000, but a soundcheck from september 8th 1997 is available:
Phil said in an interview that this song would "definitely be on the new album". People at the Tibetan Freedom Concert could hear the band playing about with the first few bars of the song during the soundcheck.
The band worked on 'True Love Waits' during the sessions for Kid A and Amnesiac. Two entries from Ed's Diary relate to the song:
monday, january 10th - wednesday, january 19th 2000
happy new year and many many thanks to all you lovely cardsenders.
i think we all arrived at the studio with that same dread of starting where we left off.to plough back into the old tracks seemed like a daunting task. nigel suggested a different plan of action to ease us back into it over the next couple of weeks. the idea was to spend this time working in a completely different way; no acoustic instruments ie any guitars,drums or vocals......everything has to be electronically generated. it means that we can't fall back on what we've done before and forces us to work this equipment. it's actually an incredible amount of fun - which is not something we've had in abundance over the last year or in studios in general. we've been working on four 'bits' and because they are fairly abstract it will be interesting to review it in a few weeks. the important thing is that you are constantly learning even if something doesn't necessarily work out. and actually it's something we've been meaning to do for a while. again it's the need to change the methodology in how you actually make the music - only by doing this will we actually produce stuff that sounds any different. and conversely by finding another approach to recording, it enthuses us in the way that we've worked together as a 'live' band. the rehearsals last week were fantastic precisely because we had not picked up those instruments and recorded them.
this week we have cast the experimental net further afield to include material like 'true love waits' and 'feeling pulled apart by horses'. the former has been kicking around for about four years now and each time we approached it we seemed to be going down the same old paths.........it actually sounds like the start of something exciting now.
did an interesting band version of 'bombers' which thom has attached to what i used to call 'the neil young' song...we may play it some time later this evening.
wednesday, february 9th 2000
put 'true love waits' up again....this is a song which has been kicking around for four years or so, in fact we recorded a version of it when we were making the last album and this is something like approach number 561. but it is a great song.....it's simply trying to find a way of doing it which excites us. and we may have found a way, at the very least we've found a new approach ........ basically the track has the same vocal melody but the chords have changed underneath it. so we'll come back to it and see how it sounds. it may of course be utter crap and we have so lost the plot on this song...............please don't let that be the case........
Speaking of new songs, guitarist Ed O'Brien confided to reporters this fall that 'I Promise', and 'True Love Waits', two of their unreleased songs that the band routinely play for soundchecks, and 'Motion Picture Soundtrack', which has appeared as a final encore in the past, could end up on the new album. Furthermore, O'Brien told NME that the band had already worked on some stuff in the back of their tour bus while they were on the road for the last album.
Asked about the acoustic live version, and whether they plan to record a proper studio version:
Thom: "I thought that was a pretty good version... If you know what I'm trying to say. So, yeah, you know, it's not like we're gonna suddenly put a bloody great orchestra on it or something. So, I don't know. You know, we've tried a million different ways to do it. And I think that's sort of the best at the moment."