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R.E.M. - Fables of the Reconstruction



Feeling Gravity's Pull

I fell asleep and read just about every paragraph.

Read the scene where gravity is pulling me around

Peel back the mountains peel back the sky

Stomp gravity into the floor

It's a Man Ray kind of sky

Let me show you what I can do with it

Time and distance are out of place here

Step up, step up, step up the sky is open-armed

When the light is mine, I felt gravity pull

Somewhere near the end it said

"You can't do this", I said "I can too"

Shift sway rivers shift, oceans fall and mountains drift

It's a Man Ray kind of sky

Let me show you what I can do with it

Step up, step up, step up the sky is open-armed

When the light is mine, I felt gravity pull onto my eyes,

holding my head straight (looking down).

This is the easiest task I've ever had to do...

I fell asleep and read just about every paragraph

Read the scene where gravity is pulling me around

Shift the swaying river's shift

Oceans fall and mountains drift

It's a Man Ray kind of sky

Let me show you what I can do with it

Time and distance are out of place here

Step up, step up, step up the sky is open-armed

When the light is mine, I felt gravity pull onto my eyes,

holding my head straight (looking down).

This is the easiest task I've ever had to do...

Reason had harnessed the tame

Holding the sky in their arms

Gravity pulls me down


Maps and Legends

(for the Rev. Howard Finster, "a man of vision and feeling -

a fine example to all")

He's not to be reached, he's to be reached.

He's not to be reached, he's to be reached.

Called the fool and the company,

On his own where he'd rather be.

Where he ought to be, he sees what you can't see, can't you see that?

Maybe he's caught in the legend,

maybe he's caught in the mood.

Maybe these maps and legends

have been misunderstood.

Down the way the road's divided,

Paint me the places you have seen.

Those who know what I don't know

refer to the yellow, red and green

Maybe he's caught in the legend,

maybe he's caught in the mood.

Maybe these maps and legends

have been misunderstood.

He's not to be reached, he's to be reached. (4 times)

The map that you painted didn't seem real.

He just sings whatever he's seen

Point to the legend, point to the east,

Point to the yellow, red and green

Maybe he's caught in the legend,

maybe he's caught in the mood.

Maybe these maps and legends

have been misunderstood, been misunderstood. (Maps and legends)

(Maps and legends) Is he to be reached? He's not to be reached.

(Maps and legends) Is he to be reached? He's not to be reached.

(Maps and legends) Is he to be reached? He's not to be reached anymore.


Driver 8

The walls are built up, stone by stone,

the fields divided one by one.

And the train conductor says

"Take a break Driver 8, Driver 8 take a break

We've been on this shift too long"

And the train conductor says

"Take a break Driver 8, Driver 8 take a break

We can reach our destination, but we're still a ways away"

I saw a treehouse on the outskirts of the farm.

The power lines have floaters so the airplanes won't get snagged.

Bells are ringing through the town again,

Children look up, all they hear is sky-blue, bells ringing

And the train conductor says

"Take a break Driver 8, Driver 8 take a break

We can reach our destination, but we're still a ways away"

Way to shield the hated heat.

Way to put myself to sleep.

Way to shield the hated heat.

Way to put myself, my children to sleep.

He piloted this song in a plane like that one.

She is selling faith on the Go Tell crusade.

Locomotive 8, Southern Crescent, hear the bells ring again.

Field to weed is stricken thin

And the train conductor says

"Take a break Driver 8, Driver 8 take a break

We've been on this shift too long."

And the train conductor says

"Take a break Driver 8, Driver 8 take a break

We can reach our destination, but we're still a ways away"


Life and how we live it


Burn bright through the night, two pockets lead the way

To doors to go between the wall was raised today

To doors remain before your others and your own

Keep these books well stocked away and take your happy home

My carpenter's out and running about, talking to the street

My pockets are out and running about

Barking in the street to tell what I have hidden there

Burn bright through the night, two pockets lead the way

Two doors to go between the wall was raised today

Raise the walls and shout its flaws, a carpenter should rest

So that when you tire of one side the other serves you best

My carpenter's out and running about, talking to the street

My pockets are out and running about

Barking in the street to tell what I have hidden there

The hills ringing hear the words in time

Listen to the holler, listen to my walls within my tongue

Can't you see you made my ears go tin?

the air quicken tension building inference suddenly

Life and how to live it

Raise the walls and shout its flaws, a carpenter should rest

So that when you tire of one side the other serves you best

Read about the wisdom lost, a knock, a knock, a knock

A secret knock one hammer's locked the other wisdom lost

My carpenter's out and running about, talking to the street

My pockets are out and running about

Barking in the street to tell what I have hidden there

My carpenter's out and running about, barking in the, listen to the holler

My pockets are out and running about

Barking in the street to tell what I have hidden there

Listen, listen to the holler,

If I write a book it will be called "Life and How to Live It"


Old Man Kensey

Old Man Kensey wants to be a sign painter

First he's got to learn to read

He's gonna be a clown on TV

Flexes his elbow taunt and free

That's my folly, I believe

Drink up the lake Kensey's awake

That's my folly, that's my mistake

Old Man Kensey wants to be a goalie

First he's got to learn to count

He's gonna be a clown on a circus mount

Letters to be signed and dropped off

Kensey's going far

John, Bill and Ed, stand on your head

That's my folly, I'm ready to go

Old Man Kensey wants to be a dog catcher

First he's got to learn to stand

He's gonna be a clown in a marching band

Letters to be signed ransom greed

That's my folly, I believe

Drink up the lake, John, Bill and Ed,

That's my folly, that's my mistake

Kensey's awake, stand on your head

That's my folly, I'm ready to go


Can't get there from here

(published in Guitar Magazine in 1985. a few lines were reprinted

in Goldmine in 1987 and some appear in the video as well)

When the world is a monster

Bad to swallow you whole

Kick the clay that holds the teeth in

Throw your trolls out the door

If you're needing inspiration

Philomath is where I go by dawn

Lawyer Jeff he knows the lowdown

He's mighty bad to visit home

I've been there I know the way

Can't get there from here

I've been there I know the way

Can't get there from here

I've been there I know the way

Can't get there from here

I've been there I know the way

When your hands are feeling empty

Stick head jumpin off the ground, 'round

Tris is sure to shirr the deers out

Brother Ray can sing my song

I've been there I know the way

Can't get there from here

I've been there I know the way

Can't get there from here

I've been there I know the way

Can't get there from here

I've been there I know the way

Hands down, Calechee bound

Landlocked kiss the ground

Dirt of seven continents going round and round

Go on ahead Mr. Citywide hypnotized, suit and tied

Gentlemen, testify

If your world is a monster

Bad to swallow you whole

Philomath they know the lowdown

Throw your trolls out the door

I've been there I know the way

Can't get there from here

I've been there I know the way

Can't get there from here

I've been there I know the way

Can't get there from here

I've been there I know the way

Thank you, Ray.


Green grow the rushes

The wheelbarrow's fallen

Look at my hands

They've found some surplus cheaper hands

Rubbing palms and pick and choose,

who will they choose? Here is the news.

Look at that building, look at this man

Haloed and whitewashed

Gone to find a cheaper hand

he'll offer a pound, offer a pound.

Green grow the rushes go

Green grow the rushes go

Green grow the rushes go

The compass points the workers home

Pay for your freedom, find another gate

Guilt by associate, the rushes wilted a long time ago

Guilty as you go

Stay off that highway, word is it's not so safe

The grasses that hide the greenback

The amber waves of gain again

The amber waves of gain

Green grow the rushes go

Green grow the rushes go

Green grow the rushes go

The compass points the workers home


Kohoutek

Who will stand alone?

She carried ribbons, she wore them out

Courage built a bridge, jealous tore it down

At least it's something you've left behind

Like Kohoutek, you were gone

We sat in the garden, we stood on the porch

I won't deny myself, we never talked

She wore bangles, she wore bells

On her toes and she jumped like a fish

Like a flyin' friend, you were gone

Like Kohoutek, can't forget that

Fever built a bridge, reason tore it down

If I am one to follow.. who will stand alone?

Maybe you're not the problem

scissors, paper, stone

If you stand and holler, these prayers will talk

She carried ribbons, she wore them out

Michael built a bridge...Michael tore it down

At least it's something you've left behind

Like Kohoutek, you were gone

Michael built a bridge... Michael tore it down

If I stand and holler... will I stand alone?


Auctioneer (Another Engine)

She didn't want to get pinned down by her prior town

Get me to the train on time, here take this nickel make a dime

Take this penny and make it into a necklace when I leave

What is at the other end, I don't know another friend

Another wife, another morning spent

Listen, listen to the auctioneer

Another engine, another engine

We never wrote the reasons that I need explained

Some things are givens, and others get away

This time its for myself you call it what you may

Okay, we won't say goodbye so long, so much more

Listen to the auctioneer

Another engine, another engine

Listen to the bargain holler

Listen to the barter holler

Listen to the auctioneer

Get me to the train on time here take this nickel make a dime

Take this penny and make it into a necklace when I leave

What is at the other end, an I don't know another friend

Another wife, another morning spent

Listen to the auctioneer

Another engine, another engine

Do I stand the bargain holler?

Listen to the barter holler

Listen to the auctioneer


Good Advises

When you greet a stranger look at his shoes

Keep your money in your shoes put your trouble behind

When you greet a stranger look at her hands

Keep your money in your hands put your travel behind

Who are you going to call for, what do you have to say

Keep your hat on your head home is a long way away

At the end of the day, I'll forget your name

I'd like it here if I could leave and see you from a long way away

When you greet a stranger, look at her shoes

Keep you memories in your shoes, put your travel behind

Who are you going to call for, what do you have to say

Keep your hat on your head

Home is a long way away

At the end of the day, when there are no friends

When there are no lovers, who are you going to call for

What do you have to change

A familiar face a foreign place I forget your name

I'd like it here if I could leave and see you from a long way away

Who are you going to call for, what do you have to say

Keep your hat on your head

Home is a long way away


Wendell Gee

That's when Wendell Gee takes a tug

Upon the string that held the line of trees

Behind the house he lived in

He was reared to give respect

But somewhere down the line he chose

To whistle as the wind blows

Whistle as the wind blows, with me

He had a dream one night

That the tree had lost its middle

So he built a trunk of chicken wire

To try to hold it up

But the wire, the wire turned to lizard skin

And when he climbed inside

There wasn't even time to say

Goodbye to Wendell Gee

So whistle as the wind blows

Whistle as the wind blows, with me

If the wind were colors

And if the air could speak

Then whistle as the wind blows

Whistle as the wind blows