Sweetness Follows
R.E.M. Lyrics


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Readying to bury your father and your mother
What did you think when you lost another?
I used to wonder why did you bother
Distanced from one, blind to the other?

Listen here, my sister and my brother
What would you care if you lost the other?
I always wonder why did we bother
Distanced from one, deaf to the other

Oh, oh, but sweetness follows

It's these little things, they can pull you under
Live your life filled with joy and wonder
I always knew this altogether thunder
Was lost in our little lives

Oh, oh, but sweetness follows
Oh, oh, but sweetness follows

It's these little things, they can pull you under
Live your life filled with joy and thunder
Yeah, yeah, we were altogether
Lost in our little lives

Oh, oh, ah

Oh, oh, sweetness follows





Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh sweetness follows

Overall Meaning

"Sweetness Follows" is a poignant song by R.E.M. that deals with the emotional turmoil of losing loved ones. The lyrics deal with the emotional complexity of dealing with the death of parents and loved ones, and the resultant feelings of guilt, grief, and questioning. The opening lines are powerful - "Readying to bury your father and your mother, what did you think when you lost another?" - and set the tone for the rest of the song. The singer ruminates on the fact that, despite the inevitable nature of death, it can still be a shock to lose someone close to you.


The lyrics then switch gears to a more general address to the listener. The singer asks, "What would you care if you lost the other? I always wonder why did we bother, distanced from one, deaf to the other." This could be interpreted as a commentary on the way we take our loved ones for granted, or how our lives can become isolated and compartmentalized. The refrain of the song, "sweetness follows," can be interpreted in a few different ways. It could be seen as a glimmer of hope amidst the sadness - that even in the face of loss, there can be sweetness and beauty in life. Or it could be seen as a nod to the sweet memories that follow us after our loved ones pass away.


Overall, "Sweetness Follows" is a haunting and moving tribute to the complexities of grief and the beauty of life.


Line by Line Meaning

Readying to bury your father and your mother
Getting ready to say goodbye to your parents as they pass away


What did you think when you lost another?
How did you feel when you experienced loss again?


I used to wonder why did you bother
I used to question why you kept going despite experiencing loss


Distanced from one, blind to the other?
Emotionally distant from one parent and unaware of the other's needs


Listen here, my sister and my brother
Pay attention, my siblings


What would you care if you lost the other?
How would you feel if you lost your sibling?


I always wonder why did we bother
I cannot help but question why we put in effort to maintain our relationships


Distanced from one, deaf to the other
Separated from one sibling and not listening to the other


It's these little things, they can pull you under
Small problems may accumulate and negatively impact your life


Live your life filled with joy and wonder
Spend your days with happiness and awe


I always knew this altogether thunder
I always sensed there was something looming over all of us


Was lost in our little lives
We were consumed by our individual existences


Oh, oh, but sweetness follows
But good things still follow


Yeah, yeah, we were altogether
Yes, we were together


Lost in our little lives
But focused on ourselves and not each other


Oh, oh, ah
[Instrumental Break]


Oh, oh, sweetness follows
Oh, good things are still to come


Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh sweetness follows
Repeatedly reassuring us that good things are on the way




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

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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