"Around the Sun" as written by and Mike Mills Peter Buck....
I want the sun to shine on me
I want the truth to set me free
I wish the followers would lead
With a voice so strong it could knock me to my knees

Hold on world 'cause you don't know what's coming
Hold on world 'cause I'm not jumping off
Hold onto this boy a little longer
Take another trip around the sun

If I jumped into the ocean to believe
If I climbed a mountain would I have to reach?
Do I even dare to speak? To dream? Believe?
Give me a voice so strong
I can question what I have seen

Hold on world 'cause you don't know what's coming
Hold on world 'cause I'm not jumping off
Hold onto this boy a little longer
Take another trip around the sun

Around the sun
Around the sun
Around the sun
Let my dreams set me free.
Believe. believe.
Now now now now now now


Lyrics submitted by Lyra

"Around the Sun" as written by Mike Mills Peter Buck

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

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Around the Sun song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentA pretty simple, pretty positive song.

    To me Stipe's saying, don't be depressed, don't let the world and George Bush make you give up, instead turn it all around ("I wish the followers would lead"), take the world on ("hold on world 'cause I'm not jumping off"), something good could be just around the corner ("...you don't know what's coming").

    This sort of links in to 'The Outsiders' and 'The Final Straw' too - it's about knowing something (political?) and wanting the strength to reveal it to the world and weather the resultant storm - hence the wish for "a voice so strong/I can question what I have seen."

    The simple fact that this song has a positive political message in it makes me really like it. "I want the truth to set me free."
    caitsith01on October 17, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song was the ending credits song to the movie Going Upriver, the documentary about John Kerry and his involvement with the Viet Nam Vets Against the War. This song makes me think of that movie and especially of John Kerry and his run for the presidency.
    SMUSER17000412on November 14, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeautiful, uplifting song. Probably the best on Around the Sun.
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    Jakeberton January 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentim really confused here. r.e.m. is one of the most significant bands of our time and these songs are barely getting any comments. i admit stipes writing on this new album is soooo negative and against bush and shit but honestly, people should start commenting on this amazing music
    ilovealkalineon April 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that one may also note the fact that, once the Earth "Take(s) another trip around the sun" another year has passed. This could be signifying a similar meaning of "holding on" that caitsith01 described.
    vinitleeon June 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"hold on to this boy a little longer" could it be "buoy"?
    local_151_fellaon April 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is simply about standing up for principles and change, and standing up for what is right and good.
    cascadia4on August 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song got me through a tough time. The lyrics really sang to me and summed up what I was feeling. I was stuck in a dead-end job a desperately looking for a way out.

    Hold on world, come back in another year (around the sun) and see where I am then.

    Sure enough a year later I was in a new job and a lot happier.
    tmcd35on August 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that there are probably some political overtones I just never noticed, as the first time I heard this song I was too young to understand them, but this song really touched me. To me it's all about a child, a young boy, living on this Earth that he can't control, but all he wants to do is remain innocent, telling the world to "hold on to this boy a little longer" so that he doesn't become a man and have to face the world. It about childhood innocence and purity.
    LoverBoyWonderon October 17, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationSurprised no one has thought or mentioned this, but this song has always struck me as having a very spiritual/religious message. In depth:

    'I want the sun to shine on me'- wants to be enlightened

    'truth to set me free'- truth of the existence of a divine being; free from doubt, worry, sin, etc.

    'wish the followers would lead'- that people wouldn't just blindly follow religious leaders

    'voice so strong it could knock me to my knees'- seems like a reference to biblical passages where an angel or God has spoken, and the person drops in fear/awe

    Chorus- hey everybody, you might be wrong about the afterlife. nobody knows what lies past death, but he's not going to (I swear he says 'jump on' the 2nd time....maybe it's 'off' both times) jump off (like what moms like to say, 'If so-and-so jumps off a cliff, would you do it? lol) or jump on (the bandwagon, same thing, doing it bc others are). Then the next part is him asking for more time to figure it all out, life, its meaning, etc.

    'if I jumped into the ocean to believe'- ref. the Jesus/Peter walk on water as a testament of faith

    'climbed a mountain would i have to reach?'- maybe ref. to (from Wikipedia: Girnar), "In the Hindu religion, the legend is that climbing Girnar barefooted earns one a place in Heaven" and then him asking if that's the only way to be saved.

    'question what I have seen'- question what he's been taught and not just take someone's word that it's real or correct. Question how a loving deity can allow such suffering in the world.



    That's just what I get from it, anyway. I love this song (wish they had cut out 2:15-3:15ish, and the ending is a little drawn out, but the first part is a-mazing). If you love this song, listen to 'In the Sun', on the gulf relief cd with Coldplay and Joseph Arthur (actually his song). Michael's version is lovely. I could listen to him sing that song forever :)
    runelectronblueon August 05, 2011   Link

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