A Dissection of 90's Pop Lyrics With Dr. Noodles: Losing My Religion

R.E.M. seems to be a pretty polarizing band; some people love them and some people hate them. This is the band that gave us Shiny Happy People, which some find unforgivable. Others just like to yell words in the middle of songs so R.E.M. is the perfect choice. But these viewpoints are neither here nor there. What does matter to me is the meaning of songs, and I've always wondered what Losing My Religion meant. It just seems so deep, you know? Enough idle chatter, onward.

Life is bigger
It's bigger than you and you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no, I've said too much
I set it up

Stipe opens with how much the board game Life means to him, followed by some not-so-jovial trash talk. Looks like we've got a 1 vs. 1 game on our hands. Anyway, he doesn't want to give anything away about his strategy before he sets the board up.

That's me in the corner
That's me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don't know if I can do it
Oh no, I've said too much

His car is in the corner, which may be cheating. Not sure. It's his turn to spin. He has to choose a spouse. And in choosing a male partner he has forfeited religion because god hates board games in which there are same-sex relationships. The game is off at rocket ship speed and Stipe struggles to maintain contact with his adversary.

I haven't said enough
I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think, I thought, I saw you try

Nothing here has anything to do with the game, really. It does speak volumes to who Stipe's opponent is though: someone who laughs, sings, and possibly tries (unverified). Hmm, let's keep laughter and singing in mind (and in our hearts) as we continue.

Every whisper
Of every waking hour I'm choosing my confessions
Trying to keep an eye on you
Like a hurt lost and blinded fool
Oh no, I've said too much
I set it up

Ok, this narrows it down to two candidates: Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. Too much allusion to audial and visual senses to be anyone else. I mean, who else laughs, sings, and is blind? Stephan Jenkins maybe? But he doesn't laugh so, no, either Ray or Stevie.

Consider this
Consider this the hint of the century
Consider this
The slip that brought me to my knees failed
What if all these fantasies
Come flailing around

Terrible hints, Mike. Just tell us who you're playing.

Now I've said too much
I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think, I thought, I saw you try

You, in fact, haven't said nearly enough, Mike. Quit being coy.

That was just a dream
That was just a dream

Oh my god you have to be shitting me.

That's me in the corner
That's me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don't know if I can do it
Oh no, I've said too much

No.

I haven't said enough
I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think, I thought, I saw you try

Stop.

But that was just a dream
Try try try try
That was just a dream
Just a dream

That bald fuck just spent four and a half minutes talking about an early script of Inception.