Bloc Party’s “Helicopter” Lyrics Meaning

The lyrics of “Helicopter” center on an individual with certain unfavorable attributes, and it goes quite into some metaphorical detail delineating his faults. As an overview, he is identified as being domineering, cocky and “a liar”. Also he is apparently American or, as implied later on, aspiring to be so in an ideological sense. In the second verse it is revealed that his father possessed similar characteristics. And then the chorus consists solely of Kele Okereke questioning an unspecified addressee on whether or not said individual is “hoping for a miracle”.

In putting all of this together, fans have come to the conclusion that Bloc Party is singing about George W. Bush, who would have been US President at the time of this song’s release. And those familiar with Dubya’s Presidency can attest to the fact that it was a controversial one indeed. Moreover the Bloc Party boys are largely known as an anti-mainstream band. 

Song’s real meaning

The espousement of the theory above has been incessantly rebutted by the band themselves. And it is Okereke in particular who has found this belief annoying.  He further went on to insinuate that “Helicopter” is rather about his own experiences as a youth in Western society (he was actually born in England).

And even though some analysts can in fact construct a damn-good argument centered on the George Bush theory, the song being about the singer himself would make more sense.  He is presented as someone who once idealized the American way, only to grow up to view such individuals as “hungry and dumb”. And apparently his father was an African immigrant to England who held similar views. And in terms of the chorus, it would feature the vocalist questioning himself about the direction of his life.  But all lyrics considered, it’s also pretty obvious that he doesn’t care too much for Western society or those who aspire to conform to it.

What is the meaning of the song’s title (“Helicopter”)?

Concerning the song’s title, it has been noted that the word helicopter never actually appears in the lyrics. So it is likely a term that has some sort of meaning related to the featured narrative amongst those who composed it.

Facts about “Helicopter”

“Helicopter” is primarily known as a feature on Bloc Party’s debut full-length, Silent Alarm via Wichita Recordings. But it actually dates back to 2 February 2004. And the original project it appeared on was the band’s compilation EP which came out that same year, Little Thoughts via V2 Records. And for the record, in the US it also served as the fifth single from Silent Alarm.

This song has retained a strong pop media presence since its release, most notably being featured in videogames. And in that regard some notable mentions include FIFA 06 and the Guitar Hero series.

This track was also featured on Bloc Party’s 2019 Silent Alarm Live album.

This song made it onto the top 30 of the UK Singles Chart, in addition to going silver across the pond.

Kele Okereke authored “Helicopter” alongside his mates – Matt Ton, Russell Lissack and Gordon Moakes. And the producer is well-tenured musician Paul Epworth, who has worked extensively with the band.

What genre of music is “Helicopter”?

It is bona fide indie rock track. We can also categorize it underneath the umbrella of garage rock.

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