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Radiohead The Tourist Lyrics

Last updated: 01/29/2012 10:00:00 AM

It barks at no one else but me
Like it's seen a ghost
I guess it's seen the sparks a-flowing
No one else would know

Hey man, slow down. Slow down
Idiot, slow down. Slow down

Sometimes I get overcharged
That's when you see sparks
You ask me where the hell I'm going
At a thousand feet per second

Hey man, slow down. Slow down
Idiot, slow down. Slow down

Hey man, slow down. Slow down
Idiot, slow down. Slow down

Thanks to Skargogh for submitting The Tourist Lyrics.

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Check out Sarah Janosz's version | Reviewer: JJ Anderson | 1/25/12

I found Jeneane's review particularly moving. I've come across the song accidentally - an accidental tourist, if you like - having just survived an attempted murder. I guess I didn't know what I felt for a long time, kind of number, angry. Then my wife bought the Sarah Jarosz album 'Follow Me Down', and there is this incredible version by Sarah with the Punch Brothers. It hit me like a ton of bricks - I don't know about the logic and the history, but this version with it's slightly wonky-wheel banjo, crowned by a magnificent soaring fiddle break (kudos to Gabe Witcher) left me thinking of the pace and pressures of modern life. Maybe like a guy from the nineteenth century riding his horse and wagon while a high speed train or racing car zips past. What do you see, what do you feel - what are we part of in a world where the real has been left behind.

I can't get through this song without crying | Reviewer: Jenean | 10/12/11

As I can see, this song has many interpretations by "fans." I am a die hard Radiohead fan and I love this song; however, it's different for me -- ever since my son died (he was 22) in 2000 it speaks to me about him so personally. It does not make me sad to hear the song. It is, in fact, at times when I am strong enough to hear it, very cathartic. I don't know why but this song speaks to me of my son and epitomizes parts of his life. As I said, I can hardly get through this song without weeping as it reache me at some level I can't even begin to describe -- but it's a healing and cleansing release.

I'm not sure of the motive behind the lyrics and I don't care about others' "critiques," but I can assure you (and Radiohead) that this song has been solace and healing to me when I can open up to those emotions concerning my son's death. This song seems to be about my son. I'm not sure why, but it seems to hurt and heal at the same time.

Anyone is entitled to their opinions about this not being "true Radiohead" and whatever other judgments, but this song has been a sort of hymn for me for the past 11 years.

There. I've finally said it.

Bless you, Radiohead (for not only all of your diversity and amazing talents for which I am also grateful) but for the comfort that this song has provided for me for over a decade now. I thought that you should know.

Very respectfully,

Jenean from Sarasota, FL USA

Space and Time | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/7/11


Jonny:That is MY song. I was surprised that the other 4 let me do it. 'The Tourist' doesn't sound like radiohead at all. It's a song where there doesn't have to happen anything every 3 seconds. It has become a song with space.

That is a quote from Jonny and that just leads me to believe this song is just about appreciating all things at a slower more relaxed pace. He wants there to be less going on less fast so you can enjoy more and for longer.

interpretations | Reviewer: sakata | 8/5/11

i guess an art always exist in the way we interpretate it. and what it means to us what things it triggers in our mind. i could interpretate the tourist as my self wondering around the street when i was in acid. i felt i could talk to the animals and when you look in the eye you thing it understands. like it can see the spirit of me. existance in a state no other was existing.
and you think the world of humans are moving so fast.
where flowers are blooming so peacefully as if there is no tomorrow. humans are driving this big cubicle of metal and engine so hurry to go somewhere and be somewhere,
hey man,
slow down,
slow down.

and sometimes i feel that way,
a different way,
my existance in true paradise.
when my mind is mine and my desires are none.
i am over whelmed by just being around and exist in now.
like you were blind and now all there is left is to see.
when i am overcharged with life.
when i feel you are a thousand feet per second.
hey man,
slow down.
slow down

the tourist | Reviewer: | 8/4/11

thom was standing at the bus stop on abingdon rd in oxford when paul mccarthy appeard out of knowhere.paul told thom he was now living in london at canary wharf and that he was only in oxford for the night to see friends,to truth is that paul was dropping off a bag of gear for one of his dealers.paul was fuck,d up at this point in life..thom did,nt give a fuck..paul was an idiot and maybe he should of slowed down..who,s the villian out late your eyes it will..

hey, man, slow down; don't take it so literally | Reviewer: Graham Belfield | 4/29/11

Hi all, this is perhaps my favourite Thom lyric. Like may of his songs don't be fooled by the direct interpretation; Knives Out isn't about actual cannibalism; Bodysnatchers isn't about actual Zombies, and The Tourist isn't actually about him wizzing around Paris too fast. It's actually a frank and honest account of the man himself; his personality and behaviour (yes he does go crazy, giving off sparks, I imagine he can create an atmosphere that dogs could pick up like they can hear and see things apparently invisible to most humans). The key is he is saying he's travelling through LIFE as a tourist, just looking and visting fleetingly,not really interacting, or becoming involved. We may beg to differ - his insights into what's going on as expressed in much of his work is startling.

Plain simple | Reviewer: Jose | 9/5/10

The tourist is just a song about a tourist that Thom found in Paris and he wanted to see the whole city pretty fast. Thom thought he was an idiot and wrote this marvelous song. Just like that.


we're the tourist | Reviewer: stain | 8/10/10

i think that the tourists are We as we go trough thom's world and a lot of other worlds at a 1000 feet per second (too fast and superficially) and then switching to something new, never stopping, never truely realising what we go trough, never having the time to see it in it's full depth and beauty

I heard that.. | Reviewer: D Monkey | 7/8/10

These are fabulous interpretations of a great song. However, I heard somewhere that Thom Yorke has been involved in automobile accidents, and they weren't exactly fender-benders.

He touches base with those experience with a few of his numbers; this one and "Airbag" to name a few.

Again, fabulous interpretations.

Agreement | Reviewer: dark star | 6/3/10

I think the song is about taking in all the beauty there is. I also believe it is about some people who suffer from mental problems where their brains go faster than they can physically articulate. I think in reference to enjoying beauty, the line "They ask me where the hell I'm goin' at 1000 feet per second" means that he is taking in a view and he is seeing for thousands of feet per second.

This song can be interpreted in many different ways, but it is a masterpiece. Its a moving song for anyone who listens to it.

My view | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/9/10

I think it is called 'the tourist' becaus he is looking through the eyes ofa tourist in a beautiful area. The locals rush past and miss things, taking for granted what they see every day, but the visitor apreciates everything, and is facinated by the beauty of it all.

Slow down | Reviewer: Lee | 3/23/10

I prefer to see the positive side to this song, and I agree it's one of the most underrated Radiohead songs out there.

I agree with JoeGod and the others who interpret this song as a message to everyone to slow down and see the beauty in every waking moment. In so many ways life is outpacing people, parents don't have time for their kids, kids don't have time for thier grandparents, people can't listen to a whole sentence without checking their blackberry.... I found this song therapeutic when I drove through the countryside, on my way from one busy place to another. I realize that the real beauty was in trips to and fro, and I learned to stop and read plaques, check out lookouts, and now I learn about places wherever I go as opposed to just stopping in the Tim Hortons.

Love it! | Reviewer: Anonymous | 11/25/09

I love this song, reminds me to smell the roses, you know?
But I always found it odd that he says 1000 feet per second... hes from England so there must be some reason he didn't use the metric system, makes me wonder if the song is about americans.

sorted | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/7/09

"The Tourist" was chosen as the album's final song, according to Yorke, "because a lot of the album was about background noise and everything moving too fast and not being able to keep up. It was really obvious to have "Tourist" as the last song. That song was written to me from me, saying, "Idiot, slow down." Because at that point, I needed to. So that was the only resolution there could be: to slow down."

No. | Reviewer: Gaz | 5/6/09

"actually, not to crash on your guy's parade or anything, but i was talking to thom the other day and he was talking about the tourist simply being about reveling a sexual experience that was going way too fast... thats all."

Complete bull... first of i highly doubt you talked to Thom Yorke and secondly Johnny Greenwood wrote this song.