Electrolite
R.E.M. Lyrics


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Your eyes are burning holes through me
I'm gasoline
I'm burnin' clean

Twentieth century, go to sleep
You're Pleistocene
That is obscene
That is obscene

You are the star tonight
Your sun electric, outta sight
Your light eclipsed the moon tonight
Electrolite
You're outta sight

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, outta sight
Your light eclipsed the moon tonight
Electrolite
You're outta sight

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, outta sight
Your light eclipsed the moon tonight
Electrolite
You're outta sight

Twentieth century, go to 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

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to R.E.M.'s Electrolite are not easy to dissect in a factual sense, but they are evocative and illustrate the surrealistic themes of the song. The first lines of the song have a romantic notion to them as the singer likens himself to gasoline, burning cleanly, with his lover's eyes piercing through him. However, the subsequent lines take on a different metaphorical angle as they describe the world around them as a "Twentieth century," trying to sleep while being "Pleistocene," or ancient, which in turn is labeled "obscene."


The refrain of the song is where the singer's lover is the "star tonight," with an "electric" quality that even "eclipses" the moon. The lyrics imagine Hollywood as a place for a grand adventure, where even going for a drive can be electrifying. The verses continue to use Hollywood tropes and compare their persona to famed actors of the past. The melody itself is mellow and ambient, allowing the lyrics to take center stage.


Line by Line Meaning

Your eyes are burning holes through me
You are intensely staring at me


I'm gasoline
I am highly combustible


I'm burnin' clean
I am burning without producing pollutants


Twentieth century, go to sleep
The past is over, it's time to move on


You're Pleistocene
You are ancient and outdated


That is obscene
It is offensive and inappropriate


You are the star tonight
You are the center of attention


Your sun electric, outta sight
Your energy and brilliance are remarkable


Your light eclipsed the moon tonight
You shine so bright that the moon is no longer visible


Electrolite
A term that represents a type of electric light


You're outta sight
You are amazing


If I ever want to fly
If I want to escape from reality


Mulholland Drive
A scenic road in Los Angeles that represents a dreamlike state


I am alive
I am alive and well


Hollywood is under me
I have power and control over a famous place


I'm Martin Sheen
I am like the actor Martin Sheen


I'm Steve McQueen
I am like the actor Steve McQueen


I'm Jimmy Dean
I am like the actor James Dean


Up in the sky
In a state of imagination or transcendence


Stand on a cliff and look down there
Take a risk and face the unknown


Don't be scared, you are alive
Feel confident and embrace life


Twentieth century, go to sleep
The past is over, it's time to move on


Really deep
Completely and thoroughly asleep


We won't blink
We won't miss a thing


I'm not scared
I am not afraid


I'm outta here
I am leaving


I'm not scared
I am not afraid


I'm outta here
I am leaving




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

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@sedeinfinita

Electrolite"

Your eyes are burnin' holes through me
I'm gasoline
I'm burnin' clean

20th century, go to sleep
You're plasticine
That is obscene
That is obscene

You are the star tonight
You shine electric outta sight
Your light eclipsed the moon tonight
Electrolite
You're outta sight

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
You shine electric outta sight
Your light eclipsed the moon tonight
Electrolite
You're outta sight

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
You shine electric outta sight
Your light eclipsed the moon tonight
Electrolite
You're outta sight

20th century, go to sleep
Really deep
We won't blink

Your eyes are burnin' holes through me
I'm not scared
I'm outta here
I'm not scared
I'm outta here



All comments from YouTube:

@mommagee1

What is so awesome about REM, is that every time you havent heard one of their songs for a while, when you do hear it, you realise all over again, just how wonderful it is.

@rc9006

Yes!!!!! Exactly how I feel right now. It takes me to a place that’s really just pure awe like I’m hearing or watching this vid for the first time

@jacobfloyd6975

Well said. That is exactly true.

@krzysztofzakrocki2210

Exactly!!!!!!!!

@froggary

I completely agree! I could listen to REM for the rest of my life and never get bored because their songs are all so varied! I was born in the early 2000s but this is my kind of music.

@phandemicpaddy2458

This one was indeed a truly great pop song.

24 More Replies...

@saintgeorge6706

When I catch sight of my R.E.M. records a lump always comes to my throat. They sustained me through the 80s & 90s with a peerless run of albums. Thank you Michael, Bill, Peter & Mike. A lost treasure. 

@brethayworth1080

Exactly. Great string from Lifes Rich Pageant thru this one.

@njc2o

@@brethayworth1080 Fables isn't my favorite but come on! You can go from Murmur to Up and they're all great imo

@KM-zw9qb

@@njc2o fables is superb

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