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Details (and Metaphor) and R.E.M.: “I’m Jimmy Dean”

“Electrolite”

New Adventures In Hi-Fi

Your eyes are burning holes through me.
I’m gasoline. I’m burnin’ clean.
Twentieth century go and sleep.
You’re Pleistocene. That is obscene. That is obscene.

You are the star tonight.
Your sun electric, outasight.
Your light eclipsed the moon tonight.
Electrolite.
You’re outasight.

If I ever want to fly.
Mulholland Drive.
I am alive.
Hollywood is under me.
I’m Martin Sheen
I’m Steve McQueen
I’m Jimmy Dean

You are the star tonight.
Your sun electric, outasight.
Your light eclipsed the moon tonight.
Electrolite.
You’re outasight.

If you ever want to fly.
Mulholland Drive.
Up in the sky.
Stand on a cliff and look down there.
Don’t be scared
you are alive.
You are alive.

You are the star tonight.
Your sun electric outasight.
Your light eclipsed the moon tonight.
Electrolite.
You’re outasight.

Twentieth century go and sleep.
Really deep. We won’t blink
Your eyes are burning holes through me.
I’m not scared I’m outta here.
I’m not scared. I’m outta here.

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:

“Metaphors,” Sylvia Plath

“Those Winter Sundays,” Robert Hayden

“Traveling through the Dark,” William Stafford

“The Observer,” Adrienne Rich

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Allusion (and Metaphor) and R.E.M.: “Call me a leper”

“New Test Leper”

New Adventures In Hi-Fi

I can’t say that I love Jesus
that would be a hollow claim.
He did make some observations
and I’m quoting them today.
“Judge not lest ye be judged.”
what a beautiful refrain.
The studio audience disagrees.
Have his lambs all gone astray?

Call me a leper
Call me a leper
Call me a leper

“You are lost and disillusioned!”
what an awful thing to say.
I know this show doesn’t flatter.
It means nothing to me.
I thought I might help them understand
but what an ugly thing to see.
“I am not an animal”
subtitled under the screen.

Call me a leper
Call me a leper
Call me a leper

When I tried to tell my story
They cut me off to take a break.
I sat silent 5 commercials
I had nothing left to say
The talk show host was index-carded
All organized and blank
The other guests were scared and hardened
What a sad parade.

What a sad parade

Call me a leper
Call me a leper
Call me a leper

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:

“Still Life,” Reed Whittemore

“The Lifeguard,” James Dickey

Metaphor and R.E.M.: “I want to be your Easter bunny”

“Be Mine”

New Adventures In Hi-Fi

(“a speed zone up here too”)

I never thought of this as funny
It speaks another world to me
I want to be your Easter bunny
I want to be your Christmas tree.

I’ll strip the world that you must live in
of all its godforsaken greed.
I’ll ply the tar out of your feathers.
I’ll pluck the thorns out of your feet.
you and me.
you and me.

and if I choose your sanctuary
I want to wash you with my hair.
I want to drink of sacred fountains
and find the riches hidden there.

I’ll eat the lotus and peyote.
I want to hear the caged bird sing.
I want the secrets of the Temple.
I want the finger with the ring.
you and me.
you and me.
you will see.

that if you make me your religion
I’ll give you all the room you need.
I’ll be the drawing of your breath.
I’ll be the cup if you should bleed.

I’ll be the sky above the Ganges
I’ll be the vast and stormy sea.
I’ll be the lights that guide you inward.
I’ll be the visions you will see.

the visions you will see.

you will see.
you will see.
you and me.
you and me.
you and me.

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:

“Mirror,” Sylvia Plath

“Wild Nights! Wild Nights!,” Emily Dickinson

“I like to see it lap the miles,” Emily Dickinson

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.