Dawn Chorus


  • "Dawn Chorus" is a song that Thom Yorke has been working on since Radiohead's In Rainbow sessions. Back in March 2009 he was asked to name his favorite Radiohead song. The singer responded by saying:

    "Whatever I'm finishing at the moment. There's one called 'Dawn Chorus' I'm trying to finish at the moment: that's really great... I think."

    Yorke eventually recorded the track as the centerpiece of his 2019 Anima album. He explained to Apple Music why it took so long:

    "I was trying to develop how 'Dawn Chorus' was going to work, and find the right combinations on the synthesizers I was using. Couldn't find it, tried it again and again and again. But I knew when I found it I would have my way into the song. Things like that matter to me - they are sort of obsessive, but there is an emotional connection. I was deliberately trying to find something as cold as possible to go with it, like I sing essentially one note all the way through."
  • Lyrically the song is a stream of consciousness concerning the end of a relationship.

    If you could do it all again
    Yeah, without a second thought
    I don't like leaving
    The door shut

    There is also a theme of regret over making the same mistakes.

    It's a bloody racket
    It's the dawn chorus
    If you could do it all again

    A dawn chorus is the singing of birds at the start of the day, which signifies starting over again.
  • The end of this song is accompanied by the sound of synthesized birds chirping. Thom Yorke previously incorporated birdsong in Radiohead's King of Limbs track "Morning Mr. Magpie."
  • Yorke wrote much of Anima following a period of writer's block and anxiety. As some sort of explanation of the record title, he offered:

    "Definition of anima: an individual's true inner self that in the analytic psychology of C G Jung reflects archetypal ideals of conduct. Also: an inner feminine part of the male personality."

Comments: 1

  • Jose Augusto Martinoli from La Plata, ArgentinaThe Best Song Of ANIMA. A Total Masterpiece.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," Kiss

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," KissSong Writing

After cutting his teeth on hardcore punk videos, Paul defined the grunge look with his work on "Hunger Strike" and "Man in the Box."

Concert Disasters

Concert DisastersFact or Fiction

Ozzy biting a dove? Alice Cooper causing mayhem with a chicken? Creed so bad they were sued? See if you can spot the real concert mishaps.

Barry Dean ("Pontoon," "Diamond Rings And Old Barstools")

Barry Dean ("Pontoon," "Diamond Rings And Old Barstools")Songwriter Interviews

A top country songwriter, Barry talks about writing hits for Little Big Town, Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean.

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside Story

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside StorySong Writing

The in-depth discussion about the making of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 film.

Grammar In Lyrics

Grammar In LyricsMusic Quiz

Lyrics don't always follow the rules of grammar. Can you spot the ones that don't?

Chris Tomlin

Chris TomlinSongwriter Interviews

The king of Christian worship music explains talks about writing songs for troubled times.