"They're going wild" the call came in
At early morning predawn then
"The followers of chaos out of control
They're numbering the monkeys
The monkeys and the monkeys"
The followers of chaos out of control

"They're meeting at the monument"
The call came in the monument
To liberty and honor under the honor roll
"They've gathered up the cages the cages and courageous"
The followers of chaos out of control

The call came in to Party Central
"Meeting of the green and simple"
Try to tell us something we don't know

"Disturbance at the Heron House"
A stampede at the monument
To liberty and honor under the honor roll
The gathering of grunts and greens
Cogs and grunts and hirelings
A meeting of a mean idea to hold
"When feeding time has come and gone
They'll lose the heart and head for home
Try to tell us something we don't know"

Everyone allowed, everyone allowed

Lyrics submitted by xpankfrisst

"Disturbance At The Heron House" as written by Peter Buck Bill Berry

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Disturbance At The Heron House song meanings
Add your thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +3
    General CommentDid anyone else notice the recurring "mean idea" lyric on Document? Here it is "a meeting of a mean idea to hold," while it is mentioned in "King of Birds" as "a mean idea to call my own." Also, the theme of rebellion in this song is similar to the album opener "Finest Worksong." But while that song seemed more upbeat and hopeful, this one is darker and more realistic. Indeed, there are several running lyrical themes throughout "Document." Along with "Fables of the Reconstruction," it's the closest R.E.M. got to a concept album.
    HyperBullyon December 17, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment“According to (Stipe) it was a song about how Athens was being promoted as the new “it” scene for music due to the popularity of themselves and other bands such as the B-52’s coming in to fashion. This of course led to a lot of musicians and bands, or “grunts and hirelings” as the song labels them, coming to Athens to try and make it big and claiming it as their own. Much like Seattle in the early 90’s.

    These “followers of chaos out of control” were obviously distasteful to the real and authentic Athenian musicians who had worked hard to build their careers only to have these “monkeys” imitating (aping) their style and pretending to be from Athens. Apparently a music magazine was doing a cover story on the Athens scene and as a cover shot for the issue there was a picture of all these so-called Athens bands gathered at a local monument “they’re meeting at the monument” which seemingly did not include any of the authentic Athens bands at the time. This, of course, sickened and infuriated Michael and company and so they wrote this bitterly scathing song to describe the event.

    When given this context it is indeed one of the most straight forward songs he has written and the line “when feeding time has come and gone, they’ll lose their hearts and head for home” is one of the most delicious F.U.’s that has ever been delivered in a song.”
    DJDiscoon November 23, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe "greens" are those jealous of the people on top, "grunts" are the hard working proletarian...yea, u can easily say it's about a worker's/socialist revolt...

    the authorities don't take the threat seriously...i actually don't think everything is under control...i think this song chronicles the unrest precipitating a revolution. the "cogs and grunts and hirelings" who the autorities thought would "lose the heart and head for home" once "feeding time has come and gone" end up rising up and taking over while they weren't being expected
    ZinbobDanon April 12, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think the line is ''An early morning pre-dawn din''. I could be wrong?
    Almost Realon October 29, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it describes some kind of a protest rally,and the resulting messages between the authority people(police or governmen)
    local_151_fellaon May 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentvery scary lyrics. i think it's about an attempted revolt against a totalitarian goverment. someone is warning authority but they're barely impressed. they've got everything perfectly under control.
    jobbelon March 06, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentplease share your opinion
    jobbelon March 06, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think that Stipe here has taken George Orwell's classic novel 'Animal Farm' which is a humourous allegory of the Russian Revolution, and set it in a zoo.
    driver08ukon February 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenta farm you mean
    ilovealkalineon July 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song is along the lines of their later one Drive, pretty much saying that revolution is not possible and you really can't change anything.
    rockmanon January 27, 2006   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