Michael Stipe was known for lacking narrative in his earlier songs (that's a bit of an ...
This name I got we all were green
See could stop, stop it well rid
We could bind it in the scythe
We could gather, throw a fit
Up to par and Katie bars the kitchen signs, but not me in
Set a trap for love, making, a waste of time sitting still

I'm the sun and you can read
I'm the sign and you're not deaf
We could bind it in the scythe
We could gather, throw a fit

Up to par and Katie bars the kitchen signs, but not me in
Set a trap for love, making, a waste of time sitting still
I can hear you, I can hear you, I can hear you

This name I got we all were green
See could stop, stop it well rid
We could bind it in the scythe
We could gather, throw a fit

Up to par and Katie bars the kitchen signs, but not me in
Set a trap for love, making, a waste of time sitting still
I can hear you, I can hear you, I can hear you

You can gather when I talk, talk until you're blue
You could get away from me, get away from me

Up to par and Katie bars the kitchen signs, but not me in
Set a trap for love, making, a waste of time sitting still
I, I, I can hear you, I, I, I can hear you, I, I, I can hear you
I, I, I can hear you, I, I, I can hear you, I, I, I can hear you
Can you hear me?


Lyrics submitted by xpankfrisst, edited by mlganser3, photogal99

"Sitting Still" as written by Peter Buck Bill Berry

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Sitting Still song meanings
Add your thoughts

11 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionMichael Stipe was known for lacking narrative in his earlier songs (that's a bit of an

    understatement). He would sing words (or fragments thereof) that felt or sounded right,

    independent of any literal meaning. Further, as songs were composed, scrapped, and re-

    composed, unrelated themes might get smashed together into one song.

    The verses of Sitting Still are inspired by Stipe's sister, Cindy (or Cyndy?) who taught

    deaf children. Her name is abbreviated to "C" in the second line. Also, there are

    versions of the song where the full third line is "We can bind it and the sister's where

    your children learn"; in most versions Stipe abbreviated the whole line, stopping at the

    first syllable of "sister", leaving the rest off. So it's not "cyst" or "scythe", but

    "sist".

    After learning the full line, I cannot listen to the album version of the song without

    hearing the full line in my head. One such version is posted below, I highly recommend it.

    As for the chorus, I've always thought it was "catch in time" not "kitchen time" or other

    silliness. I assumed that when a door is held by a bar, the metal brackets that hold the

    bar are called "catches". I could be way off, but it makes tons more sense to me than any

    kitchen reference.

    Further, the chorus quite probably is an unrelated lyric referring to the origin of the

    phrase "Katy bar the door". Background: back in 1437 a posse had gathered to murder the

    King of Scotland. The bar was removed from his chamber door ahead of time to allow the

    assassination. A member of the court, Catherine Douglass, put her arm in place of the

    missing bar to prevent the murder of the king. Her arm was broken and the king was

    murdered. Hence the reference to "the big kill" and wasting time sitting still.

    Regardless of my speculation above, listening to various alternate versions of the song

    (links below) offer very clear renditions of the vocal which, to me result in the following

    set of lyrics:


    This name I got we all agree
    C could stop, stop it well read
    We could bind it and the sist'
    We could gather throw a fit

    Up to par and Katy bars the catch in times but not me in
    Sit and try for the big kill
    Wasting time, sitting still

    I'm the sign and you can read
    I'm the sign and you're not deaf
    We could bind it and the sist'
    We could gather throw a fit

    Up to par and Katy bars the catch in times but not me in
    Sit and try for the big kill
    Wasting time, sitting still
    I can hear you

    This name I got we all agree
    C could stop, stop it well read
    We could bind it and the sist'
    We could gather throw a fit

    Up to par and Katy bars the catch in times but not me in
    Sit and try for the big kill
    Wasting time, sitting still
    I can hear you

    You can gather when I talk
    Talk until you're blue
    You could get away from me, get away from me

    I'm up to par and Katy bars the catch in times but not me in
    Sit and try for the big kill
    Wasting time, sitting still
    I can hear you

    Can you hear me?

    ---
    Of course,
    We could bind it and the sister's where your children learn

    You're the sign and we're not deaf
    (any variations of "you", "we", or "I" in either place)

    We could gather when we talk
    You could gather when we talk
    (again any variations of "you", "we", or "I" in either place)

    We could get away from you, get away from me


    References:
    members.efn.org/~d_haglof/…

    Sister line:
    youtube.com/…

    very clear vocal:
    youtube.com/…
    mlganser3on October 16, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain