Radiohead Knowledge Base

I Will is the tenth song from Radiohead's sixth studio album, Hail To the Thief.


Thom Yorke wrote I Will after seeing news footage of a bomb shelter containing children and families being destroyed in the first Gulf War, which led to it's alternate title: "No man's land". Thom has described I Will as:

"The angriest song I have ever written"

I Will was conceived around the time of Kid A, and was initially produced as an electronic song, but the band scrapped it, passing it off as "dodgy Kraftwerk". However, parts of this original recording were reversed to form the basis of Like Spinning Plates from Amnesiac.

Eventually, the band decided they needed to:

"Get to the core of what's good about the song [...] not get sidetracked by production details or new sounds or whatever”.

The result was the stripped down version heard on Hail To the Thief. An alternate version of the song was recorded in Los Angeles, during Radiohead's abandoned sessions there for Hail To the Thief, which was included as a B-side to the 2 + 2 = 5 single under the name "I Will (Los Angeles Version)"


I will lay me down
In a bunker underground
I won't let this happen to my children
Meet the real world coming out of your shell
With white elephants, sitting ducks
I will rise up
Little baby's eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes
Little baby's eyes, eyes, eyes, eyes
Little baby's eyes, eyes eyes