Radiohead's Thom Yorke Auctions Handwritten Lyrics for Oxfam Charity - Rolling Stone
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Radiohead’s Thom Yorke Auctions Handwritten Lyrics for Oxfam Charity

Singer’s copy of William Blake’s ‘Songs Of Innocence And Experience’ features words to ‘OK Computer’ opener “Airbag” on inside cover

Tom Yorkie; Auction; Lyrics; HandwrittenTom Yorkie; Auction; Lyrics; Handwritten

Radiohead's Thom Yorke is auctioning off handwritten lyrics to benefit anti-poverty charity Oxfam

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Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke is auctioning off his handwritten lyrics to OK Computer opener “Airbag” to benefit anti-poverty charity Oxfam. The words are inscribed on the inside cover of Yorke’s copy of William Blake poetry collection Songs of Innocence and Experience, which is heavily annotated throughout, Stereogum reports.  

The listing shows several images of the book featuring Yorke’s in-progress lyrics in the margins of poems like “A Cradle Song.” The pages spotlight the Radiohead lyricist’s creative process, with jotted-down lines like “moonbeams” and “where there is no noise” alongside underlined Blake passages. 

The full lyrics on the inside cover differ slightly from Yorke’s final version in the 1997 recording. According to the listing, the book reads, “in the next world war in the one you left behind i am born again / in the neon sign scrolling up and down i am born again / in an intastella burst i am back to save the universe / in a deep deep sleep in the love you never had i am born again / in the fast german car in the sliding juggernaut an airbag saved my life / in an intastella burst i am back to save the universe.” (Yorke later revised multiple sections: “in the sliding juggernaut” was eventually switched to “jackknife juggernaut” and moved to replace “in the one you left behind,” among other changes.)

As of this writing, the ongoing Invaluable auction has reached a bid of £1,600 ($2,318) and is expected to bring between upwards of £4,000 (or $5,793). The proceeds will support Oxfam, whose mission is to “help create lasting solutions to the injustice of poverty.”

While buzz continues to grow around Radiohead’s as-yet-unannounced ninth LP, the band has announced a series of festival dates and their first American concerts in four years.

In This Article: Radiohead, Thom Yorke


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