"Half A World Away" as written by and Peter Buck Bill Berry....
This could be the saddest dusk
I've ever seen
Turn to a miracle
High alive
My mind is racing
As it always will
My hand is tired, my heart aches
I'm half a world away here
My head sworn
To go it alone
And hold it along
Haul it along
And hold it
Go it alone
Hold it along and hold, hold

Oh, lonely deep sit hollow
I'm half a world
Half the world away
My shoes are gone
My life spent
I had too much to drink
I didn't think
And I didn't think of you
I guess that's all I needed
To go it alone
And hold it along
Haul it along
And hold it
Blackbirds, backwards, forwards and fall and hold, hold

Oh, this lonely world is wasted
Pathetic eyes high alive
Blind to the tide that turns the sea
This storm it came up strong
It shook the trees
And blew away our fear
I couldn't even hear

To go it alone
And hold it along
Haul it along
And hold it
To go it alone
And hold it along
Haul
To go it alone
And hold it along
Haul it along
And hold it
Blackbirds, backwards, forwards, and fall and hold hold

This could be the saddest dusk
I've ever seen
Turn to a miracle
High alive
My mind is racing
As it always will
My hands tired, my heart aches
I'm half a world away and go


Lyrics submitted by Nelly

"Half a World Away" as written by Peter Buck Bill Berry

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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Half A World Away song meanings
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26 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentDefenitely not masturbating *rolleyes*

    It's about strife and loneliness. when you feel so distant and hopeless yet still struggling on, still hoping for a miracle. pretty simplistic, yet this is one of the most honest songs in REM's repertoire.
    ripelivejamon February 04, 2006   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationThis is my favorite song on Out of Time. It's beautiful and achingly sad.

    I think it's about a fight between lovers that forces the narrator out of his home with his girlfriend- maybe a divorce, I don't know- and now he regrets it. "The storm it came up strong, and shook the trees... I had too much to drink, I didn't think of you." Even though he's lonely and pining for her, he still has "sworn to go it along, and hold it along, haul it along and hold it"- meaning, I think, to stay out there, away from her, living alone. Maybe he doesn't want to apologize, maybe he thinks living apart would just make things easier for her.

    The only thing I don't understand are the few lyrics that convey hope... "turn to a miracle, blew away our fear..." Maybe the narrator has some sliver of hope that they will reach a compromise and he will get to come home.

    "My hand is tired, my heart aches... I'm half a world away." I always equate hands with working. Sounds like the narrator has been working too hard, probably because his lover is no longer able to support him (although if I was living with someone who didn't work, I wouldn't enjoy that very much..." Half a world away. They are far apart, emotionally and physically.

    Y'know what the saddest line in this song is? "This lonely world is wasted, pathetic eyes, high alive." To me it conveys just not caring about life, about anoything, not even being able to hate it anymore, just feeling numb, resigned.
    EnduringChillon September 18, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIs his hand tired from playing the guitar... Or the harpsichord in the background...? Not all of life revolves around jerking it, you know.
    Communism57on March 28, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI see that he cheated on his lover far away. "I had to much to drink, and I didn't think of you."
    darnheckshooton November 24, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAll of you seem to grasp the main meaning, but the chorus seems to say that, no matter what, your life is somethign you have to face alone. When it comes down to it, your life is no one's but yours and it can seem very lonely but you;ve got to "haul it along and hold it"
    laocoonon February 27, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmaybe because he had too much to drink and cheated on his lover was the reason for his having to be alone

    it all points to solitude
    laocoonon April 06, 2006   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationWhat a bunch of perverts!

    Has it ever occurred to you that the lyric "my hand is tired" is referencing writer's cramp as a result of trying to write a letter that never seems to come out right? Good lord, so many minds in the gutter (though it would be humorous if you were right!).
    markgon May 21, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"my hand's tired" = masturbating? Come on guys don't be so literal.
    I think it's a metaphor for toil and hardship and being generally tired of the daily grind of life. This song is so beautiful - just conjurs up an image of someone who perhaps for one night is 'away from it all' (if only in thier mind), in solitude and contemplating an existence that's never been easy but one they bear all the same.
    chrysalis82on June 07, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have a love/hate relationship with this song. I love the art that is this song, in its architecture, in its abstractness that invites one to see into it different things perhaps at different times.

    This song is so imbued with personal meaning for me, however, having been played over & over when my wife moved away after she fell in love with someone else, that all my comments come from that space. Some of this is projection, some of it may have been in Stipe's head, who knows?

    For me, this song is about being so forsaken at love that has left and moved, with only yourself to keep going, that you drink to numb the pain. There are miracles of grand nature around you constantly and you are blind to them in your suffering at love lost.

    Hands aching from all the wasted attempts to communicate, from wringing in pain. Mind racing from analyzing what has happened, what could have been done/said differently, what could be done now to repair. There is no calmness of mind or spirit in the turmoil of relationships torn asunder.

    Life as a couple split apart, and so very, very far -- in fact, the absolute furthest one can get while on the planet: half a world away.
    bionic75007on March 04, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song...but I have NO CLUE what it means!!
    sportcarderon May 27, 2002   Link

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