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Personification and R.E.M.: “Gravity pulls on the power line”

“Low Desert”

New Adventures In Hi-Fi

it happened fast, it’s over quick.
a little dust and the engine kicks.
did your hands drift down off the wheel?
a roadowl hit your windshield?
an eyelash or a little bit of sleep?
did time stand still?
Just call it. now, and you’re on your way.

hey
hey hey
hey

all the ashtrays cities and the freeway drives
broken casinos and waterslides
the 18 wheeler and the payback dives
gravity pulls on the powerlines.
a jetstream cuts the desert sky,
this land could eat a man alive.
let’s say you’d leave it all behind.

hey
hey hey
hey

“tricked again.” let go.

there’s a radio tower, it’s egging you on.
back to the place where you never belonged.
where the people thrive on their own contempt.
whatever meaning is long gone spent.
if you had to guess or make bet,
would you place yourself inside of it?
the mountains yawn. the clouds let out a sigh.
“tricked again.” let go. okay.

hey
hey hey
hey

Applicable copyright is implicit (Copyright © R.E.M./Athens Ltd. for all R.E.M. originals).
These lyrics are official only when stated and in other cases represent a collaborative interpretation by fans.

Poems:

“Storm Ending,” Jean Toomer

“Because I could not stop for Death,” Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson and R.E.M.

“It Beckons, and It Baffles—”: Resurrecting Emily Dickinson (and Poetry) in the Student-Centered ClassroomEnglish Journal (March 1998), P. L. Thomas

Adrienne Rich “Vesuvius at Home: The Power of Emily Dickinson” (1984)

Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon (1994)

Judith Farr The Passion of Emily Dickinson (1992)

Emily Dickinson at Poetry Foundation

Emily Dickinson at Poets.org

Dickinson poems:

“This World is not Conclusion” (501)

“Wild Nights—Wild Nights!” (249)

“‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” (254)

R.E.M:

“Low Desert”

New Adventures In Hi-Fi

(official lyrics, published in Winter ’98 issue of “Double Take”)

it happened fast, it’s over quick.
a little dust and the engine kicks.
did your hands drift down off the wheel?
a roadowl hit your windshield?
an eyelash or a little bit of sleep?
did time stand still?
Just call it. now, and you’re on your way.

hey
hey hey
hey

all the ashtrays cities and the freeway drives
broken casinos and waterslides
the 18 wheeler and the payback dives
gravity pulls on the powerlines.
a jetstream cuts the desert sky,
this land could eat a man alive.
let’s say you’d leave it all behind.

hey
hey hey
hey

“tricked again.” let go.

there’s a radio tower, it’s egging you on.
back to the place where you never belonged.
where the people thrive on their own contempt.
whatever meaning is long gone spent.
if you had to guess or make bet,
would you place yourself inside of it?
the mountains yawn. the clouds let out a sigh.
“tricked again.” let go. okay.

hey
hey hey
hey

Applicable copyright is implicit (Copyright © R.E.M./Athens Ltd. for all R.E.M. originals).
These lyrics are official only when stated and in other cases represent a collaborative interpretation by fans.