"Begin The Begin" as written by and Peter Buck Bill Berry....
Birdie in the hand for life's rich demand
The insurgency began and you missed it
I looked for it and I found it
Miles Standish proud, congratulate me

A philanderer's tie, a murderer's shoe

Life's rich demand creates supply in the hand
Of the powers, the only vote that matters
Silence means security silence means approval
On Zenith on the TV tiger run around the tree
Follow the leader, run and turn into butter

Let's begin again, begin the begin
Let's begin again like Martin Luther Zen
The mythology begins the begin
Answer me a question I can't itemize
I can't think clear, you look to me for reason
It's not there, I can't even rhyme here in the begin

A philanderer's tie, a murderer's shoe
Example, the finest example is you

Birdie in the hand for life's rich demand
The insurgency began and you missed it
I looked for it and I found it
Miles Standish proud, congratulate me

A philanderer's tie, a murderer's shoe
Let's begin again begin the begin
Let's begin again


Lyrics submitted by xpankfrisst

"Begin the Begin" as written by Peter Buck Bill Berry

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

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Begin The Begin song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentIraq War? Clinton? C'mon folks. this album was released in 1986!!! Reagan was midway through his 2nd term and America was in a serious funk... much as it is now after Bush II. It proves the brilliance of Stipe as a lyricist that his lyrics can be applied to politics today (22 years later!).
    If you think Life's Rich Pageant is one of REM's less-favorable albums, PLEASE listen to it again and again... AND watch REM's Tourfilm DVD. LRP is by far REM's burliest album and personally it's my favorite.
    kidkilowatton February 15, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentCharlie=Smack ass. Every song on this album is phenomenal, especially Swan Swan, These Days and What IF We Give it Away. REM at its prime.
    mikegrosson April 13, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"the insurgency began and you missed it." if that doesnt perfectly predict the second Iraq war, i dont know what does...
    kakashi18018on July 02, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGreat rough sound.........and the young man had a lot to say
    pton August 31, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song laughs at the idea that technological or social innovation is really progress. The narrator is proud (Miles Standish -- one of the first American colonialists -- proud) and wants to be congratulated. But the "progress" is simply change, not advancement.

    The power of innovation is respectable (a "tiger") but it doesn't lead forward ("run around the tree") -- just in circles. The tigers in "Little Black Sambo" end up destroying themselves for their efforts.

    The development of a consumerist culture enrichens a few ("the powers") and is silently approved of, and thus allowed to continue.

    The words "life's rich" are a micro-homage to a previous REM album title.
    rikdadon August 22, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe title is also a play on the popular bossa nova/jazz standard "Begin the Beguine".
    MickeyPhillyon February 10, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"Sadly, this is the only good song off of "Life's Rich Pageant.'"

    Lifes Rich Pageant is one of R.E.M.s best albums. I'd put it as one of their top 5 (or top 3) out of their whole discography.
    No. 17on August 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAre we sure he's not saying "like Martin Luthers in mythology"? Both Martin Luthers began big things.
    xodon August 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyou forgot "The flowers of guatemala", a very pretty song
    Tomeron January 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou can hear strange references to current events is this song, although obviously the events had nothing to do with the song.
    Iraq war, Bill Clinton, Richard Reid, the public and news media cowering to the US government and to terrorist threats, religious reform/merging of church and state.
    garydavis9361on February 09, 2006   Link

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