10 Outlandish Radiohead Song Interpretations

There is a corner of the internet that is forever Radiohead. Over at Radiohead Song Interpretations fans pick over and fillet Radiohead songs to find the deep and meaningful behind Thom Yorke’s gnomic lyrics, offering up theories and tying in their own personal recollections. Here are some of the more leftfield – or downright strange – comments.


this song makes me feel like i am watching the world go by, for the moment disconnected, and i can watch time pass at any speed i like. i see the human civilization, our cities, our complications, our wasteful nature. I am am neither dead nor alive, not wanting to be either. Its like a coma watching time go by. deciding wether or not to return to earth. i want to cry and laugh and a thousand other things as my emotions explode within me.


There is really vital and truthful information (“this is really happening”) out there, but how can we distinguish it in the black waters of information? We are just partying in our “Idioteque” when we should be freeing ourselves from this iron cage of information which supresses us from seeing the world and the issues related to it “an sich”. Only this can help us think and decide for ourselves. Save the “women and the children first”, the first of our children.

‘Paranoid Android’

i have a theory regarding paranoid android, that it was inspired by douglas adams’ “hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy” serial.

‘High And Dry’

I think that High and Dry is about a bank robbery gone wrong. The narrator is one of the crooks, and he is signing about the mastermind of the job. Once inside the bank, everything goes to hell, and the head thief is left to make some important decisions.

‘No Surprises’

it couldbe interpreted as a reference to the thriller Fatherland, in which the main character, Inspector March, policeman of an alternate future where Nazi Germany now dominates europe, plans to escape with his lover but is arrested, interogated, escapes and finally goes down fighting in the woods near the ruins of Auschwitz (which has been covered up by the goverment). As his lover escapes she is carrying the files proving it all happened. Or not.


Ok, Lucky is the song I heard when I was sorting mail (my old job) and very depressed after a big break up. A week or two later I met a beautiful girl called Sarah and it all made sense!

‘Subterranean Homesick Alien’

Well it’s obviously about being abducted by aliens… I don’t read much deeper into it than that except that it probably has some connection with the Bob Dylan song “Subteranean Homesick Blues”.

‘Fake Plastic Trees’

Polystyrene is a type of foam that was used at some point to make hamburger boxes at McDonald’s. Similar enough to plastic, at least for the song’s purposes. The man tried to fill the mold, but failed. Hence, “cracked polystyrene” = “shattered mold”. In the second half, the lyrics show that “he used to do surgery for girls in the eighties”.


i think this song is saying that radiohead’s music isn’t all sad and lugubrious like everyone likes to think.

‘The National Anthem’

I like this song because it is funny as crap.

Have you got any outlandish theories about Radiohead songs? Feel free to share. There are no wrong answers.