Main Index Pablo Honey The Bends OK Computer Kid A Amnesiac Hail to the Thief In Rainbows The King of Limbs A Moon Shaped Pool Thom Yorke Jonny Greenwood Ed O'Brien Colin Greenwood Philip Selway
'There there' was heavily influenced by the German band Can and was around already during the sessions for Kid A. In this embryonic state it still missed what would become the second half of the song and featured different lyrics.
On February 10th 2000, the song made its live debut in this form on Radiohead's 2nd webcast. Sadly, only a part of this performance is available, which continues into a lengthy instrumental jam.
The audio file presented here is a reconstruction using three versions. One source appeared in one of the episodes and sounds great, but misses most of the jam at the end. A short excerpt from the jam appeared in a video that was available on the Vapour Brothers website, which featured selections from all the band's webcasts (which were produced with the Vapour Brothers). These two recordings were used to improve the sound quality of a complete version, that was floating around on the internet ever since the webcast was aired:

just 'cause you see it doesn't mean it's there

there there

I tried to but I could never win
an impossible situation that I could never win

just 'cause you see it doesn't mean it's there
just 'cause you see it doesn't mean it's there

there there
In summer 2002, following the studio rehearsals, 'There there' was performed on all 12 gigs of the Iberian Tour.

The outro was still considerably longer at this point and featured the same "coo coo coo" vocalizations that can also be heard in the outro of the demo. This arrangement mainly differs in the build-up from the middle of the song towards the end. Here the band already kicks into "full rock modus" with Thom shouting "There there!". This certainly powerful moment would be sacrificed later for a different plot.

On July 31st 2002, the song was performed in San Sebastian, Spain:
Thom: "It made me cry when we finished it, actually, I blubbed my eyes out. Don't know why... I went to L.A. and Nigel played me the mix and it just made me cry, I was in tears for ages. I just thought it was the best thing we'd ever done. So, there's something about it, I love the way... what he did with the guitar sound and the way he mixed it and just the way... it's really jubilant to me, that song, in a funny way. And also, it happened to be... I mean, at one time I thought it was a song that we were gonna lose, which I was really upset about, because the melody stayed with me for about 4 months without going away, which for me is really unusual. It doesn't take me long to get bored. And I really never got bored of this song. Any time I went for a walk any way, or whatever, there it was. It tends to be a long sort of process where... the more you... what I'm finding is, the more I think about how I first heard it, the worse it gets. I mean, what I'm sort of saying is, this is what i kind of mean about the 'let it happen' thing. What I discovered, I think, in making this record, is that along the way things form themselves. And the way things sound, it can form itself. And you May have dreamed of how you wanted it to sound. And then one day you walk into the studio and there it is. But you've not been standing there with a hammer and trying to beat it out of the desk or your guitar, it's not necessary. It's just there one day. I think that's why I cried when I heard the mix, 'cause I was so shocked that it was there. You know, I thought we'd lost it or whatever. And it was really important to me and it was right there one day. And that sort of feeling can then sustain me for months, you know. I'm not bothered about anything else for months. Everything else I can just about cope. I think that's why it's the first single as well, really."

Ed: "Sound wasn't right in L.A."

Jonny: "Yeah, partly. And because the end was just... It's that interesting thing of, on one level it's really great to record a band in a studio, playing together as a band. And sometimes it doesn't work at all, because you haven't got the real volume of a live concert. And it's not the same, and you're trying to capture something, that just doesn't really work coming out of speakers in your front room, as it would have done in a concert. So that's one song, that I think the first recording suffered from that. It just sounded a bit like we were trying to make a worthy 'live band playing together' recording."

Ed: "Because we'd been used to it in live... you know, we played it live, and it was one of the ones, that really worked live. And it was augmented by Jonny and myself playing some drums on it. I think we all had images of sort of tribal sort of... and of course, as Jonny says, it doesn't work necessarily in the studio, so it had to become something else. So you have to find out what it becomes. And it took us to get back to England and just approach it again."
Jonny: "We did a bad version of it on a webcast once..."

Thom: "Oh yeah. It was sort of alright, but... I guess the first half comes from around 'Kid A' time. It made me cry when we finished it because I think it's the best thing we've ever done. That's just me."

NME: An unorthodox single, perhaps. Five minutes, no chorus.

Thom: "I know, because everything else on the album is pretty much three and a half minutes. Oh shit!"

Jonny: "It's got that Pixies thing that I love, which is a huge build-up of tension, and release. Which is really important in music- it's not thinking of things being good in an instant way, but good thinking in terms of five minutes."

Thom: "It's free range. It's supposed to be comforting - 'it's alright, you're just imagining it'."
Colin: "That was, like, Ed and Jonny's frustration at not being able to play drums with Phil, really. And it's good because Thom has always wanted to have two drumkits in the studio and two people playing drums at the same time."
Q: "'The Boney King Of Nowhere' is the alternate title…"

Thom: "That's dedicated to Oliver Postgate, it's an amazing animation thing he did on Bagpuss. You see, the Boney King of Nowhere can't sit down. You see, he's the king, right? But he can't find… he's very boney. He's actually made out of drainpipe things, you know those things, pipe cleaners. And he keeps sitting down on this stone throne and it's just too cold and it doesn't feel comfortable. He's this new king, but he can't get comfortable on his throne. And so eventually, they find him this little cushion for him to sit on and I thought that was very appropriate. I'd say it's so obviously taken... it's a homage to something like Tago Mago or something by Can. It's always been in that area for me, that song."
Q: "What does Noah think of the video of 'There There'?"

Thom: "He was a little worried first time, cause I turn into a tree. And as a small child he can't differentiate between reality and television. But it's okay, everybody laughed it off and he understood, so that's fine. And he understands I'm not a tree, because I come in at the mornings."

Q: "Which was the track on the album that had you in tears when you heard the mix?"

Thom: " Oh 'There There'. Yeah, straight away. Not voluntary or anything. I'm not given to groin easily, but when I do I definitely go for it. I flew over back to the studio where we recorded, at Ocean Way, and just see Nigel when he was mixing and that was the first thing he played me and, I don't know… you know, because it was quite scary, the idea of finishing the record. And when I heard that, I was like 'Ok, I'm not scared, this is great'."
On October 26th 2002, Thom performed the song at the Bridgeschool Benefit Concert, which he attended during the same visit to L.A. mentioned above:
From 2004 onwards, a scan of one of Thom's notes from L.A. from September 2002 appeared in the Scrapbook section of The scan includes the alternate title of 'There there',:

The band attempted to capture the energy of the live arrangement at Ocean Way studios in L.A., but this version remained unreleased.

Instead, a different arrangement was recorded back in England at the band's Oxfordshire studio in october. Realising that the live arrangement didn't translate well onto tape, the solution was found in a slower build-up towards the end. Rather than staying on the same highly energetic level from the middle onwards, the climax was now not reached until the line "we are accidents waiting to happen".
On March 30th 2003, the rough mix of the song leaked and it represents the state of work from February. It is apparently the only leaked mix that is identical to the released version. This fits with Thom's description of hearing a perfect mix of 'There There' when he flew back to Los Angeles in October 2002, where Nigel was mixing at Ocean Way. Overwhelmed by the fact that the song worked so well he broke into tears, as he had feared 'There There' might be another of those great songs that never really worked to the band's satisfaction. Listening to this mix released that fear and gave the band enough confidence to get into the difficult process of mixing the rest of the album. If the mix really wasn't changed since October 2002, 'There there' was the first track that was finished for Hail to the Thief:

On November 17th 2003, the demo that Thom had recorded probably in late 2001 or early 2002 was released on the 2+2=5 single. Unlike all the other Hail to the Thief b-sides it would, however, not be included on the EP Com Lag. The lyrics and overall structure are identical to the finished version. The intro and outro are considerably longer, though, resulting in a nearly 8 minute long version:
Live performances #188 to #213 during the touring for The King of Limbs:
  Hail to the Thief 09/'11 02/'12 march 2012 april 2012 05/'12 june 2012
Go to Sleep [2] 01 03
The Gloaming [26] 27 01 03 05 06 07 13 15 09 11 12 14 17 18 21 29 31 01 03 05 06 08 10 11 13 15
There there [26] 27 29 01 03 05 06 07 09 11 13 15 09 11 14 17 18 21 29 31 03 06 08 10 11 13 15
Myxomatosis [23] 28 29 29 01 03 06 07 09 11 13 15 09 11 12 14 29 31 01 05 06 10 11 15
Live performances #214 to #241 during the touring for The King of Limbs:
  Hail to the Thief july 2012 september 2012 october 2012 november 2012
The Gloaming [29] 10 11 13 15 25 27 29 20 22 23 25 26 29 30 06 08 09 11 12 14 15 16 18 06 09 12 13 16 17
There there [28] 10 11 13 15 25 27 29 20 22 23 25 26 29 30 06 08 09 11 12 14 15 16 06 09 12 13 16 17
Myxomatosis [25] 11 13 15 27 29 20 22 25 26 29 30 06 08 09 11 12 14 15 18 06 09 12 13 16 17
A Wolf at the Door [1] 14
  Hail to the Thief may 2016 06/2016 july 2016 august 2016 sept./oct. 2016
2 + 2 = 5 [17] 24 26 28 03 17 02 08 26 29 31 06 08 20 21 11 30 04
The Gloaming [16] 20 23 26 28 01 17 08 27 29 31 04 06 21 11 30 07
There there [17] 20 21 24 26 28 03 17 02 08 27 29 31 04 06 20 30 07
Myxomatosis [6] 26 27 01 26 29 04