The walls are built up stone by stone
The fields divided one-by-one
And the train conductor says
"Take a break, Driver 8, Driver 8, take a break
We've been on this shift too long"

And the train conductor says
"Take a break, Driver 8, Driver 8, take a break
We can reach our destination but we're still a ways away"

I saw a treehouse on the outskirts of the farm
The power lines have floaters so the airplanes won't get snagged
Bells are ringing through the town again
The children look up, all they hear is sky-blue, bells ringing

And the train conductor says
"Take a break, Driver 8, Driver 8, take a break
We can reach our destination, but we're still a ways away"

But it's still a ways away
But we're still a ways away
But it's still a ways away

Way to shield the hated heat
Way to put myself to sleep
Way to shield the hated heat
Way to put myself, my children to sleep

He piloted this song in a plane like that one
She is selling faith on the Go Tell crusade
Locomotive 8, Southern Crescent, hear the bells ring again
The fields of wheat is lookin' thin

And the train conductor says
"Take a break, Driver 8, Driver 8, take a break
We've been on this shift too long"
And the train conductor says
"Take a break, Driver 8, Driver 8, take a break
We can reach our destination, but we're still a ways away"

But it's still a ways away
But we're still a ways away
But it's still a ways away


Lyrics submitted by sportcarder

Driver 8 Lyrics as written by Peter Buck Bill Berry

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Driver 8 song meanings
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57 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentWhat strikes me about the lyrics is how often Michael Stipe hangs on the numerous long "A" vowel sounds, especially in concert. Think about "eight" "break" and "ways away". It always sounded like he was trying to mimic the long sound of a locomotive whistle.

    I think this song is perfectly executed lyrically. The themes are clear - Southern landscape, religion, trains, etc- but there is little narrative voice as to what it all means, allowing the listnener to extrapolate their own interpretations...unlike R.E.M.'s more heavy handed approach on later records.

    Plus the technique of using vocal sounds to compliment the music and the lyrical theme is genius.
    supposablethumbson February 03, 2009   Link

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