in the next world war
in a jackknifed juggernaught
i am born again
in the neon sign
scrolling up and down
i am born again

in an interstellar burst
i am back to save the universe

in a deep deep sleep
of the innocent
i am born again
in a fast german car
i'm amazed that i survived
an airbag saved my life
in an interstellar burst
i am back to save the universe
version originale
27 mai 1997, OK Computer
21 avril 1998, Airbag
autre version
12 janvier 1998, No Surprises CD2
23 octobre 2001, Strung Out
27 octobre 2003, True love waits, Christopher O'Riley

Au début (en 1995), la chanson était jouée acoustique. Elle s'appelait alors An Airbag Saved My Life. Cette chanson serait un hommage au hit disco Last Night a DJ Saved My Life (Indeep, 1983). Inspiré par DJ Shadow, le groupe a utilisé une batterie samplée. La chanson est très complexe, pleine de couches successives, et de nombreuses parties ont dû être mixées avec attention pour atteindre le résultat final.

We wanted it to be like Planet Telex off The Bends - a start that's not really anything like the rest of the album. It's quite dancey. That's cos Phil's been attending drum 'n' bass nights.
Airbag is a classic example of Colin and Phil saying "Let's make it sound like DJ Shadow". But unfortunately - or fortunately - it doesn't, because we missed again. It's that thing of lumbering around in the dark, but still being excited by what we do. We're discovering these things for the first time rather than getting the pros in to show us how to do it.
Airbag est l'exemple classique de Colin et Phil disant : "Faisons le sonner comme DJ Shadow". mais malheureusement - ou heureusement - ça n'y ressemble pas, parce qu'on n'y arrive pas. On est encore en train de chercher dans le noir, mais toujours excités par ce que nous faisons. Nous découvrons ces choses pour la première fois, plutôt qu'inviter un pro pour nous montrer comment le faire.
VOX Magazine, septembre 1997
>in the next world war
>in a jackknifed juggernaut
    i am born again
>in the neon sign scrolling up and down
    i am born again

..!!in an intastella burst i am back to save the universe!!

>in a deep deep sssleep of tHe inno$ent/completely terrified
         am born again
>in a fAAst     gerRman      CAR
  im amazed that i survived
        an airbag saved my life

C'est Colin qui joue des grelots au début du morceau. Il a horreur de ça !

They're actually quite dangerous things. They can kill!

(il parle des airbags, bien sûr...)

Elle fut inspirée par les sentiments de Thom à l'égard des voitures, après avoir été impliqué dans un accident avec sa petite amie quand il était jeune. C'est une de ses préférées sur OK Computer.

C'est à propos de l'émotion positive et merveilleuse qu'on ressent quand on vient juste d'éviter un accident; quand on a raté quelqu'un et on réalise à quel point on est passé près, qu'on stoppe la voiture et qu'on ressent cette émotion incroyable.
Melody Maker, 31 mai 1997
So much of the public's perception revolves around illusion. That's what Airbag is about, the illusion of safety. In reality, airbags don't really work and they go off at random. It's exactly the same as when you're on a plane. Everyone should really sit backwards. It's the safest way possible to face the back of the plane as you take of. But because people don't like the idea, and they feel a bit sick, airplanes have always been done the other way around, which is fucked. Anyway, if you're plummeting down to earth at 1,000 miles per hour, there's no way you're going to stand a hope if you sit there with your head between your legs with your seatbelt on. In the end, we're all just fucking bits of meat.

OK Computer devait paraître plus heureux que The Bends. Vraiment ?

Oui, en fait je le pense. Je pense qu'Airbag est joyeuse - de façon maladive.
Has an airbag saved my life? Nah... but I tell you something, every time you have a near accident, instead of just sighing and carrying on, you should pull over, get out of the car and run down the street screaming 'I'm BACK! I'm ALIVE! My life has started again today!' In fact, you should do that every time you get out of a car. We're just riding on those things - we're not really in control of them.
Est-ce qu'un airbag m'a sauvé la vie ? Non... mais je vais vous dire un truc : chaque fois qu'on passe près d'un accident, au lieu de juste souffler et continuer, on devrait se garer, sortir de la voiture et hurler dans la rue 'Je suis ENCORE LÀ ! Je suis VIVANT ! Ma vie recommence aujourd'hui !' En fait, on devrait faire ça à chaque fois qu'on sort d'une voiture. On se contente de les utiliser, on ne les contrôle pas vraiment.
Select, juillet 1997
For two days, we did programming, cutting up bits up drumming we had done and we didn't really know what we were doing. I think everybody thought we were mad, so to see the song actually come together... it was brilliant. it was amazing that we had done it. I'm one of those people where i have a sound in my head so when we actually do get it and finish it it's like, 'how the hell did we get to that point?' we mixed it, and later sitting there listening to it, it felt like we weren't responsible for it, but everyone was telling us that we were.
We had a great time doing Airbag. There was a party going on for like three days in a row. By the end of it the studio was just a fucking pit of all sorts of disgusting things - half-finished bottles of wine and beer spilled on the desk and ashtrays everywhere. It was great. We do play cards and bridge and shit like everybody says we do all the time. But then, we go smoke crack in the bathroom afterwards.
Airbags go off spontaneously, so researchers claim. I think that's a cool judgement, don't you? Driving along in your Mercedes.
They're actually quite dangerous things. They can kill.
What would you know about it? You can't even drive!
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Nigel Godrich
Nigel Godrich
Mayfair, Abbey Road, Air Lyndhurst, Courtyard
and the church using the wonders of a digital and analog age
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Abbey Road