Friday, May 18, 2007

2006 June 18 | Observer

Q: Is the song Harrowdown Hill really about the suicide of weapons inspector and government scientist Dr David Kelly?

Thom: 'It is,' says Yorke with some reluctance. 'But I've got this thing where I don't want to make a big deal out of that because I'm very sensitive to the idea of digging up anything that the Kelly family... I don't really think it's appropriate for me to say, 'Yes, it's about that', because I'm sure they're still grieving over his death.'

Q: But Harrowdown Hill is the name of the Oxfordshire woods where Kelly's body was found in July 2003. I remind Yorke of the lyrics: 'You will be dispensed with when you've become inconvenient... up on Harrowdown Hill... that's where I'm lying down... did I fall or was I pushed...'. That's quite direct stuff.

Thom: 'It's the most angry song I've ever written in my life,' he nods grimly. 'I'm not gonna get into the background to it, the way I see it... And it's not for me or for any of us to dig any of this up. So it's a bit of an uncomfortable thing.'

Q: Did the Kelly affair crystallise everything that was wrong and venal about the whole Iraq adventure for Yorke?

Thom: (A pause). 'Um, I guess I didn't see it in terms of Iraq, but obviously, yes. What disturbed me the most about it was the way that the Ministry of Defence in this country is able to operate. I think it's a profound cancer at the centre of this society.'

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