"Circus Envy" as written by and Peter Buck Bill Berry....
Here comes that awful feeling again
Welcome the ugly animal
I hold my breath to watch you swing,
My high rope acrobat ball and chain,
I'm not afraid, I messed it, messed it, messed it, messed it up

I've got my telescope head in the haystack
I'm getting tired of your dodgeball circus act
Put pepper in my coffee, I forgot to bark on command

Here comes that awful feeling again
Make way for monster jealousy
The strong man kicked sand into my breakfast cereal bowl
I'd spelled your name with Oatios,
He messed it, messed it, messed it, messed it up

I've got my telescope head in the haystack
I am tired of your dodgeball circus act
Put pepper in my coffee, I forgot to bark on command

(You're mean, mean, mean
You tease, tease, tease me)

If I were you I'd really run from me
I'd really, really wish that I were you
When I get loose, I'll climb a tree
And drop a load on your head
This monster in me makes me retch, you messed it, messed it up

I've got my telescope head in the haystack
I am jealous of your dodgeball circus act
Put pepper in my coffee, I forgot to bark
Put pepper in my coffee, I forgot to bark on command

(You're mean, mean, mean
You tease, tease, tease me)

Do you smell jealousy?
Do you smell jealousy, jealousy, jealousy?


Lyrics submitted by ojms

"Circus Envy" as written by Peter Buck Bill Berry

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

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Circus Envy song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI can't believe nobody has ever left a comment for this song! It is undoubtedly one of the angriest, meanest songs about unrequited love in the entire REM catalogue. If "The One I Love" is easily recognized as the REM song most associated with that theme, than this song takes the emotion behind it and demonstrates the kicking and screaming anger often associated with love not returned. Where "TOIL" seethes, this one boils.

    This monster in me - the green-eyed monster of jealousy - gets lose I am going to retch, I am going to act compulsively. And you are not going to want to be around me when I explode.

    This song is brilliant. This IS what it feels like to be in unrequited love. This is the anger. And Peter's guitar slams it home.
    peacefrogxon September 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is hugely under-rated!
    its sung with amazing anger in an album almost as good as automatic for the ppl...
    Karkianon December 04, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYep this is about jealousy in particular and insecurity in general. There was a time in my life when I TOTALLY related to this song. "Here comes that awful feeling again" - indeed. Jelousy is bad kids, don't do it. ;o)
    charliereayon April 12, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the song is about the weaker partner in a relationship who has, almost, finally had it with his partner who is emotionally enslaving him, but he's not quite ready to make that leap. He is envious of his partner's ability to manipulate and control and despises his own weakness in the face of it.
    KStormon August 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis definitely triggers some bad memories for me. Anyway it's a very good song, catchy and weird at the same time.
    Marquezon May 21, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLol I thought he said I forgot to boil on command not bark!
    greenblinkfooon July 06, 2013   Link

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