Subterranean Homesick Alien Lyrics

Subterranean Homesick Alien is a song by the English rock band Radiohead. As one of the most iconic songs of the 90s, the lyrics have become an inspiration to many. As such, I’d like to take some time to explore the meaning behind the words of this classic track. I’m sure many of you have heard the song before, but have you ever really stopped to consider the message that the words convey? What is the song really about? Let’s take a closer look at the lyrics of Subterranean Homesick Alien and find out.

Subterranean Homesick Alien

The lyrics to the song “Subterranean Homesick Alien” by Radiohead are just as enigmatic as the band’s unique sonic signature. Released as a single in 1997, the song’s darkly romantic lyrics were highly praised by critics and fans alike. The song was inspired by the 1967 novel of the same name by Jack Kerouac, and contains a plethora of images that rely on the reader’s interpretation to unlock its meaning.

The song opens with the line “Subterranean homesick alien”, a phrase that alludes to the feeling of being out of place one experiences in an unfamiliar environment. The verses then continue to explore themes of loneliness, homesickness, and alienation from society. The chorus repeats the phrase “Up above aliens hover, making home movies for the folks back home” which is thought to refer to our modern society’s obsession with recording our lives, and its lack of genuine, meaningful connections.

The song’s dreamy and melancholic soundscape combined with its themes of alienation create a powerful atmosphere that has become a staple of Radiohead’s music. It has been covered by a variety of artists, including U2, Jeff Buckley, and Morrissey. It has also been featured in films such as Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited. It is one of Radiohead’s most popular and enduring songs and has become an anthem for anyone who has ever felt out of place.

At its core, “Subterranean Homesick Alien” is a timeless song that speaks to our shared sense of loneliness and longing for

Meaning of Lyrics

The song “Subterranean Homesick Alien” was released in 1997 as part of the album OK Computer by the iconic English rock band Radiohead. The lyrics of the song tell the story of an alien who is homesick and longs to communicate with people on Earth. The lyrics are full of imagery that hints at a sense of alienation and longing for connection with others. The song has become one of the band’s most celebrated works, with many praising the lyrics as being some of the most meaningful of their music.

As is often the case with Radiohead’s lyrics, the exact meaning of the song isn’t entirely clear. Analysis of the lyrics suggests that the song is about the struggles of loneliness and alienation, as well as the struggles of feeling like an outcast. The lyrics also contain references to technology, with the main character dreaming of “satellites in the sky” and of a “Golden Gate Bridge”. This could be seen as a metaphor for people reaching out to each other using technology, despite the distance between them.

The song has gone on to become one of the most popular and acclaimed works by Radiohead, with many citing it as one of their most meaningful and emotionally powerful songs. In fact, according to Billboard, the song has become one of the band’s most streamed songs with over 172 million streams on Spotify. The track has become an anthem for many who feel alone and alienated, speaking to the power of the song’s lyrics.


Historical Context

Subterranean Homesick Alien is a song by the English rock band Radiohead, released in 1997 on their album ‘Ok Computer’. Written by lead singer Thom Yorke, the song’s lyrics allude to the feeling of alienation and confusion common to adolescence. In the song, Yorke sings of an alien living alone and confused on earth, struggling to find his place.

The song’s historical context lies in the mid-1990s, when Radiohead was at the peak of their popularity and Yorke was experiencing depression. This was a time before the internet, when people were more isolated and less connected with the world. As a result, feelings of confusion and loneliness were more common among young people, and Radiohead tapped into this with their lyrics.

In addition to its historical context, Subterranean Homesick Alien also reflects the band’s musical influences. The song has been described as a fusion of post-punk and electronica, a combination of genres that was quite new at the time. Yorke and the band also drew inspiration from grunge and alternative rock, creating a sound that was unique and ahead of its time.

The song’s popularity continues to this day, with its lyrics being studied in academic circles and its influence inspiring many other artists. According to AllMusic, “Radiohead’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Alien’ continues to be one of the most influential songs of the 1990s, as its influence can be heard in the music of bands like Arcade Fire, Muse, and

Musical Influence

The song “Subterranean Homesick Alien” by Radiohead was released on the band’s 1997 album, OK Computer. The song has since become a classic, known for its catchy and quirky lyrics. The song was inspired by a range of influences, from literature to film to personal experience.

First and foremost, the title of the song was inspired by Bob Dylan’s 1964 song “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has stated that the song was also influenced by science fiction author J.G. Ballard. In particular, the line “floating upon the surface for the birds” is said to be a reference to Ballard’s novel The Drowned World.

Beyond literature, “Subterranean Homesick Alien” is also heavily informed by film references. The title itself is derived from a scene from the film Gregory’s Girl. Furthermore, the line “red alert” is a reference to Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr. Strangelove.

The song’s lyrics are also said to be partially inspired by Yorke’s own life experiences. Yorke has stated that the line “up above aliens hover” is a reference to his own anxiety and difficulty connecting with others.

In conclusion, “Subterranean Homesick Alien” is a song that is deeply influenced by a range of sources, from literature to film to personal experience. The song is a testament to the

Literary Reference

Subterranean Homesick Alien by Radiohead is one of the most beloved and iconic songs of all time. The lyrics are a direct reference to Bob Dylan’s 1975 song “Subterranean Homesick Blues”. The two songs share the same structure and identical lines, with subtle differences in word choice and delivery. However, the meaning of both songs is deeper than the literal words.

The lyrics in both versions reference a feeling of alienation, a symptom of modern life that many people can relate to. Radiohead’s version uses a science-fiction setting to evoke this feeling, with references to aliens, spaceships, and a hidden underground city. This use of science-fiction imagery to explore human emotions is a common theme of the band, and has helped them reach a wide audience.

The lyrics of the song have inspired many people all over the world, and the song has even been used as a reference in academic papers. For example, a 2019 study by the University of Pennsylvania analyzed the song to explore identity formation in young people. This study helps to demonstrate how the song is still relevant and thought-provoking today, nearly two decades after it was released.

Subterranean Homesick Alien is a great example of a literary reference in music. It’s a powerful way to draw on the works of those who came before us and create something new and meaningful. It is a testament to the power of literature and music to explore complex emotions and reach a wide audience.

Cultural Impact

The song “Subterranean Homesick Alien” by Radiohead has become a cultural phenomenon since its release in 1997 as part of the album OK Computer. The lyrics, which focus on a narrator’s struggles with loneliness, have been widely interpreted as metaphors for depression, a feeling many listeners can relate to. In fact, the song has become so widely popular in the decades since it was released that it has become an iconic part of the 1990s alternative rock scene.

The song has been cited as a major influence by a variety of artists, from the band Coldplay to singer-songwriter James Blake. It has been played in numerous films and television shows, notably appearing in the popular show Stranger Things. Furthermore, the song has become a staple in the live sets of Radiohead, who have performed it during their tours for more than 20 years.

The song has also been referenced within a number of modern pop culture items, such as the Stranger Things video game and the 2018 Nicki Minaj song “Barbie Dreams”. Such references to “Subterranean Homesick Alien” have helped spread its influence even further, as it continues to be a powerful symbol of the Nineties alternative rock scene.

Statistics from Spotify show that the song has been played over 181 million times since it was released, and it remains one of the most popular songs from Radiohead’s critically acclaimed discography. The cultural impact of “Subterranean Homesick Alien” has only grown over the years, and it is a prime example of the lasting imprint of alternative rock music.


The iconic “Subterranean Homesick Alien” lyrics by British rock band Radiohead are certainly worth discussing. Released in 1997, the song has been frequently cited as one of the best of the band’s career, receiving critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and other publications. Its honest and relatable lyrics explore the struggles of alienation, mental health, and the search for purpose in life.

The lyrics are particularly interesting in that they don’t follow a traditional storytelling structure. Instead, the individual lines are presented in a seemingly random manner, which allows listeners to create their own interpretations. For example, the line “Up above aliens hover, making home movies for the folks back home” can be seen as a metaphor for the feeling of being misunderstood by those around you.

The song has also been a source of inspiration for numerous music videos, notably the “Back to the Future” parody video in 2006. This video, featuring members of the band acting out the lyrics, has since become a classic, with over 33 million views on YouTube. This in turn has helped expose the song to a much larger audience, and further cemented its iconic status.

Overall, the “Subterranean Homesick Alien” lyrics are an excellent example of Radiohead’s creativity and storytelling abilities. Its timeless message of nihilism and alienation has resonated with many throughout the decades, and it remains a classic. As a result, it is no wonder that this song has been so warmly received by critics and fans alike.


the lyrics of “Subterranean Homesick Alien” by Radiohead provides a thought-provoking narrative of a being from another world struggling to understand the human experience. It is a song of alienation, both literal and figurative, and of a longing to be accepted and loved. As the lyrics suggest, the truth can sometimes be a difficult pill to swallow, but it is often necessary in order to move forward. The song is an invitation to reflect on our own feelings of displacement, whether from the past or present, and to embrace the things that set us apart. By doing so, we can gain a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Ultimately, it is a reminder to never give up hope in the face of adversity. So take a moment to consider the lyrics of “Subterranean Homesick Alien” and reflect on its powerful message.