Radiohead Lyrics

The National Anthem

Everyone
Everyone around here
Everyone is so near
It’s holding on
It’s holding on

Everyone
Everyone is so near
Everyone has got the fear
It’s holding on
It’s holding on

It’s holding on
It’s holding on
It’s holding on

 

SONG INFORMATION

Released: October 2000
Found on: Kid A. Live version found on I Might Be Wrong – Live Recordings.

The National Anthem is thought to have been previously attempted at recording sessions in 1994 and 1997, but according to Radiohead member Colin Greenwood, the band decided it was “too good to use it as a b-side for OK Computer singles”. In the album recording, the bass is played by lead singer Thom Yorke, who wrote the riff at age 16.

In the recording sessions, band members Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood conducted the session musicians, though Yorke lacks formal musical training. Yorke stated in an interview, “The running joke when we were in the studios was, ‘Just blow. Just blow, just blow, just blow'”, referring to the chaotic brass section sound. Although the recording sounds chaotic, each instrument is playing a solo to the riff.

The free jazz-style brass section featured in the song, influenced by Charles Mingus,creates a soundscape of chaos, and has been described as “a brass band marching into a brick wall” by one reviewer.

The song also features an Ondes Martenot, played by Jonny Greenwood, an early electronic instrument which was picked up by Greenwood for several songs on Kid A and subsequent albums. Greenwood’s usage of it was inspired by the music of Olivier Messiaen.