There's a little child
Running round this house
And he never leaves
He will never leave
And the fog comes up from the sewers
And glows
The dark

Baby alligators
In the sewers
Grow up fast
Grow up fast
Anything you want, it can be done
How did you go bad?
Did you go bad?
Did you go bad?

Some things will never wash away
Did you go bad?
Did you go bad?

Lyrics submitted by shut, edited by MrMagpie

Fog Lyrics as written by Philip James Selway Colin Charles Greenwood

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Fog song meanings
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  • +7
    General Comment

    It was first beformed in Israel in 2000; I think that that has great significance. The song's about children in the Middle East, and children involved in conflicts around the world- encaptured in the line "Baby alligators in the sewers grow up fast". The sewers are the areas of the world affected by violence; the baby alligators the people living there.

    The version on the new ComLag- pure Thom, just piano and voice- is incredible emotion-laiden. The line "Some things will never wash away" is particularly heart-breaking. It acknowledges that some conflicts, such as those in Ireland and the Middle East, are inextricable complicated because of the underlying bitterness between the opposing peoples.

    The "Fog" is the fog of war; what we don't see on the BBC and CNN- the effect of war on those it touches. We must look past the smokescreen and feel the true emotion of these peoples. Iraqi children grow up not knowing if their mother, father, or house will be there tomorrow. Thank you, George.

    boss_2kon May 20, 2004   Link
  • +6
    General Comment

    i think its about a good boy growing up turning bad.

    "some things will never wash away" - like a criminal record maybe, or like a bad act or something that will always haunt you if you have morals.

    sean7711on July 03, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    The child could mean something outgrown, that won't leave [the house, his life]..And when you become bored with things unwanted, you flush it away..down the sewers..but it never really goes does it?

    Bowieon March 22, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    This is such a wonderful song, I don't quite understand why it hasn't received any comments. Whenever I have nightmares, I fall asleep to "glows" on repeat. This song structure is like silk parachutes, fuzzy peaches, and everything eerily happy. The slow fade of the guitar gives the same soft texture of neon lights during fogs. Oh, I don't have to beg you to adore this song.

    Have you ever felt the comfort while floating in water? The shaking of tambourines represents the change jingling in my pockets as I run away. Tee-hee. (So, the real thom yorke wouldn't giggle, now would he?)

    thom yorkeon May 03, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I never thought of the Middle East reference before. Good point.

    I always thought it was just about how the people you know when you were younger are so innocent, cuz they haven't been affected by the world. But then, as people grow older, they're changed by the difficulties of life, and sometimes, they can treat you differently. They grow fangs.

    "Baby alligators in the sewers grow up fast Grow up fast Anything you want it can be done How did you go bad?"

    The narrator in this song is probably baffled by this, as it's a big shock to come across people you haven't seen in years and then end up not knowing them anymore.

    MaxpowerSupremeon December 29, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I'm not sure what it's supposed to mean, exactly, but "Bleak" is a word that I think sums it up quite well. Bleak.

    Kraliaon October 07, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    ithink the little boy running round the house is the ghost of a child that haunts the killer. thom is asking the killer when he turned bad. the baby aligators is probabley a reference to the fact that you cant just ignore your problems and flush them away.if you flush a baby aligator in the sewers it will grow and cause problems further down the line. interpretation is relative to the listeners artisic capacity, although i feel the mass majority of radiohead fans are of above average intelligence


    messedupmillionaireon November 10, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Everyone remembers back their childhood sometimes and gets the feeling of regret of like, how we could've treated parents better or how we could've not done those bad things that caused scars in the heart of those close to you. And that kinda memory of regret, you can't delete til you die.

    japon January 12, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    To me, this song is about someone who's haunted by his past or childhood.These memories and experiences turned him bad and he can't really let go of these memories no matter how hard he tries.I first heared this song in Radiohead's concert for the French program Music Planet (i'm not sure whether this is the correct name of teh program or not). Thom and Johnny Greenwood were the only ones playing from the band in one of the best and most moving acuoustic concerts i've ever seen. It was the first time for them i believe to play this song in the format released in Com Lag and i simply moved to tears from the beauty of this song.

    Joekubrickon September 24, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    It's about some horrible tragedy, some past torment in your childhood. And it'll never leave you. It'll make you grow up fast, knowing too much about the bad side of the world, and it will certainly never wash away into nothing. You can do anything you want to...but it'll never go away. A personal song, with a big personal resonance for me.

    JoeBaldwinon November 09, 2004   Link

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