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R.E.M. – Bang And Blame Lyrics 8 years ago
My knowledge of the song is that Stipe at one time had a thing going with River Phoenix, who he cared a great deal about, and this song is about him. Publically, Phoenix was straight, he had a string of steady girlfriends but apparently had quite a few run ins with guys and was confused about his sexuality having been molested as a child. If this is indeed the case the lyrics would point towards Phoenix battling with his sexality- screwing Stipe, then getting annoyed at him for 'letting' it happen and paranoid that his 'secret life' would be outted by one of his other conquests or Stipe himself. The opening verse sounds like Stipe perhaps attempting to end the affair due to Phoenix not being sure about what he wants.
It was widely rumoured inside Hollywood at the time that Phoenix was gay but was never publically agknowleged. Stipe appears to make reference to his subjects double life with;
"The whole world hinges on your swings
Your secret life of indiscreet discretions"
And perhaps referenceing Phoenix voicing his worry about his various encounters hitting the papers..
Something he can relate to, being a celebrity himself;
"You�ve got a little worry,
I know it all too well,
I�ve got your number,
But so does every kiss-and-tell
Who dares to cross your threshold,
Or happens on your way,
Stop laying blame.
You know that�s not my thing."
The song ends with Stipe referencing Phoenixs death "You.. let go on me"

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