Poetry News

BREAKING NEWS: OK Computer Possibly Inspired by William Blake

By Harriet Staff

NPG 212; William Blake

UK's Metro reports on the discovery of Radiohead lyrics in a copy of Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience, allegedly donated to an Oxfam store. Hm...

Radiohead might have taken inspiration from William Blake for some of their most iconic work – after a tatty paperback of Blake’s work containing Thom Yorke’s handwritten lyrics was discovered in an Oxford charity shop.

Song lyrics from Airbag, a track featured on the band’s seminal album OK Computer, were found inside an old copy of Blake’s Songs of Innocence that the Radiohead singer donated to an Oxfam store in Oxford.

But workers only realised that it was Yorke’s handwriting after they read it and recognised the lyrics – and it has since been valued by rare book specialist Andrew Chapman.

Chapman believes that the book could fetch thousands at auction, and explained how Yorke has since given permission for it to be sold on.

He said: ‘It’s amazing to think this song on OK Computer was inspired by the poetry of William Blake – this could well be the first draft of Airbag.

‘I wrote to Thom Yorke, to let him know the book could be sold at auction and he contacted head office to say that would be fine for us to sell it as we saw fit.

‘Thom came into the store about eight months ago with a few books to donate and this was one of them.

‘One of the volunteers priced it at 50p and put it out, but fortunately the mistake was spotted and it is due to be sold at auction in London – it could raise at least £1,200 for Oxfam.’

Très curious? Continue at Metro.