Man on the Moon
R.E.M. Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Mott the Hoople and the Game of Life, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Andy Kaufman in the wrestling match, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Monopoly, twenty-one, checkers, and chess, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Mister Fred Blassie in a breakfast mess, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Let's play Twister, let's play Risk, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
I'll see you in heaven if you make the list yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Now, Andy, did you hear about this one?
Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Andy, are you goofing on Elvis?
Hey baby, are we losing touch?

If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believe there's nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool

Moses went walking with the staff of wood, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Newton got beaned by the apple good, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Egypt was troubled by the horrible asp, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Mister Charles Darwin had the gall to ask, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Now, Andy, did you hear about this one?
Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Hey Andy, are you goofing on Elvis?
Hey baby, are you having fun?

If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believe there's nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool

Here's a little agit for the never-believer, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Here's a little ghost for the offering, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Here's a truck stop instead of Saint Peter's, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Mister Andy Kaufman's gone wrestling, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Now, Andy, did you hear about this one?
Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Hey Andy, are you goofing on Elvis?
Hey baby, are we losing touch?

If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believe there's nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool

If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believe there's nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool

If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believed there's nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool

If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon




If you believed there's nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to "Man on the Moon" by R.E.M. reference a number of controversial and enigmatic figures throughout history who have challenged the status quo or popular beliefs in some way. Mott the Hoople may represent rebels or outcasts, while Andy Kaufman, a comedian famous for his bizarre performances, is likened to a wrestler in the midst of a battle. Other games like Monopoly, Twenty-One, checkers, and chess may allude to the idea of life as a game or competition. Mr. Fred Blassie in a breakfast mess represents chaos or disorder. The playful suggestion of Twister and Risk contrasts with the more serious tone of the second verse, which references figures like Moses, Isaac Newton, and Charles Darwin who also provoked controversy and challenged accepted beliefs in their time. The chorus repeats the phrase "If you believed they put a man on the moon," which calls into question people's beliefs and the extent of their trust in authority, whether it be related to science or something else.


The verses continue to address Andy, asking if he's carrying on with a joke or mocking Elvis, and questioning whether they are losing touch or not. The lyrics of the second half of the song continue to offer enigmatic references to religious and cultural symbols.


The song's title is a reference to the conspiracy theory that the moon landing never actually happened, which the chorus questions with each repetition. The lyrics of "Man on the Moon" ultimately contemplate the idea of what is real versus what is perceived, and how this relates to popular beliefs and social constructs.


Line by Line Meaning

Mott the Hoople and the Game of Life, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Life is like a game that we all must play


Andy Kaufman in the wrestling match, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Like professional wrestling, life can be full of theatrics and deception


Monopoly, twenty-one, checkers, and chess, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Just like board games and card games, life has rules that we must abide by


Mister Fred Blassie in a breakfast mess, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Even famous people have their flaws and imperfections


Let's play Twister, let's play Risk, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Sometimes we take risks in life and have to navigate through difficult situations


I'll see you in heaven if you make the list yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
If we live a good life, we hope to make it to heaven


Now, Andy, did you hear about this one?
Hey, have you heard what I have to say?


Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Are you stuck in a pattern of behavior that's difficult to break?


Andy, are you goofing on Elvis?
Are you playing a joke or being deceptive?


Hey baby, are we losing touch?
Are we growing apart and losing our connection?


If you believed they put a man on the moon Man on the moon If you believe there's nothing up his sleeve Then nothing is cool
If you believe in something that seems impossible or unlikely, then nothing seems impossible


Moses went walking with the staff of wood, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Life is full of ancient stories and legends


Newton got beaned by the apple good, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Even the smartest people can make mistakes and have accidents


Egypt was troubled by the horrible asp, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Like ancient Egypt, we can all face challenges and difficulties


Mister Charles Darwin had the gall to ask, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Like Darwin, we should all question the world around us and seek answers to life's mysteries


Here's a little agit for the never-believer, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
For those who don't believe, here's a little something to make them think


Here's a little ghost for the offering, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Here's a little something to appease the spirits of the dead


Here's a truck stop instead of Saint Peter's, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Instead of reaching heaven, we might just end up at a truck stop


Mister Andy Kaufman's gone wrestling, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Just like Kaufman, we must all face our own struggles and battles in life




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
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 comments from YouTube:

@kennethwiinbergolesen8594

[Verse 1]
Mott the Hoople and the Game of Life
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Andy Kaufman in the wrestling match
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Monopoly, Twenty-one, Checkers, and Chess
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Mister Fred Blassie in a breakfast mess
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Let's play Twister, let's play Risk
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
See you in heaven if you make the list
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

[Pre-Chorus 1]
Now, Andy, did you hear about this one?
Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Andy, are you goofing on Elvis? Hey, baby
Are we losing touch?

[Chorus]
If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believed there's nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool


[Verse 2]
Moses went walking with the staff of wood
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Newton got beaned by the apple good
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Egypt was troubled by the horrible asp
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Mister Charles Darwin had the gall to ask
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

[Pre-Chorus 2]
Now, Andy, did you hear about this one?
Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Hey, Andy, are you goofing on Elvis? Hey, baby
Are you having fun?

[Chorus]
If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believed there's nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool

[Verse 3]
Here's a little agit for the never-believer
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Here's a little ghost for the offering
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Here's a truck stop instead of Saint Peter's
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Mister Andy Kaufman's gone wrestling (wrestling bears)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah



@dimashadiwardani

[Verse 1]
Mott the Hoople and the Game of Life
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Andy Kaufman in the wrestling match
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Monopoly, Twenty-One, checkers and chess
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Mister Fred Blassie in a breakfast mess
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Let's play Twister, let's play Risk
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
See you in heaven if you make the list
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

[Pre-Chorus]
Now, Andy, did you hear about this one?
Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Andy, are you goofing on Elvis? Hey, baby
Are we losing touch?

[Chorus]
If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believed there's nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool

[Verse 2]
Moses went walking with the staff of wood
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Newton got beaned by the apple good
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Egypt was troubled by the horrible asp
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Mister Charles Darwin had the gall to ask
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

[Pre-Chorus]
Now, Andy, did you hear about this one?
Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Hey, Andy, are you goofing on Elvis? Hey, baby
Are you having fun?

[Chorus]
If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believed there's nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool

[Bridge]
Here's a little agit for the never-believer
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Here's a little ghost for the offering
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Here's a truck stop instead of Saint Peter's
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Mister Andy Kaufman's gone wrestling (wrestling bears)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

[Pre-Chorus]
Now, Andy, did you hear about this one?
Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Hey, Andy, are you goofing on Elvis? Hey, baby
Are we losing touch?

[Chorus]
If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believed there's nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool

[Outro]
If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believed there's nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool
If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believed there's nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool
If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believed there's nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool



All comments from YouTube:

@linkinparkrulz2275

My younger brother committed suicide last weekend by overdosing on something. He was found with headphones on, presumably listening to something. This is his youtube account. He made a playlist containing 6 songs that was edited the day he passed. This is one of the 6 songs. With the method he used, he was dead after about 30 minutes, probably unconscious around 12 minutes. I like to think that it was peaceful for him with his music on. I love you Myles, I'll miss you everyday for the rest of my life..

@geoffreywhaley8674

May you find peace my friend. I can only say "you never get over it" , but "you learn to live with it"

@JF-kv1gm

@@geoffreywhaley8674 So true, 2 years in November and the shock and intense pain have softened.

@JF-kv1gm

So sad to read this. It echoes what happened in my family. Try not to be hard on yourself, it's often v hard to recognise that things were that difficult for the person. Take care, sending a virtual hug.

@sunnnnnyday

So sorry for your loss

@johnwpolsce9401

There is often joy or sadness behind a piece of music. The music and the memories live on. Hope your dear brother is in heavenly peace on the other side of life.

567 More Replies...

@willyjames8300

I was always a HUGE REM fan from the early 80's. I got married in 92 when I was 33. This album came out a week before our wedding. We drove out to Calfornia, we live in Iowa. 2 weeks. This played (AUTOMATIC FOR THE PEOPLE) about half the time we were in the car. My wife passed away about 5 years ago. Still think of her deeply when I hear any of this album. Especially NIGHT SWIMMING. Miss you Teresa.

@AusNav09

Bless you man. Night swimming is a great song. Thanks for sharing :) I'm finding new love to this song right now. Circle of life within this masterpiece i think. Thanks again for sharing hope alls well Willy.

@mikey_suzefour

So very sorry to hear that about Teresa, but maybe what will make you smile +Willy James is that she's singing along with more than 1/2 of the people mentioned in this tune up in Heaven. ;-)

@aviacam

Willy, deseo que Dios te bendiga y que siempre recuerdes a tu esposa con amor y alegria. Un abrazo muy fuerte desde Argentina.

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