"Subterranean Homesick Alien" as written by and Thomas Edward/greenwood Yorke....
The breath of the morning
I keep forgetting
The smell of the warm summer air

I live in a town
Where you can't smell a thing
You watch your feet
For cracks in the pavement

Up above
Aliens hover
Making home movies
For the folks back home

Of all these weird creatures
Who lock up their spirits
Drill holes in themselves
And live for their secrets

They're all


I wish that they'd swoop down in a country lane
Late at night when I'm driving
Take me on board their beautiful ship
Show me the world as I'd love to see it

I'd tell all my friends but they'd never believe me
They'd think that I'd finally lost it completely
I'd show them the stars and the meaning of life
They'd shut me away
But I'd be alright
I'm alright

I'm just

Lyrics submitted by piesupreme

"Subterranean Homesick Alien" as written by Edward John O'brien Colin Charles Greenwood

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Subterranean Homesick Alien song meanings
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  • +20
    General CommentTo me it's about alienation and feeling that you're different from everybody around you "all these weird creatures who lock up their spirits" and about how you just know that there are more people like you out there but you can't seem to find them, you wish they'd just find you and take you in, and it's driving you crazy.
    I live in a hick town and I'm like the only person I know who likes Radiohead... So that's probably why I see the song as I see it.
    kaisuteon June 12, 2002   Link
  • +7
    General Comment"show me the world as i'd love to see it"
    Quasinegroon February 05, 2006   Link
  • +7
    General CommentThis one's very obviously about feeling isolated, different. He says his town is very boring, life's becoming dull. He wants something to break him out of the monotony. He wants to really find out what it's all about. But if he does, he will be even more isolated, because all the great things he's discovered--all the other people aren't interested in those things. They'll think he's just weird and shut him out even more. So it's basically either you stick your neck out to get something back from life, or you let yourself slink into the boredom of being "normal" in society. The lyrics also say how "normal" for us would be considered strange to outsiders (and the narrator himself is an outsider). I guess it's really just about not fitting in with everyone else and wanting to belong somewhere. You feel like an alien on a strange planet and you just want to get lifted up and taken back home.
    PairOFishon February 07, 2013   Link
  • +6
    General CommentI spent 20 years in the maelstrom of mental illness,i listen to this song and its like time travel back to the diner in that edward hopper painting ,alone,invisible and paranoid
    scotchpie66on December 11, 2010   Link
  • +5
    General Commentthis song to me feels like someone thats living in a town that just bores them to death and wants to escape, "i live in a town where you cant smell a thing" meaning its just devoid of flavor, the people living here are all drones. theres nothing in this town for him. he wishes for an abduction to escape this boredom that is his life.
    Paranoid_Androidon June 02, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis album is a concept album about technology and the icolation it causes it is about how conservative sociaty (and the goverment) is becoming. This song in paticular is about conservatvness and how strange people are to "lock up their spirits" "Drill holes in themselves and live for their secrets"
    Thom said in an interveiw that he got the idea for the song when he was in school and the teacher asked the class to picture the world as if they were aliens and they were seeing it for the first time and did not understand why people were doing the things they were doing.
    clarkeyon October 25, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General CommentWow I just heard this song for the first time and I'm nearly in tears. It's just all the feelings I have everyday. You just hate what this world and the people in it have become, and you hate how nobody understands this. You feel like everyone is "uptight" and concerned with all these material things and faking smiles, etc. You wish someone would come into your life that DOES understand you and take you away to a perfect place where you can finally fit in. You tell people about your views and stuff, and they don't understand so they just laugh at you to try to switch around the embarrassment. You stop telling people what you believe, you lose your voice, and realize you have become uptight now :(
    razzberrryon August 17, 2013   Link
  • +3
    General CommentYorke feels that he has more in common with the aliens than his fellow man... Think back to the scene in the bar in Paranoid Android — they’re all small-minded, they have no sense of the bigger picture. Thom feels like the majority of people can’t look at the world from an overall perspective. This song is about being isolated by your intelligence, or at least the fact you choose to use what intelligence you have. By the end Thom is also uptight, because he knows he will only be rejected if he expresses his views. The worst thing is that our silence will make other thinking people think they're alone... Let's hope they listen to this song! Lyrically probably my favorite song ever.
    Rodgeron November 09, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti'm not too sure that they mean anything about extra terrestrials at all, not literally.
    stardropleton July 19, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commentmy favourite rh song ever!
    it's about a life most of us live, normal everyday stuff makes you so anaemic, you don't know how to enjoy the little things anymore and about waiting for something exciting to happen that would change your life and make it extraordinary... yep, i know the feeling too well... after listening to this song i always feel the need to move to a countryside or a small town where life is a bit 'slower', where you find time to talk with your friends and neighbors... where you can feel the smell of warm summer air... oh, that's bullshit... i'll never leave the city...
    LucyInTheSkyWithRHon May 19, 2006   Link

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