Bad Day
R.E.M. Lyrics


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A public service Announcement followed me home the other day
I paid it never mind
Go away
Shit so thick you could stir it with a stick- free Teflon whitewashed presidency
We're sick of being jerked around
Wear that on your sleeve

Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, Lord
Count your blessings
We're sick of being jerked around
We all fall down

Have you ever seen the televised St. Vitus Subcommittee Prize
Investigation dance? Those-ants-in-pants glances
Well, look behind the eyes
It's a hallowed, hollow anesthetized
"Save my own ass, screw these guys"
Smoke and mirror lock down

Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, Lord
Count your blessings
The papers wouldn't lie!
I sigh
Not one more

It's been a bad day
Please don't take a picture
It's been a bad day
Please

It's been a bad day
Please don't take a picture
It's been a bad day
Please

We're dug in the deep, the price is steep
The auctioneer is such a creep
The lights went out, the oil ran dry
We blamed it on the other guy
Sure, all men are created equal
Here's the church, here's the steeple
"Please stay tuned - we cut to sequel"
Ashes to ashes, we all fall down

Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, Lord
Count your blessings
Ignore the lower fears
Oh, this means war

It's been a bad day
Please don't take a picture
It's been a bad day
Please

It's been a bad day
Please don't take a picture
It's been a bad day
Please

Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, Lord
Count your blessings
We're sick of being jerked around
We all fall down

It's been a bad day
Please don't take a picture
It's been a bad day
Please

It's been a bad day
Please don't take a picture
It's been a bad day
Please

It's been a bad day
Please don't take a picture
It's been a bad day
Please

It's been a bad day
Please don't take a picture




It's been a bad day
Please

Overall Meaning

"Bad Day" is a song by American alternative rock band R.E.M. The lyrics express frustration with modern society and politics, particularly the way that people in power abuse their positions and take advantage of ordinary people for their own gain. The song starts with the singer describing a "public service announcement" that he ignored, indicating that people aren't interested in hearing the same old platitudes from politicians and other figures of authority. The next lines criticize the current political climate, with "shit so thick you could stir it with a stick" and the suggestion that the president has been "whitewashed" to make him seem more palatable to the public. The line "we're sick of being jerked around" sums up the general sentiment of the song: people are tired of being lied to and manipulated and want politicians to start telling the truth.


The second verse of the song starts with the line "Have you ever seen the televised St. Vitus Subcommittee Prize Investigation dance?" This line refers to the way that news organizations can turn even the most important issues into a kind of spectacle, with reporters wearing "ants-in-pants glances" and a general sense of theatricality that can distract from the real issues at hand. The third verse is more apocalyptic, painting a bleak picture of a future in which society is on the brink of collapse. The singer points out that all men are supposed to be created equal, but in reality, some people have more power and control than others. The song ends with the plea "broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, Lord" which suggests that even in dark times, there is still hope and a need for positivity.


One interesting fact about "Bad Day" is that it was originally recorded in 1985 as a demo called "PSA," but wasn't released until 2003. The song was popular with fans even before its official release and was played frequently during R.E.M. concerts. Another interesting fact is that the song was used as the theme song for the TV show "The Office" during its third season. The band members are all fans of the show and agreed to let the producers use the song. Michael Stipe, the lead singer of R.E.M., also made a cameo appearance on the show in the episode "Branch Wars."


Line by Line Meaning

A public service Announcement followed me home the other day
I was literally followed home by a PSA, but I ignored it.


I paid it never mind
I chose not to pay attention to the PSA.


Go away
I don't want to hear what the PSA has to say.


Shit so thick you could stir it with a stick- free Teflon whitewashed presidency
The current presidential administration is corrupt and lying to the people.


We're sick of being jerked around
We're tired of being manipulated and treated unfairly.


Wear that on your sleeve
Be open about your dissatisfaction with the situation.


Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, Lord
Send me some positive energy to help me through this difficult time.


Count your blessings
Be grateful for what you have, even in hard times.


We all fall down
No matter how hard we try, we all make mistakes and suffer setbacks.


Have you ever seen the televised St. Vitus Subcommittee Prize
Have you seen the news?


Investigation dance? Those-ants-in-pants glances
Media coverage of events is often sensationalized and shallow.


Well, look behind the eyes
Don't just accept what the media tells you - investigate for yourself.


It's a hallowed, hollow anesthetized
The media often ignores real issues and focuses on meaningless fluff.


"Save my own ass, screw these guys"
People in power often prioritize themselves over others.


Smoke and mirror lock down
The media often manipulates the facts to push their own agenda.


The papers wouldn't lie!
Don't believe everything you read in the news.


I sigh
I am weary of the constant barrage of misinformation.


Not one more
I can't take any more of this.


We're dug in the deep, the price is steep
We're in a difficult situation and it's going to be hard to get out.


The auctioneer is such a creep
Those in power often take advantage of those who are vulnerable.


The lights went out, the oil ran dry
Society is facing major problems.


We blamed it on the other guy
We often try to shift the blame rather than taking responsibility.


Sure, all men are created equal
We like to think that everyone is treated fairly, but that's not always the case.


Here's the church, here's the steeple
We cling to tradition and structure as a way of finding stability.


"Please stay tuned - we cut to sequel"
The story isn't over yet - there's more to come.


Ashes to ashes, we all fall down
In the end, we're all mortal and will eventually die.


Ignore the lower fears
Don't let your anxieties and worries consume you.


Oh, this means war
We need to fight back against injustice and corruption.


It's been a bad day
Things have not gone well recently.


Please don't take a picture
I don't want to remember this bad day.




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: William Thomas Berry, Peter Lawrence Buck, Michael E. Mills, Michael Stipe

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

@Givingitashot

God I miss REM so much. Stipes vocal, their lyrics and melodies will forever be the soundtrack to my life. I never got to see them live and probably never will. I will still say thank you for sharing your music with us. Forever grateful.

@anteyefolkzz7755

jesus fuckin christ ... I miss them too..

@Eldritch-1

My generations beatles.

@Alan-gi2ku

They have such a huge catalog of stellar songs and LP’s for you to listen to. They are never getting back together and I’m glad they aren’t.

@laurareilly4686

Aww, that's crappy you never got to see them live. I envy anyone who saw them at the pinnacle of their career circa 1995. Michael always engaged so brilliantly with the audience, and Mike was always up for fun, Peter not so much towards their break up.

@Givingitashot

@Laura Anne Reilly Maybe one last gig? Who knows but I doubt it!😭 Awesome awesome band.

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@sunflowerflight

This is definitely my favorite REM music video. This band is so incredibly talented and creative. The shots of Mike Mills as the meteorologist in the studio giving the forecast and also in the helicopter are my favorite parts of this video. Miss hearing new music from these guys.

@petesrepairs

I still think this is one of THE best videos I have ever seen. The way its put together, the way its so relaxed and calmly "spoken", the story and everything.

@zunstraal

I always had the same idea.
Another great videoclip from REM was "Imitation of Life"

@istantinoplebullconsta642

I would have to agree, expecially the "producrion value" of this video - they nailed the corporate Newzcasts. The broadcaster's fake, auto-pilot acting and the mindless delivery is spot on. The nonsense news bites scrolling across the bottom are hilarious. I love the incredibly perfect segways between pieces, and I lol everytime at the absurdity of the typhoon-in-the-house couple, and hurricane boy - both are perfect mockery of the typical over-the-top, "shocking" hype stories.

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