Belong
R.E.M. Lyrics


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Her world collapsed early Sunday morning
She got up from the kitchen table
Folded the newspaper and silenced the radio
Those creatures jumped the barricades
And have headed for the sea, sea

Ooh
Ooh
Those creatures jumped the barricades
And have headed for the sea
She began to breathe
To breathe at the thought of such freedom
Stood and whispered to her child, "belong"
She held the child and whispered
With calm, calm, "belong"

Ooh
Ooh
Ooh
Ooh
She stood and whispered to her child, "belong"
She held the child and whispered
With calm, calm, "belong"

Ooh
Ooh
Ooh
Ooh
Those barricades can only hold for so long
Her world collapsed early Sunday morning
She took the child held tight
Opened the window
A breath, this song, how long
And knew, knew, "belong"
Ooh
Ooh




Ooh
Ooh

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to R.E.M.'s song "Belong" tell the story of a woman whose world has collapsed early Sunday morning, likely due to some kind of catastrophic event. In the aftermath, she folds the newspaper and silences the radio, perhaps trying to shut out the overwhelming news of what has happened. But then she learns that creatures have jumped the barricades and headed for the sea, and she begins to breathe at the thought of such freedom. She whispers to her child to belong, holding them tight and opening a window to the world outside.


The theme of the song seems to be about finding a sense of belonging and freedom in the face of chaos and turmoil. The barricades that once seemed so sturdy and confining are shown to be temporary, and there is a feeling of hope that comes through in the repetition of the word "belong." The woman is trying to find a way to protect her child and herself, and in doing so, she discovers a new kind of hope and resilience.


In terms of musical style, "Belong" is a slow, brooding song with a prominent bassline and haunting keyboard chords. Michael Stipe's distinctive voice adds to the feeling of otherworldliness and introspection. The chorus of "oohs" adds to the dreamlike quality of the song, as though the phrase "belong" is a kind of mantra that can lead to a new sense of self.


Line by Line Meaning

Her world collapsed early Sunday morning
Her life fell apart on a Sunday morning


She got up from the kitchen table
She stood up from the kitchen table


Folded the newspaper and silenced the radio
She folded the newspaper and turned off the radio


Those creatures jumped the barricades
Those living beings leaped over the barriers


And have headed for the sea, sea
And have gone towards the sea


She began to breathe
She started to inhale and exhale


To breathe at the thought of such freedom
To feel alive at the mere idea of freedom


Stood and whispered to her child, 'belong'
She stood up and quietly told her child to find their place of belonging


She held the child and whispered
She held her child close and spoke quietly


With calm, calm, 'belong'
In a soothing voice, she repeated 'belong'


Those barricades can only hold for so long
The barriers can only keep them in for a limited time


She took the child held tight
She tightly held her child


Opened the window
She opened the window


A breath, this song, how long
She took a breath and wondered how long this would last


And knew, knew, 'belong'
And understood, understood the importance of 'belonging'




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Michael Mills, Michael Stipe

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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