"Unseen Power of the Picket Fence" as written by and Pavement....
Some bands I like to name check,
And one of them is REM,
Classic songs with a long history
Southern boys just like you and me.
are - E - M
Flashback to 1983,
Chronic Town was their first EP
Later on came Reckoning
Finster's art, and titles to match:
South Central Rain, Don't Go Back To Rockville,
Harbourcoat, Pretty Persuasion,
You were born to be a camera,
Time After Time was my least favourite song,
Time After Time was my least favourite song.
The singer, he had long hair
And the drummer he knew restrait.
And the bass man he had all the right moves
And the guitar player was no saint.
So lets go way back to the ancient times
When there were no 50 states,

And on a hill there stands Sherman
Sherman and his mates.
And they're marching through Georgia,
we're marching through Georgia,
we're marching through Georgia
G-G-G-G-Georgia
They're marching through Georgia,
we're marching through Georgia,
marching through Georgia
G-G-G-G-Georgia
and there stands REM

(Aye Sir, Aye Sir, Aye Sir they're coming, Aye Sir, move those wagons, Aye
Sir, Artillery's in place Sir, Aye Sir, Aye Sir, hide it, hide it, Aye
Sir, run, run.)


Lyrics submitted by summerbabe

"Unseen Power of the Picket Fence" as written by Pavement

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Unseen Power of the Picket Fence song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentAnother breathtaking example of Stephen Malkmus's very important place in rock history. As leader of Pavement, the band that singlehandedly transformed the "alternative/college rock" era into the era of indie-rock and lo-fi slack, he had his finger on the slow pulse of rock music's ironic mellowing into meltdown art and commercial non-potential. "The Unseen Power of the Picket Fence" gives a highly important homage, a passing of torches of sorts, to their predecessors in the lineage of "alternative music," Athens, GA's own R.E.M.. Pavement were *so* alternative, they up and shattered and re-collaged a whole quasi-genre, with songs like this one, which appeared (folding irony onto itself to achieve a kind of earnestness which pure irony cannot seek to deliver) on the 1993 AIDS benefit compilation, "No Alternative." Ten years after "Chronic Town" changed a new wave landscape into an alternative vista, Pavement takes their indie-rock ancestors through a historiophilic tilt-a-whirl, comparing their impact on music history to General William Sherman's historic march through Georgia, to the Atlantic Ocean, at the time, nearly 130 years before.
    summerbabeon May 18, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's interesting that my favorite Pavement song is about another band, R.E.M. By the way, "Time after Time" is NOT my least favorite song.
    HyperBullyon January 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti apologize for reposting this. somehow, i missed this one.
    hyperstationon August 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSummerbabe, I don't think anyone is gonna nail that like you did. This is one of my favorite Pavement songs on crooked rain. I love the marching through Georgia part. It is also cool for a band to write a song that isn't selfish
    Alfonzoyoon May 16, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou can hear some arpeggiated guitar chords after Malkmus' main vocals end--likely a little tip of the hat to Peter Buck's own guitar style (and probably the most distinctive part of R.E.M.'s sound). Great tribute from one legendary band to another; and yes, I don't think anyone's gonna get it down like summberbabe did (six years and six days ago).
    Joe Mattresson May 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is just my spin on summerbabe's great post. Maybe Sherman's March is mainstream rock domination. And R.E.M. Is the Confederate resistance at Pickett's Mill. Although the Confederacy held their ground at Pickett's Mill, they ultimately lost the war. In retrospect, the effort seems to have been futile. Many months later, another Pickett's failed charge at Gettysburg seals that fate. And yet, Pickett's Mill still stands today as a monument to willfull resistance against the neverending march of History.
    Jim Baudon June 30, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment'Time after time is my least favourite song' is a great line.

    I read on a site somewhere, I thought it was this one, that the song was comparing REM to the Southerner's stand at pickett's mill. I'm inclined to agree with this. The idea was that while REM were a pop band, they stood up against the overwhelming number of crappy mainstream pop acts which prevail over more exciting and creative bands. The analogy used is the stand at Pickett's Mill where the people stood up against the dominant forces which ultimately prevailed.

    There's a clue in the line 'southern boys just like you and me, REM.'

    However, Malkus is against such North/south divides like the north/south divide in california which is what the song Unfair is about. (He explains this is the sleeve notes for LA's Desert origins.) Also I believe Malkmus is from the North.

    I don't really have any answers. I just wanted to share these thoughts.
    xmason October 08, 2011   Link

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