Look up and what do you see? All of you and all of me
Fluorescent and starry, some of them, they surprise
The bus ride, I went to write this, 4:00 a.m, this letter
Fields of poppies, little pearls, all the boys and all the girls
Sweet-toothed, each and every one a little scary
I said your name, I wore it like a badge of teenage film stars
Hash bars, cherry mash and tinfoil tiaras
Dreaming of Maria Callas, whoever she is
This fame thing, I don't get it
I wrap my hand in plastic to try to look through it
Maybelline eyes and girl-as-boy moves
I can take you far, this star thing, I don't get it

(I'll take you over there)
(I'll take you over there)
Aluminum tastes like fear
Adrenaline, it pulls us near
(I'll take you over there)
It tastes like fear
(I'll take you over)

Will you live to eighty-three? Will you ever welcome me?
Will you show me something that nobody else has seen?
Smoke it, drink, here comes the flood, anything to thin the blood
These corrosives do their magic slowly and sweet
Phone, eat it, drink, just another chink
Cuts and dents, they catch the light
Aluminum, the weakest link
I don't want to disappoint you, I'm not here to anoint you
I would lick your feet, but is that the sickest move?
I wear my own crown of sadness and sorrow
And who'd have thought tomorrow would be so strange?
My loss, and here we go again

(I'll take you over there)
(I'll take you over there)
Aluminum tastes like fear
Adrenaline, it pulls us near
(I'll take you over there)
It tastes like fear, pulls us near
(I'll take you over)

Look up and what do you see?
All of you and all of me, florescent and starry
And some of them, they surprise
I can't look it in the eyes, Seconal, Spanish fly, absinthe, kerosene
Cherry-flavored neck and collar
I can smell the sorrow on your breath
The sweat, the victory and sorrow, the smell of fear
I got it

(I'll take you over there)
Aluminum tastes like fear
Adrenaline, it pulls us near
(I'll take you over, take you there)
Aluminum, tastes like fear
Adrenaline, it pulls us near
(I'll take you over, take you there)
It tastes like fear, pulls us near
(I'll take you over, take you there)
It tastes like fear, pulls us near

Pulls us near
It tastes like fear
Tastes like fear
Pulls us near
Pulls us near
Near, near
Over, over, over, over
Over, over, over, yeah
I'll take you over
I'll take you over, I'll take you there
Oh, over
I'll take you there
Over, baby
I'll take you over
There, there
I'll take you there
There, baby


Lyrics submitted by xpankfrisst

E-Bow The Letter Lyrics as written by Peter Buck Bill Berry

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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E-Bow The Letter song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commentas with most others who have made comments on here, i too have heard that river phoenix was an inspiration in the writing of this song. but does that subsequently mean that this song is about celebrity/fame and drugs? maybe it is--only an r.e.m. band member could say definitively--but it's just irritating how many people on this site look for connotations of drug use simply because they're listening to a rock song. take your pick of any elliott smith song and look it up on this site. chances are that one person at the very least will mention something about drugs. i'm not trying to discount the fact that rock songs don't contain drug references--they certainly do--but many people often jump to that conclusion a little too quickly. in an earlier post someone said that this song contains overt references to obscure drugs like spanish fly, cherry mash, and kerosene. seriously? spanish fly may be considered a drug in the most broad sense of the word, but no one ever ingested it for the purpose of getting high. there is no drug called cherry mash; it's not even a slang term referring to any particular drug. and true, kerosene can be used as an inhalant, but if you just see the word kerosene and immediately think drug use then you have probably huffed a bit too much of it yourself.

    i'm sorry for harping but it's frustrating when people reduce a great song to something so trite. as someone also previously mentioned, the verses in this song are some of the best in the r.e.m. catalog. now that is a statement i can get behind. the verses sound incredibly poetic to me. regardless of what they mean or imply, the words just sound good in the way they're constructed--they flow together beautifully.

    there's also something to be said for the song's musical backdrop. it definitely creates a mood and sets a tone (haunting and ominous are words that frequently come to mind). the use of the e-bow creates a great effect, and patti's background vocals really round out the song, but i'm surprised no one has mentioned the bass on this song. the bass part has some really good movement to it, and mike mills busts out a number of superb fills. also, there is definitely an organ used in the song (check the album credits on the sleeve--in fact, it's mike mills who plays the organ part as well), because i just love the stabs of organ sound during the chorus. it's not super high in the mix, but it's certainly audible, so try and listen for it next time.
    typicalrecordson December 15, 2011   Link

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