Myxomatosis Lyrics - Radiohead

Review The Song (21)



The mongrel cat came home
Holding half a head
Proceeded to show it off
To all his new found friends
He said I been where I liked
I slept with who I like
She ate me up for breakfast
She screwed me in a vice
But now
I don't know why
I feel so tongue-tied
I sat in the cupboard
And wrote it down real neat
They were cheering and waving
Cheering and waving
Twitching and salivating like with myxomatosis
But it got edited fucked up
Strangled beaten up
Used in a photo in time magazine
Buried in a burning black hole in devon
I don't know why I feel so tongue-tied
Don't know why
I feel
So skinned alive.
My thoughts are misguided and a little naive
I twitch and I salivate like with myxomatosis
You should put me in a home or you should put me down
I got myxomatosis
I got myxomatosis
Yeah no one likes a smart ass but we all like stars
But that wasn't my intention, I did it for a reason
It must have got mixed up
Strangled beaten up
I got myxomatosis
I got myxomatosis
I don't know why I
Feel so tongue-tied





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distorted intention | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/8/14

this is about intending one thing and then watching in horror as your intended meaning becomes distorted.

It starts in the first verse with bragging and boasting about conquests and freedom, only to find that the last thing this ensures is pride and liberty.

It then goes on to the second verse. No matter how careful you are in choosing your words, with the expectation of receiving applause, your comments twisted until the original meaning and intention is completely lost.

The final verse reveals Thom's personal feelings of frustrations at being unable to communicate what he wants to without having it dissected, analysed and then willfully misinterpreted. There is an admission in the first line, that to expect to be understood is naive and he must be crazy for believing that he will be.

The word myxomatosis is probably intentionally used because of the symptoms associated with it; which include blindness. The audience for which he writes are oblivious to what he intends. I suspect he views some of the adoration he receives as a kind of madness. By the same token, he views his own expectation of being understood a kind of madness as well.

It's interesting that Thom has publicly declared that he writes with no intention of conveying meaning, choosing his words for the way they sound. This seems intentionally evasive and probably stems from his relationship with the music press. He knows what he means and probably resents hacks imposing their own interpretations on his work.

Myxie Rabbits | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/6/11

Myxomatosis is a disease that was created and released by governments in (I think) Australia to kill rabbits. It spread to the UK and has almost wiped out the native rabbit population there.

The second title for this song is 'Judge, Jury, and Executioner', aka how the government acted towards the rabbits

take that into account before you judge the song

content | Reviewer: MY XO | 7/30/10

The song is about yorke's being influencd to say what journalist want to be said. In the first momenthe feels like the mongrel dog that is able not to be contaminated by myxomatosis. But at the end he is weak as the rabbit.

lost in space | Reviewer: Anonymous | 6/8/10

Funnily enough, given the range of takes on this song already submitted here, I think the whole song is about being misinterpreted, and trying to figure out yourself what you want. Even if you write in a cupboard, the writing will be taken from you "edited, fucked up, strangled and beaten up". The mongrel cat is trying to feel good by impressing others and brag about being free and independent ( "I have been where I like, slept with who I liked") but is feeling empty as a result.

As regards mixomatosis, I think Radiohead frequently use words for their sound effect rather than for their usual meaning. In this case, I think mixomatosis is meant to be the disease of being mixed up ("my thoughts are misguided and a little naive" "that wasn't my intention, I did it for a reason")

These misinterpretations and analyses make him feel both tongue-tied (unable to express himself properly) and skinned alive (scientifically disected).

Whatever the hell it was meant to mean, I think it's an incredibly atmospheric and powerful song. As one of the other comments was saying, it's really a beautifully discordant.


What a song! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/31/10

"myxamitosis is a deadly disease and you guys are retarts iits noot funny how animals suffer oh and if u think its funny wake up its horrible and sad so maybe u should go 2 the pound if coz ur 2 sick 4 life"

-The confused, mis-spelled Scratchings of a person with a complete lack of an imagination.

The point of the song is that myxomatosis is horrible. It makes the song 'creepy'. It makes you feel uncomfortable and unnerving. For me this song simply portrays the sickly pity you feel when you see a dying animal, it makes you hate yourself. I'm vegan, so i feel that, for me, the song is about the control humans have over animals, in the farming industry, and how disgusting that is.

"you should put me in a home or you should put me down"

The way that Radiohead can make me feel this is completely amazing. Absolute geniuses. Their the most experimental band ever, and the easily the best band of modern times. I'm in complete awe of all their work.




time mag | Reviewer: Kacper | 1/7/10

Hi, IMHO this song is about lying in the interviews.

the mongrel cat came home
holding half a head
proceeded to show it off
to all his new found friends
he said "I've been where I like"
"I've slept with who I liked"
"she ate me up for breakfast"
"she screwed me in a vice"

half a head is how you hold a magazine with your face on it, when you doble it you have half a face. In the interviews he often states things just to be famous:

"no one likes a smartarse but we all like stars"

and when he comes home/ or somewhere else, there is somebody who knows how it really happened so he begins to explain and he get's tongue tied- just like it would be if he had myxomatosis:)

but that's just my opinion


retart | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/10/09

myxamitosis is a deadly disease and you guys are retarts iits noot funny how animals suffer oh and if u think its funny wake up its horrible and sad so maybe u should go 2 the pound if coz ur 2 sick 4 life

jesus in purgatory | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/14/09

This song is about Jesus in purgatory. Everybody is Jesus in purgatory, the cat, the half a head, the salivating thing, all of it.

Read it again thinking about Jesus in purgatory! It's all I can see!!!

I`m way off! | Reviewer: Tam | 7/17/09

I`m way off on this guys, i thought it was a dig a george bush!!!! For me "(the mongrel cat came home holding half a head
proceeded to show it off
to all his new found friends
he said "I've been where I like)" a shot at his rediculous (Half won)(half a head) war in middle east! then blagging on telly about winning a war!!! Read the lyrics again and think Bush! Its all i can see! Bush has his speeches written by his aides and when asked a question not prepared for, stutters (twitches and salivates) gets tongue tied?

amazing song | Reviewer: cupcake | 6/26/09

i have listened to this song multiple times and haven't even begun analyzing the lyrics lol!

at first i too somehow thought the song was in a strange time signature, but the count-off and whole song is in 4 but it has a strange an awesome feel that makes it different!

it's a mesmerizing song. the instruments really puts me in a trance.

somehow the vocals make me feel like i want him to sing out, but it also makes me feel like "wow he's portraying the song perfectly". it's a strange pull!

Amazing song | Reviewer: Adrift | 5/4/09

Awesome song, the lyrics seem to hint at fame and false friends specifically "the mongrel cat came home holding half a head
proceeded to show it off
to all his new found friends" as well as comparing disease to losing your identity. This is my second favorite radiohead song to climbing up the walls though radiohead has never had a bad song, all their songs are interesting and complex in some way and you cant say that about too many if any , bands.

Drumming | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/31/09

First time i tried counting this song i was so confused. thought it was 9/8, but after listening to it again figured out it was 4/4. Damn that phil selway and his syncopation!

Favourite song atm. <3

Unfortunately Beautiful | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/22/08

Compared to others my interpretation may seem insignificant.

Most reviewers say that this song is about self-mutilation and while I don't personally agree with that, Myxomatosis, A disease that small mammals can only acquire, is referencing a human only disease. Like in the first verse where he mentions his partner "ate him up for breakfast" and "screwed him up in a vice" is like saying she gave him a type disease, metaphorically of course. Like Myxomatosis, STI's are transferable through the blood. It's genius and possibly my favorite radiohead song.

Also let's not forget how beautifully composed it was. Every instrument in the piece matches perfectly in a cacophony of sounds managing to create a perfect atmospheric effect that is so fitting.

"that wasn't my intention"

Sick cat or sick humans? | Reviewer: doris benoit | 7/12/08

I don't find these lyrics disturbing. It appears to me a commentary on the star system as is apparently the wolf at the door song. I have not read the short story and heard this song for the first time 3 weeks ago. I would assume the half a head is half a rabbit's head, hence the affliction of myx. The disease is comparable with the intoxication and blind loyalty(blindness is also a symptom of the disease)disciples of a superstar/band. Being skinned alive clearly enunciates the way a human is turned into product(by time magazine etc.)Fans rabbidly await new product from the star/medium whether the individual or band cares to feed the senses of a fickle and diseased public. The song also seems to be a confession. By participating in any hierarchy one automatically contributes to the inherent corruption of hierarchy whether music industry or organized religion. We are all damned. Pretty straight forward song. There are abstractions in Radio Head lyrics but before their recent decline, their appeal for me was establishing a type of sonic cinema, with lyrics being quite secondary.

sublimity rules | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/16/07

God radiohead is amazing. There forever equally disturbing and entrancing music is enough to capture anyone but the ignorant, the arrogant, and the blind. Self-mutilation does seem to be a bit too self-centered for the traditional radiohead topic. I long to understand the weirdness only found in that thin line between madness and genius...


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