"Oddfellows Local 151" as written by and Peter Buck Bill Berry....
Oddfellows local 151 behind the firehouse
Where Peewee sits to prove a sage to teach
Peewee gathered up his proof
Reached up and scratched his head
Fell down and hit the ground again

Firehouse, firehouse.

Why do the heathens rage behind the firehouse
Where Peewee sits upon the wall to preach?
This boy and girl that gather pearls
Of wisdom falling from his mouth
Wash off the blood wash off the rum

Firehouse, firehouse.

Oddfellows local 151 behind the firehouse
Where Peewee sits upon the wall to preach.
This boy and girl that gather pearls
Of wisdom falling from his mouth
Wash off the blood, wash off the 151.

Firehouse, firehouse.
Firehouse, firehouse.


Lyrics submitted by xpankfrisst

"Oddfellows Local 151" as written by Peter Buck Bill Berry

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

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Oddfellows Local 151 song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentTo support some of the comments made above:

    Peter Buck said that the "Oddfellows" were a social organisation, "just like the Mooses or the Shiners", with lodges all over Athens.

    He also explained that the song was about the old winos who lived near Michael Stipe. They drank all day and slept in their cars, so the band called them the "Motor Club". Buck remebered that one of them really was known as Pee Wee. The name Oddfellows is used ironically to suggest that this assortmnet of drunks were like a fraternal society.

    Stipe himself said the song was a debunking of the "Southern folk" myths he had written for "Fables of the Reconstruction" (e.g. Wendell Gee, Old Man Kensey). In other words, the quaint eccentrics of his earlier songs turn out to be nothing more than sad old drunks.
    darlomundayon June 27, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt seems to me that it's about drunk homeless people hanging outside the liquor store in the alleyways and spewing their "wisdom" to those that pass by. Much like you see the sidewalk preachers talking about the "end of days". And people just stare at them and the homeless people and hear their strange drunken mutterings.
    bighouse1347on April 10, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnytime you say "Something local ###" it's referring to a Union.

    Other than that, I can't say anything concrete. Coule be some kind of Union meeting or something. Or a metaphorical union meeting. Who knows, It's Michael Stipe after all. That's why he's so great.
    Brat Mojon April 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis could be about simple small town life and how kids grow up fast or pretty much about anything.
    rockmanon January 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always interpreted this song semi-literally. I thought the "151" referred to alcohol. I figured that this was just a character study of the homeless drunks that hang out and babble in alleyways. Henceforth the characterization as a union.
    ReDorkulatoron March 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHit the nail on the head redork...Wash off the rum wash off the 151.
    Okolemonon December 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHit the nail on the head redork...Wash off the rum wash off the 151.
    Okolemonon December 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell i think tat 151 refers to the firehouse number. And its how they do things in their firehouse.
    maverick0073on December 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Firehouse is (or was) a liquor store in Athens. 151 probably refers to Bacardi 151. So the oddfellows are a bunch of drunks that hung outside a liquor store.
    snaggle404on April 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOdd Fellows is a social organization, much like The Eagles, Elk, Moose or Sokol...

    I used to sell soda at their functions when i was 15...
    ron4971on March 31, 2009   Link

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