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Meaning of the song ‘Everybody Hurts’ by ‘R.E.M.’

Released: 1992

“Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. is a deep dive into the human experience of pain and loneliness, offering a compassionate anthem for those struggling. With profound lyrics, the song resonates with anyone feeling overwhelmed or isolated, emphasizing the universal nature of these emotions and encouraging endurance despite adversities.

The verse “When your day is long / And the night, the night is yours alone” captures a profound sense of solitude, a hallmark of the human condition when life gets tough. Utilizing the metaphor of night as loneliness, R.E.M. speaks directly to the listener, building a bridge of empathy and understanding.

In the lines “When you’re sure you’ve had enough / Of this life, well hang on”, the band acknowledges the crushing weight of human despair, but advocates resilience. The phrase ‘hang on’ is a direct encouragement to persist, a common battle cry in the face of adversity.

The chorus, “’Cause everybody cries / Everybody hurts sometimes / Sometimes everything is wrong” is a stark reminder of the universality of suffering. It denotes that everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from, experiences moments of deep pain and sorrow.

By repeating the refrain ‘hold on’ throughout the song, R.E.M. further emphasizes the need for endurance and perseverance despite the harsh realities of life. This repetition serves as a mantra for the downtrodden, providing a beacon of hope amidst despair.

“Don’t throw your hand, oh no / Don’t throw your hand” makes a plea against giving up, especially when life throws the worst at you. It’s a poker reference, implying that you should stay in the game, even when the odds seem against you because the next card could change everything.

The concluding lines “If you feel like you’re alone / No, no, no, you are not alone” seek to dispel the isolating effects of pain, reassuring listeners that they are part of a larger human community bound by shared emotional experiences. It’s R.E.M.’s way of reaching out a hand, the power of music helping to bridge the chasm of alienation and loneliness.

So, let’s take it from these rock gurus, life might hand you down days – thunderous, dark, and darn tough – but hang in there, because “Everybody Hurts” and you’re not alone in this concert called life.

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