Track 8 on Kid A by Radiohead. The song is entirely electronic, taken up mostly by a set of simple beat loops and ambient sounds, which give a fairly panicked feel to the song, as if something is being rushed and there is an insane emergency.

The song could have several meanings, none of which have been confirmed by the band. In keeping with the "Kid A" human cloning theme, the first could be the first human clone in an institute, hinted at by the chorus of "Here I'm allowed anything all the time". However, this isn't supported by the rest of the song at all, especially not by any of the discussion of bunkers, women and children first or the stuff about ice ages.

Let me hear both sides

Far more likely is that the song is about some form of nuclear war-this definitely fits with the bunkers and "women and children first", and also the panicked theme (In this sense it is sort of like Sit Down, Stand Up on Hail to the Thief, but there the similarities end). The "Ice age coming" obviously refers to the predicted nuclear winter that would descend on the world if someone pressed the Red Button.

We're not scaremongering
This is really happening


Even more likely than that is that the song is about climate change. This fits the lyrics incredibly well, with the exception of "Here I'm allowed anything all of the time". "Ice age coming", obviously because the climate has cooled down (climate change != global warming). The "We're not...happening" line probably refers to the doubting Thomases who refuse to accept that anything is happening to the climate, despite all the evidence to the contrary. "Let me hear both sides" could be the public wanting to get a second opinion on the climate change scenario as the event itself draws nearer. "Take the money run" seems to refer to the greedy oil companies who rake in the cash while contributing to the death of the planet.

Other possible meanings suggested by SongMeanings.net
  • Cuban Missile Crisis? Not very likely.
  • Stupid dance music. Idiot+Discotheque=Idioteque. Again, not very likely, but still possible.
  • Thom Yorke just picked random phrases out of a hat. I'm speechless.
  • Amiriya. Doesn't fit that well: ice age? Laughing? Allowed everything? Comes close to "bunker" though.
  • Y2K panic.
  • Titanic.


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