"Try Not To Breathe" as written by and Peter Buck Bill Berry....
I will try not to breathe
I can hold my head still with my hands at my knees
These eyes are the eyes of the old, shiver and fold

I will try not to breathe
This decision is mine
I have lived a full life
And these are the eyes that I want you to remember, oh

I need something to fly over my grave again
I need something to breathe

I will try not to burden you
I can hold these inside
I will hold my breath
Until all these shivers subside
Just look in my eyes

I will try not to worry you
I have seen things that you will never see
Leave it to memory me
I shudder to breathe

I want you to remember, oh (you will never see)
I need something to fly (something to fly)
Over my grave again (you will never see)
I need something to breathe (something to breathe)
Baby, don't shiver now
Why do you shiver? (I will see things you will never see)
I need something to fly (something to fly)
Over my grave again. (I will see things you will never see)
I need something to breathe, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh

I will try not to worry you
I have seen things that you will never see
Leave it to memory me
Don't dare me to breathe
I want you to remember oh (you will never see)
I need something to fly (something to fly)
Over my grave again (you will never see)
I need something to breathe (something to breathe)
Baby, don't shiver now
Why do you shiver now? (I will see things you will never see)
I need something to breathe (something to breathe)
(I have seen things you will never see)
I want you to remember


Lyrics submitted by shut

"Try Not to Breathe" as written by Peter Buck Bill Berry

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

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Try Not To Breathe song meanings
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39 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThis song touched me, a long time ago, when I first heard it at my dad's house. It was only this year when he gave me his extra copy of Automatic For The Peope that I realized what the song was called. It had been haunting me for a long time.

    Unlike most of the people who have already set down what they think this song is about, I do not see the speaker as being a woman- maybe because the singer is a male, I don't know. What I do know is that I do not see the song as being about suicide either. It's about someone dying of old age, lying on their deathebed, telling their family not to worry when they die because "I have lived a full life, I have seen things that you will never see." Basically, it's his/her time, and though the family is sad, they know he's content to die, which comforts them a bit.
    EnduringChillon October 10, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think the person is trying to rationalize killing themselves by saying that they have lived a full life and have seen terrible things, but they still are uneasy about actually doing something so drastic (why do you shiver).
    rockmanon January 26, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commentncc, small correction if I may, Cobain actually did killed himself 2 years after the release of 'Automatic' 10.92.
    michael did write a song about him; it was on the follow up 'monster' one that's called 'let me in' if I can remember well.
    and not that it matters so much to relate those 2 events together I beleive but Kurt killed himself on April 5th 94.
    and adding to that regarding the humanity and beauty that vehiculates rem's music I don't think any song by this band could ever get a reasonably sone person to commit suicide....
    so anyway this is a beautiful track, the melodies, and the words but as far as the things I've read here they seem pretty restricted in their analysis, just wanting to to see a song being about this r that. what''s the point? to me even if it could be just as plain and simple ( pointless) versions like those are just a lil too litteral
    making straight depictions and simplifying the all thing to some chosen subject couldn't be the best way to look at a piece of 'poetical' lyrics.
    even more so when it comes to lyrics like those.
    espacially when you know Stipe usual tricky type of lyrics and used to play with many emotional images through words.
    it's always easier then it seems, many lines taken apart and isolated from the rest may give this or that hint, but plain deduction to decide this is about suicide instead of trying to get the emotion behind, just a human thought, the desire to leave before the decay. to not make suffer anyne you love. (everybody hurts)
    to reach for something beyond, and leave all pain and disapointements behind.
    naivadaon July 06, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is from the POV of someone who is already dead, and speaking back to their survivors not to worry about them.
    yogaboaton November 18, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt can be taken in so many ways - its completley different meanings for me, i mean its so blatently about suicide, but maybe not neccessarily about elderly people. I dunno, it reminds me of someone close 2 me (the shivers bit) for some reason, of romantic love. God knows why.
    punk_pwincesson December 16, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentabout suicide? ok, there are elements of that yes. he's SCREAMING, telling everyone that he's seen something others will not. we're too afraid to look/question. *sigh*. if he/she chooses to die now, then REMEMBER what you see now in my eyes. i 'know'. btw, if you are considering suicide, please read the lyrics to 'everybody hurts' first, ok? put that damn bottle/gun/knive down now. :)
    omega-alatiaon December 26, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song, to me, is about suicidal feelings in general, and happens to be from the POV of an elderly person... it reminds me of assisted suicide...
    schizorageon August 31, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti never really listened to the lyrics or thought about the meaning but this is definately one of my fave REM songs
    KesterSmithon February 24, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don’t think this song is necessarily about an elder person, I think it could be anyone really.
    I can relate to this song because the whole song he is wanting something to breathe and to remember him. (he has lived his life young or not and he wants it to continue that in someone else)
    Sure it could be about suicide, but I think it’s more than that. We are all waiting to die in the end.

    “I will try not to worry you.
    I have seen things that you will never see.
    Leave it to memory me. I shudder to breathe.”
    I think that would have to be my favorite part of the song, the whole thing is brilliant.
    som3wh4td4m4g3don April 15, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI am NOT considering suicide lmfao!
    punk_pwincesson April 18, 2006   Link

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