Subterranean Homesick Alien

Album: OK Computer (1997)

Songfacts®:

  • Lead singer Thom Yorke: "The first essay I ever wrote in school was, 'you are an alien from another planet. You have landed, and you are standing in the middle of Oxford, and write an essay about what you see if you're an alien form another planet, how would you see these people?' and that's where a lot of it came from, really."
  • The title is a play on the Bob Dylan song "Subterranean Homesick Blues." In Humo magazine July 22, 1997, Yorke said: "A tribute to Dylan's 'Subterranean Homesick Blues.' (sings) 'Jonny's in the basement mixing up the medicine, I'm on the pavement thinking about the government.' Do I really hope to be on a spaceship? Why not. I believe there are aliens under the ground. I want to see them. I want to see ghosts. I want to walk on the street smiling, knowing that there are little green creatures with incredible large brains and big, beautiful, black eyes, that are filming us with their video cameras."
  • On this song, the band was trying to mimic the sound of Miles Davis' album Bitches Brew using synthesizers and guitars. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for all above
  • This was originally titled "Uptight."
  • An influence on this song was an experience Yorke had when he was driving down a country road and hit a pheasant. After stepping out of the car to investigate he began thinking about alien abduction.

Comments: 5

  • Patrick from Cheverly, MdThey'd shut me away,
    but I'd be alright

    I think this song is about why the f*** not?
  • Hebrew from St. Paul, Mnhere's an idea, we are to proud to admit there is a God, so let's invent a fantasy that there is aliens who will save us from ourselves. The drugs obviously ain't working, so this one has to end up good. "Faith in aliens... yeah... lets do it."
  • David from Austin, Txthis song is about a person that fantasizes about being abducted by aliens to escape the misery of his life on earth (a theme covered on all of ok computer, such as "no surprises" where the person kills himself to escape his miserable life). he dreams about seeing the stars and the meaning of life, but society would "shut him away," symbolizing their closed-mindedness and cold herats. "i'm just uptight" is perhaps a deceiving lyric, since the person isn't truly uptight - he's just different than other people because he wants to find spiritual truth and others don't, so his way of rationalizing this difference is that he's just "uptight."
  • Luis from Ctz,gto, MexicoI lived in Toronto, Canada for a while and I got this album (Ok Computer) on my first winter. "I live in a town where you can't smell a thing, and you watch your feet for cracks in the pavement" And I felt like that alien walking on the frozen streets of TO. Great song...
  • Evan from Philadelphia, PaRed Hot Chili Pepper's cover of Subterranean Homesick Blues is awesome. Check it out
see more comments

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