I took a picture that I'll have to send
People here are friendly and content
People here are colourful and bright
The flowers often bloom at night

Amanita is the name
The flowers cover everything
The flowers cover everything

There's something here I find hard to ignore
There's something that I've never seen before
Amanita is the name, they cover over everything

The flowers cover everything
They cover over everything (Amanita is the name)
The flowers cover everything

Don't look into the sun
Don't look into the sun

The flowers cover everything
They cover over everything
The flowers cover everything
The flowers cover everything (Amanita is the name)
They cover over everything
The flowers cover everything

There's something that I've never seen before
The flowers often bloom at night
Amanita is the name they cover over everything


Lyrics submitted by xpankfrisst

The Flowers Of Guatemala song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commentone of r.e.m.'s most beautiful songs. it's quite old so not many people know it, but this is definately the band in their prime so download this if you haven't heard it, IT'S THE BESTEST. anyways, that's what i think...
    xpankfrisston June 15, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe flowers cover the graves of the people who were killed by the United States-backed military regime in Guatemala. The United States government backed a coup in 1954 that overthrew a democratically-elected government in Guatemala and replaced it with a fascist dictatorship. Many years of extreme suffering were the result.
    Jerrybearon April 28, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favorite thing in the song is the reference to "Amanita"--which is the genus of several exceptionally deadly mushrooms, including the one commonly known as the Destroying Angel. I always get this image of these mushrooms popping up among the flowers--something deadly and nasty that appears overnight and unbidden. It's the creepy element in a song that's generally pretty and peaceful (and since what Jerrybear already said about its meaning is completely right, that creepiness is utterly appropriate). It's even a pretty word, with a slightly Latino feel, and I suspect a lot of people don't necessarily recognize what it really means.

    These days, I like the metaphor of the United States as the Destroying Angel, which is completely appropriate here too.
    dlugoczajon November 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of the saddest (and best) R.E.M. songs.

    "The flowers often bloom at night"

    I've always taken that line to mean that we are doing that again. Remember, this was written in 1986. Guatemala was 1954, but under Reagan, numerous covert operations were undertaken all over the world to counter communism and destroy it. The flowers of death are blooming; more death is coming.
    ebowtheletteron March 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Amanita Muscaria is a hallucinogenic and entheogenic mushroom. Indegenous people in Central and South America will often refer to them as "flowers". John Marco Allegro was the only non catholic priest and agnostic on the 12 member qualified team to read the Dead Sea Scrolls. Allegro's claim is that the scrolls prove that christianity and Judaism came from earlier hallucinogenic mushroom and fertility cults and the Amanita is the forbidden fruit of the bible creation story. It is the fruit that gave humans knowledge so "GOD" did not want us to eat it. In more original creation stories "GOD" was never the creator of the universe but is "the seven lords" or landlords of this earth who did not want us to eat from the tree of knowledge otherwise they would no longer be able to control us. It appears the bible creation story was altered to make eve and serpent appear evil while in more original creation stories the serpent is the good guy who gave let us know that the landlords were lying to us about dying after we eat the fruit we were told not to eat, he gave us knowledge and eve was the intelligent or enlightened human. Amanita Muscaria are Red with white spots like "apples" and they flourish under conifer "christmas" trees. Now imagine all those red and white gifts we put under christmas trees. The Amanita Muscaria and other mushrooms go through and "egg" stage and can also be gold in color, so you end up with mostly red and white mushrooms and a few gold ones. Now think about why we have children go and look for colorful eggs at Easter and bring them back to their parents for a treat, because who better to crawl under those conifer trees than little children rather than a big clumsy adult. In some original languages the same name given to the Amanita is the same as "word" in that language, which suggest that humans learned how to speak from the mushroom itself. Obviously I have deviated far from REM and this song and I am sure REM is not performing "The Flowers of Guatemala" in reference to all of this. But this is a very important mushroom indeed in human history and a good topic for them to write a song about. There is much to learn about this so Look up "The Pharmacratic Inquisition".
    SaintCaptainFreakOuton August 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"The flowers often bloom at night" is probably referring to the fact that Mushrooms in general and the Amanita Muscaria will bloom overnight, ancient peoples would watch the growth cycle carefully and documented its changes. as it goes from spore all the way through the "grail" stage back down to its ashes. Rainwater or dew would collect in the "grail" stage of the mushroom and the shamans would drink the water which would be red, now imagine the blood of jesus in the "holy grail". The part of the mushroom which is consumed most often peels away from the underside "ribs" of the mushroom and is referred to as the "eave" or "eve" of the mushroom and is the most hallucinogenic part, now imagine "Eve" the woman or "enlightened one" coming from the "rib" of adam. The lyrics "Dont look into the sun"... Is this referring to the fact that we were told never to eat from the fruit of the tree of knowledge? OK I do think I am taking this interpretation too far, but this is a very symbolic mushroom in history and religion in many parts of the world. I dont want to sound like a parrot or mr know it all but it is a very good topic to write a song about.
    SaintCaptainFreakOuton August 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    Song Meaningen.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/…

    Psychedelic Mushrooms.
    Don't look into the sun (Eyes Dilated)
    Bloom at night.
    Colors full and bright.
    Seeing things never seen before.....
    DavidJusticeon November 08, 2016   Link
  • -1
    General Commentcertainly a beautiful song.....never knew the meaning.

    The US has it's heart in the right place but is so blinded by conceite it is a bit of a Destroying Angel; But of course when we do something correctly no one talks about it.
    pton August 31, 2005   Link

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