Radiohead may have be inspired by William Blake

MusicBy Sunday World
Radiohead may have be inspired by William Blake

The song lyrics on Radiohead's 'OK Computer' album may have been inspired by 18th century English poet William Blake.

The band's frontman Thom Yorke donated a paperback copy of Blake's poetry collection, 'Songs of Innocence and Experience', to an Oxfam charity store and after staff examined the book they realised it contained lyrics from songs featured on the band's best-selling 1997 album scrawled in the margin.

Lines from the track 'Airbag' were found alongside Blake's poetry, which had been underlined and annotated.

Once staff realised the cultural significance of the book it was taken off the shelves from sale for 50p and rare books specialist Andrew Chapman has checked the book and it is now expected to fetch thousands at auction.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail newspaper, Chapman said: "I'm a big Radiohead fan, so when volunteer Alex Barker showed me the book ... we realised that the book was of considerable interest as it showed the influence for the song and a direct link between Blake's verses and Thom's inspiration.

"We knew it must have been one of Thom's books as we had been talking about another one that he had donated only the week before.

"The book is a tatty Penguin 1960s paperback of 'Songs of Innocence and Experience', but Yorke's lyrics and the annotations make it very special. 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'."

Thom has given Oxfam approval to auction the book and hopes it raises a significant sum for one of the many good causes the charity supports.

Chapman added: "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.

"We have been told the estimate for the book is over £1,000 but there had already been interest in it. I wouldn't have thought it was a wild idea to hope for £10,000 at auction."

The book of Blake's poetry is due to be auctioned on Friday March 18.