"New Test Leper" as written by and Peter Buck Bill Berry....
I can't say that I love Jesus
That would be a hollow claim
He did make some observations
And I'm quoting them today
"Judge not lest ye be judged"
What a beautiful refrain
The studio audience disagrees
Have his lambs all gone astray?

[Chorus]
Call me a leper
Call me a leper
Call me a leper

"You are lost and disillusioned!"
What an awful thing to say
I know this show doesn't flatter
It means nothing to me
I thought I might help them understand
But what an ugly thing to see
"I am not an animal"
Subtitled under the screen

[Chorus]

When I tried to tell my story
They cut me off to take a break
I sat silent five commercials
I had nothing left to say
The talk show host was index-carded
All organized and blank
The other guests were scared and hardened
What a sad parade

What a sad parade

[Chorus]


Lyrics submitted by xpankfrisst

"New Test Leper" as written by Peter Buck Bill Berry

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

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New Test Leper song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThe band's "first line Jesus song", it's a comment on the fact that religious people have a habit of criticizing others for not following the Bible and then turning around and doing the same thing themselves.
    avuncularon October 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow, quite a song...to me it says people don't hav to agree w/ u, just open their mind
    ZinbobDanon April 26, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree w/ avuncular. Love the song.
    yogaboaton November 18, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis seems to address TV evangelism, and the hypocrisy of the Evangicals intolerance, like avucular says.

    Excellent song. Possibly my favorite.
    Hyperboleon November 27, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI heard it was about an AIDS sufferer on a TV Talk Show.
    driver08ukon February 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just wanted to say that this may be my most favorite REM song on my most favorite REM album (excepting maybe Nightswimming).

    I think it's about someone who has real views on faith but can't get heard because they don't fit in with popular conceptions. Ironic attack on religion, because that's just what Jesus was.
    Zsharrowon February 27, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh, I love it :-)
    I could never be a Christian (don't hassle me about that, I'll respect your religion, you respect mine ;)) But I believe the Bible has a lot of valid points.

    Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged

    ,...How many Emo kids are running around yelling "Don't fucking judge me!" ?
    simsfreqon January 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThink about being on a talk show because you have a disease, "leprosy", if you will. It's the modern day freak show, and we watch it to say, "thank god I'm not like them." I think this song addresses the assumption that people have that people who are in a bad situation put themselves there. That kind of judgement, when they can never truly know what's going on behind that person's eyes, is wrong.
    airwolf queenon April 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenten.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    cgnjnyon February 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is the reason alot of Christians hate REM. (well, at least the dumber ones. no Christians, im not saying you are dumb, but every group has a few idiots mixed in)
    mostly because of the first line "I can't say that I love Jesus, that would be a hollow claim"

    ive always thought that this meant that it's really impossible to actually love someone who you have never met or seen, only read about.

    and it's about how Christians like to force their religion on others, and tell them that if they don't believe what they do they will go to hell. but, not just Christians, its about America, the government promoting Christianity and saying all other religions are false even though it's supposed to be a country of religious tolerance.

    why should it matter what people think of Jesus? im not of any religion at all, but i do believe Jesus did exist. and that he was a great man, and diserves respect. a peace activist, like ghandi, john lennon, and martin luther king... and just like them, he was brutally murdered for his veiws. though the idea of him being the son of god is well, completely unbelievable to me. even if he was, i would never worship him, i find the idea of worship to be degrading to both parties involved.

    perhaps this song is about a view of religion similar to mine, especially on the concept of Jesus.
    EvilVultureon September 04, 2008   Link

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