"Hope" as written by and Michael Stipe Peter Buck....
You want to go out Friday
And you want to go forever.
You know that it sounds childish
That you've dreamt of alligators.
You hope that we are with you
And you hope you're recognized
You want to go forever
You see it in my eyes.
I'm lost in the confusion
And it doesn't seem to matter
You really can't believe it
And you hope it's getting better

You want to trust the doctors
Their procedure is the best
But the last try was a failure
And the intern was a mess.
And they did the same to Matthew
And he bled 'til Sunday night
They're saying don't be frightened
But you're weakened by the sight of it
You lock into a pattern
And you know that it's the last ditch
You're trying to see through it
And it doesn't make sense
But they're saying don't be frightened
And they're killing alligators
And they're hog-tied
And accepting of the struggle

You want to trust religion
And you know it's allegory
But the people who are followers
Have written their own story.
So you look up to the heavens
And you hope that it's a spaceship
And it's something from your childhood
You're thinking don't be frightened

You want to climb the ladder
You want to see forever
You want to go out Friday
And you want to go forever.
And you want to cross your DNA
To cross your DNA with something reptile.
And you're questioning the sciences
And questioning religion
You're looking like an idiot
And you no longer care.
And you want bridge the schism,
A built-in mechanism to protect you.
And you're looking for salvation
And you're looking for deliverance
You're looking for deliverance
You're looking like av idiot
And you no longer care.
You want to climb the ladder
You want to see forever.
You want to go out Friday
You want to go forever.

Lyrics submitted by junkie

"Hope" as written by Michael Stipe Peter Buck

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

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Hope song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI believe this song was written for a friend of the narrator who is dying of cancer. The friend is suffering and wants to have fun and enjoy his life like everybody else, but he just can't. He wants to go on living, he wants everything to be normal, but it's not. He wants to trust science to make him better and he wants to believe in an afterlife, but he doesn't. He wants to have hope, but he doesn't know where to get it.

    I've heard it's not uncommon for cancer sufferers to dream of being eaten by alligators.
    PencilNeckedGeekon April 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThere is no reference to Matthew Shephard. The album was recorded 3 months before the incident. Not just is the reference not clear but it is impossible based on facts.
    ebowtheletteron February 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentExcellent song, I think it's about being confused - and what should you put your faith in? What should you not trust?
    Relinquo1on April 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about the process of becoming your own, independent person that generally comes along with going off to college.
    Akakuroon May 27, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about growing older and facing the reality of our mortality.
    Moses19on November 14, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song was kind of my theme song when I was fairly sick a few years ago. For me, it sort of captured that yearning to be a part of normal life again. "You want to go out Friday and you want to go forever." I also felt like the lyrics about how "you want to cross your dna with something reptile" expressed a desire to be safe from hurt. And there are a lot of lyrics about wanting to trust in something, but constantly questioning it, which were all emotions that resonated for me at the time.

    Anyway, that was just why the song touched a chord for me personally. I always wondered if maybe I was misinterpreting it, though, and seeing a hopeful message when Stipe was really saying something mocking about people who are obsessed with plastic surgery and celebrity. (The lyrics that lean to this interpretation are the lines about "you hope that we are with you / and you hope you're recognized" and the second verse about some mysterious "procedure".)

    Ah well, I choose to believe it's a hopeful song. :)
    MsMollyon May 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is the exact reason that I love R.E.M.. Aside from Stipe's amazing lyrics, the music is so different for them. If you were to put this song on "Murmer" it wouldn't make sense, which is a good thing. The constant evolving is what makes R.E.M. not get boring, even after all those years.
    Jakeberton June 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIllness, perhaps cancer, is what comes to mind for me, although there's a clear Matthew Shepherd reference as well.
    JackofHeartson October 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAccording to dreammoods.com (the first site that came up when I googlesearched "dream interpretation):

    To see an alligator in your dream symbolizes treachery, deceit, and hidden instincts. It may be a signal for you to take a new perspective on a situation. It may also represent your ability to move between the material world of waking life and the emotional, repressed world of the unconscious. Alternatively, the alligator represents healing powers and qualities.

    To dream that you are running away from the alligator, indicates that you are unwilling to confront some painful and disturbing aspect of your unconscious. There is some potentially destructive emotion that you are refusing to acknowledge and
    owning up to.

    According to biblical interpretations, an alligator suggests that leviathan is king over the children of pride. (Psa 74:14, Job 41:1,Isa 27:1)
    airwolf queenon July 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this is about Laramie Wyoming. Hence the mention of a Matthew(Matthew Shepard). I think this album was made about the same time as the tragedy in Laramie.
    pmac52188on August 13, 2007   Link

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