Mother Mary come for me
For I am a wicked child
I have sinned and I am so confused
For I am a wicked child
I am a wicked child

I am the Devil's son
And I wish I could be good
I walk the crooked mile
Yeah I wish I could be good
I wish I could be good

If I could have kept on the straight and narrow
If I could have kept on the straight and narrow
But God broke your heart
God broke your heart

Now I wake up in the night
He's tugging at my arms and legs
Like I was a marionette
Send baby Jesus
To radiate his lie
To radiate his lie



Lyrics submitted by Grim713

"I Am a Wicked Child" as written by Thomas Edward/selway Yorke

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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I Am a Wicked Child song meanings
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46 Comments

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  • +3
    General Comment:Radiohead is the most post-modern band on the planet today, and perhaps the least religious. Everything about Radiohead is post-modern - not pertaining to one genre, (in fact being an amalgamation of almost everything from Dixieland jazz to minimal electro...) to the issue of Thom singing from a multitude of perspectives giving us insight (and I use that word loosely), into the fragmented world that we live in today. No, Radiohead would never sing a song that is in support of Religion (any religion for that matter) as it would be suggesting that there is a central "truth" to existence, which is entirely impossible due to the fact that there is more than six-billion perceptions affecting how we experience our lives. This song is pure satire, written from the perspective of a religious person who is struggling to come to terms with human desire within the christian framework. Conclusion? Religion is far from the key. There is no truth. 2+2=5
    existingasreflectionon April 01, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I think here Thom has written about the effects that devout religious parents have on their children. In the Catholic Church, at least, every one is told they are born with original sin. So in this song, it seems like a boy is praying for forgiveness because someone has ingrained in him the idea that, even if you're an innocent child, every human is inherently evil. Of course, this can really fuck with a kid's mind and I think that's what is being pointed out in this song.
    unc1emoeon September 21, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Thom Yorke is most definately not religious, I'd call him anti-Chrisitan even, so this song is definately a negative (or at least neutral) view of Catholicism, as they're the only Christian denomintation that worships Mary.
    ggaaooon July 24, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:chill out about it really, its just a tiny sing song. thom's feeling guilty - looks for safety in religion - it cant give it to him >> "radiate his lie"
    kingoftherodeoon February 27, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:It is a satirical song, and anyone thinking otherwise is injecting too much of their own personal beliefs into the song.

    Based on the lyrics, though, it truly is a satirical song.

    He's singing it from the perspective of someone who has been told that they're evil. Either due to their own personal beliefs, or some other reason. The song jokingly says that they wish to be saved.

    He's only confused because someone told him he was confused. He felt perfectly fine before, but now that someone has tried to feed him religion, it's starting to haunt him at night.

    It pulls at his arms and legs as if though he were a marionette - a puppet.

    The last verse is asking to please send Jesus, because he feels it's about time. If Jesus truly is real, then he should already be here.

    I understand how some of you are confusing this as a pro-Christianity song, but it truly isn't. Analyze it lyric for lyric, and you'll see that it is a satirical song.

    As far as Thom's beliefs, I'd GUESS that he's atheist or agnostic. However, he could be Christian. The fact that he sometimes alludes to religious material in his songs means nothing. Countless song writers and authors have used Christian themes in their work without actually being a Christian. In fact, I myself am an atheist, and I can proudly say that I do read the bible. I'm not religious, but I'll read anything worth reading.
    Mouse Circuson March 23, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:this song was played during a Radiohead webcast on march 23, 2000 and hasnt been played since
    spitzey420on April 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:It was recently released as a B-side.
    J.Diddyon April 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:part of this was on the radiohead site when amnesiac came out.
    A-jaxon May 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Its now been released on the ComLag Lp: get it without fail!
    boss_2kon May 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I think the second line says "for" not "cause" which makes it sound more... biblical. Furthermore, the ComLag release now reads as follows:

    "Send baby Jesus
    To radiate his light
    To radiate his light"

    The song's about what it seems- sin, and attempts to resist sin. Its odd to hear Thom talk about "Mother Mary" and "Baby Jesus," as he's not a very religious man. However he has said that being a father has made him contemplate the deeper meaning of life further. Either way, its a cracker, one of the best on the EP- which, by the way, is out for general release soon! Hurrah!
    boss_2kon May 25, 2004   Link

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