"The Wake-up Bomb" as written by and Peter Buck Bill Berry....
I look good in a glass pack
I look good and mean
I look good in metallic sick wraparound blackout tease
I scud along the horizon, I drink some sweet tree
I get high in my low-ass boot-cut jean
I like being seen
I look good with my drink-eat-no-sleep, take-a-leap longevity
I get high on my attitude, latitude, 1973
I'm in deep

My head's on fire and high esteem
Carry my dead, bored, been there, done that, anything
Oh, the wake-up bomb
Oh, the wake-up bomb
Oh, the wake-up bomb
Oh, the wake-up bomb
My head's on fire and high esteem
Get drunk and sing along to Queen
Practice my T-Rex moves and make the scene
Carry my dead, bored, been there, done that, anything

I had to knock a few buildings over
I make an ugly mess
I had to blow a gasket
Drop transmission
I had to decompress
I had to write the great American novel
I had a neutron bomb
I had to teach the world to sing by the age of 21
I wake up (I wake up)
I wake up (I wake up)
I threw up when I saw what I'd done

Oh, the wake-up bomb
Oh, the wake-up bomb
My head's on fire and high esteem
Get drunk and sing along to Queen
Practice my T-Rex moves and make the scene
Yeah, I'd rather be anywhere doing anything

I've had enough, I've seen enough, I've had it all, I'm giving up
I won the race, I broke the cup, I drank it all, I spit it up
I've had enough, I've seen enough, I've had it all, I'm giving up
I won the race, I broke the cup, I drank it all, I spit it up
Yeah, atomic, supersonic
What a joke, I'm dumb
See ya, don't want to be you
Lunch meat, Pond scum

My head's on fire in high esteem
Get drunk and sing along to Queen
Practice my T-Rex moves and make the scene
Yeah, I'd rather be anywhere doing anything
Yeah, I'd rather be anywhere doing anything
Yeah, I'd rather be anywhere doing anything
Yeah


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"The Wake-Up Bomb" as written by Peter Buck Bill Berry

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

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The Wake-up Bomb song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentOne day you might realize that all you have done has been wrong and / or worthless. This song is about a person who has realized that and wants to leave his past "glories" behind to try new things.
    algunmaeon December 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song stands for a great night! but its over and they dont want to do it again. It is also the state of music comparing queen and T-rex to oasis.
    littlelostmeon June 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti tihnk its kinda nostalgic, looking back on the 70s when the guys were teenagers
    Little_Baby_Nothingon June 12, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHeehee I *love* the opening line

    I LOOUK GOOUD IN THE GLASS PACK!
    simsfreqon January 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis seems to be Stipe speaking autobiographically, looking back on his teen years/early 20s with disdain now for the attitude he had then. Specifically, the younger version of the singer was self-impressed, confident that he would achieve tremendous success ("write the great American novel") and partying too hard. (I think "wake up bomb" may be referring to a hangover.)

    Of course, Stipe has ended up enormously successful, but that doesn't seem to lessen his disdain for his earlier hubris. This may be because he wasn't as successful as he thought he would be (he hasn't written the "great American novel") or because he's learned that success isn't so meaningful ("I've had it all; I'm giving up").
    rikdadon September 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really don't think this is Stipe being autobiographical.
    Low Feedbackon September 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI don't know if this is the meaning that Stipe intended - I have never read any claims that Michael Stipe has or had bipolar and I don't think he has any mental illness - but personally I find this song to be such a perfect description of bipolar, which I have.

    During a manic episode your thoughts race ("heads on fire"), you become overconfident, egotistical ("self esteem") and believe you are a highly attractive person ("I look good etc.") and you feel like you don't need to sleep ("no sleep"). You also believe you can achieve anything, no matter how unrealistic ("I had to write the great American novel", "I had to teach the world to sing by the age of 21"). You also jump from one thing to the next, seeking novelty ("I'd rather be anywhere doing anything").

    After the high comes the crash into depression, the realization that you are not as superhuman as you thought you were and the consequences of your irresponsible behaviour ("I threw up when I saw what I'd done"), ("I've had enough, I've seen enough, I've had it all, I'm giving up", "What a joke, I'm dumb").

    Perhaps I am just projecting my own meaning into a song that but it seems too perfect to be a coincidence.

    Of course the song isn't JUST about mania - there are also cultural references to the 70s and 80s and I am not sure what they mean except that Stipe grew from an adolescent to an adult during these decades - but it is a pretty damn good description.
    MajesticPlumageon June 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningDuh. This is Michael Stipe having a pop at Liam Gallagher from the band Oasis when the whole Britpop thing was in full swing.

    The arrogant, swaggering Liam, with his band that sound like Status Quo/The Beatles etc

    Even down to the line "Supersonic. What a joke"

    Supersonic being a song (released as a single) from Oasis debut album
    geminderon June 05, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgeminder above is correct but does not go far enough.

    This song is a character assasination of Liam Gallagher of Oasis.

    Why? Possibly because of this incident....
    REM played two dates at Milton Keynes Bowl UK on the Monster tour..the summer of Britpop. The first date had Blur as lead support act, the second Oasis.
    (I saw the Blur supported concert, my friend the Oasis)

    Anyway, Liam of Oasis chose to slag off Blur with the statement "I wish Damon Albarn would get AIDS and die," More or less.

    Wake Up Bomb is the first track on New Adventures in Hi-Fi, which was the album following Monster.
    john109584on March 19, 2017   Link

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