Radio Song
R.E.M. Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Hey, I can't find nothing on the radio
Ah, yo turn to that station

The world is collapsing
Around our ears
I turned up the radio
But I can't hear it
When I got to the house
And I called you out
I could tell that you had been crying, crying
It's that same sing-song on the radio
Makes me sad
I meant to turn it off
To say goodbye
To leave in quiet, that radio song (see ya)
Hey, hey, hey (ha-ha)

(Hup, hup) I've everything to show (everything to show)
I've everything to hide (everything to hide)
Look into my eyes
Listen

When I got to the show
Yo, ho, ho
I could tell that you had been crying, crying
It's that same sing-song and the DJ sucks
It makes me sad
I tried to turn it off (turn it off)
To say goodbye, my love
That radio song
Hey, hey, hey

The world is collapsing
Around our ears
I turned up the radio
But I can't hear it
Yeah

(Yeah)
(Baby, baby, baby, baby)
(Hup, hup)

I tried to sing along
But damn that radio song (man) hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey

I've everything to show (everything to show)
I've everything to hide (everything to hide)
Look into my eyes, listen to the radio
I turned up the radio
But I can't hear it
No, I can't hear it
Hey, hey, hey

(Say what?) hey, hey, hey

(Lemme hear that bass first)
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey (yeah, hup)
Hey, hey, hey (say what, say what, say what?)
Hey, hey, hey

Check it out
What are you saying, what are you playing?
Who are you obeying, day-out, day-in, huh?
Baby, baby, baby, baby
That stuff is driving me crazy
DJs communicate to the masses
Sex and violent classes




Now our children grow up prisoners
All their life, radio listeners

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of R.E.M.'s song "Radio Song" depict the frustration of the singer towards the lack of meaningful content on the radio. The song begins with the singer expressing his inability to find anything worthy on the radio and asks someone to change the station. He then goes on to describe how the world is falling apart, and he turns up the volume to find comfort in the radio, but he can't hear it. When he reaches his destination, he recognizes that someone has been crying and tries to console them, but the radio playing in the background makes him sadder because of its repetitive and meaningless tune. He wishes to turn it off to say goodbye quietly.


The song's lyrics highlight the singer's feelings of helplessness and frustration towards the repercussions of the music industry's commercialization. The constant repetition of songs on the radio, regardless of their quality or content, drives people away from something that could have a more meaningful impact on their lives. The lyrics are a critique of how DJs and the music industry cater to popular tastes, which leads to an endless cycle of radio listeners who are doomed to never find meaningful content on the radio.


Line by Line Meaning

Hey, I can't find nothing on the radio
I'm having trouble enjoying the music on the radio


Ah, yo turn to that station
Please, change the channel to another station


The world is collapsing Around our ears I turned up the radio But I can't hear it Yeah
Despite increasing the volume, the world's chaos is overwhelming and I can't listen to the radio properly


When I got to the house And I called you out I could tell that you had been crying, crying It's that same sing-song on the radio Makes me sad I meant to turn it off To say goodbye To leave in quiet, that radio song (see ya) Hey, hey, hey (ha-ha)
When I arrived home and saw that you were crying, I wanted to leave quietly while turning off the radio. The same song, at that moment, only makes me sadder.


(Hup, hup) I've everything to show (everything to show) I've everything to hide (everything to hide) Look into my eyes Listen
I have some things that I want to reveal and some that I want to keep hidden, please look into my eyes and listen


When I got to the show Yo, ho, ho I could tell that you had been crying, crying It's that same sing-song and the DJ sucks It makes me sad I tried to turn it off (turn it off) To say goodbye, my love That radio song Hey, hey, hey
When I got to the live show and saw that you were crying, I wanted to turn off the same song that was playing on the radio that made me feel sad and leave. The DJ is terrible and the song only adds to my misery.


The world is collapsing Around our ears I turned up the radio But I can't hear it Yeah
The world feels like it's collapsing around us, but even though I tried to increase the volume on the radio, I couldn't listen to it properly.


I tried to sing along But damn that radio song (man) hey, hey, hey Hey, hey, hey
I tried to sing along, but that radio song is so frustrating and annoying.


I've everything to show (everything to show) I've everything to hide (everything to hide) Look into my eyes, listen to the radio I turned up the radio But I can't hear it No, I can't hear it Hey, hey, hey
I have different things that I want to reveal and keep hidden. Please, look into my eyes while I listen to the radio, even though I can't hear it properly.


(Say what?) hey, hey, hey (Lemme hear that bass first) Hey, hey, hey Hey, hey, hey (yeah, hup) Hey, hey, hey (say what, say what, say what?) Hey, hey, hey
The bass sounds great, but that's all for now. Say what you want, I'm still frustrated with that radio song.


Check it out What are you saying, what are you playing? Who are you obeying, day-out, day-in, huh? Baby, baby, baby, baby That stuff is driving me crazy DJs communicate to the masses Sex and violent classes Now our children grow up prisoners All their life, radio listeners
What kind of message is this song sending, who is it for, and who controls it? It's driving me crazy. DJs promote sex and violence for the masses without any positive change. Now children grow up listening to these songs, and it shapes their life.




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

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on or correct specific content, highlight it

Genre not found
Artist not found
Album not found
Song not found
Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@Kianmur

My cousin done away with himself in 2002. He never knew how loved he actually was 🥲🥲

I love him

REM was his favourite band , we used to travel around and listen to REM

I loved this song in his car

GM - love u xxx



All comments from YouTube:

@keith6795

This song has one of REM’s most beautiful choruses. I can only imagine how exciting this album must have been upon its release in spring 1991.

@anyoldactress4078

It was thrilling! Back in the days of limited information and accessibility to bands (especially here in New Zealand) meaning the albums were everything. I remember getting the cassette home and rushing to out it on. To hear those first few crisp notes then Michael singing “The world is collapsing …” was almost a religious experience. 😊

@Waterboyofsuperman

Truly a fantastic start to a great album. Loved it the first time I heard it many years ago when I first got the CD and I love it now.

@holybear

Their weakest album from that era. Disappointed a lot of fans.

@nairolfmackebrecht

I was there.

@mattfry3851

@Anyoldactress40 love this!

12 More Replies...

@jacobfloyd6975

A band that achieved great success without ever selling out.

@dontfearthereaper2887

selling out?

@pandanurse

Not only that, but some of their most experimental music is what made them massive

@jeffgregory5524

these guys live in my hometown Athens Georgia and now their old guys driving Tesla's and SUVs

More Comments

More Versions