"As I raise my head to broadcast my objection
As your latest triumph draws the final straw
Who died and lifted you up to perfection?
And what silenced me is written into law

I can't believe where circumstance has thrown me
And I turn my head away
If I look I'm not sure that I could face you
Not again, not today, not today

If hatred makes a play on me tomorrow
And forgiveness takes a back seat to revenge
There's a hurt down deep that has not been corrected
There's a voice in me that says you will not win

And if I ignore the voice inside
Raise a half glass to my home
But it's there that I am most afraid
And forgetting doesn't hold

It doesn't hold
Now I don't believe and I never did
That two wrongs make a right
If the world were filled with the likes of you
Then I'm putting up a fight
Putting up a fight
Putting up a fight
Make it right
Make it right

Now love cannot be called into question
Forgiveness is the only hope I hold
And love, love will be my strongest weapon
I do believe that I am not alone

For this fear will not destroy me
And the tears that have been shed
It's knowing now where I am weakest
And the voice in my head
In my head

Then I raise my voice up higher
And I look you in the eye
And I offer love with one condition
With conviction, tell me why
Tell me why
Tell me why
Look me in the eye
Tell me why


Lyrics submitted by cerph

"Final Straw" as written by Michael Mills Peter Buck

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Final Straw song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentWhen I saw R.E.M. a year or so ago, Michael dedicated this song to Paul Wellstone. Whether it was written in honor/memory of him or not I don't know. If the concert had been anywhere other than MN it woud have been clearer... Does anyone know more?
    se41281on December 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt is written against Bush.

    "Who died and lifted you up to perfection?"

    He said that in his concert.
    beaumont911on April 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlove love love this song. its like dark folk music with a weird time signature, and its against our current government, more people should be commenting on this one
    ilovealkalineon May 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song rules. really.
    My bro, who is a fan of R.E.M. is saying that this is bout the government
    Loisoon July 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAt a festival in the netherlands I saw R.E.M. live. Michael said something like: This song is about the sometimes confusing and strange country I live in.
    Capmanon December 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's definitely against Bush. I think more specifically about the Iraq or Afghanistan invasion
    Bob the Spongeon March 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's a song about how we should go in and bully all middle eastern countries * thumbsup *
    ripelivejamon March 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about Gay Marriage. Think about it? "Who died and lifted you up to perfection?"
    "
    If hatred makes a play on me tomorrow
    And forgiveness takes a back seat to revenge
    There's a hurt down deep that has not been corrected
    There's a voice in me that says you will not win"

    This song is probably the easiest to understand. He's asking the masses to stop this discrimination against homosexuals, and to "make it right". This is the main part of the song in my opinion:

    "Now love cannot be called into question
    Forgiveness is the only hope I hold
    And love - love will be my strongest weapon
    I do believe that I am not alone".

    This song just screams of equal rights for same-sex marriage.
    cascadia4on August 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about Iraq. And to be truthful, many Dems were supportive with this war.
    Warren67on December 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is against Bush. It was offered as a free download on R.E.M.'s website for a while to help spread it around until the label objected. At the time, I knew what the event was (downing street memo?) - but forgot. There's been so many. The song was really about everything piling up beyond Bush's excuses. I don't know how active Stripe was before, but in 2003 he became very active touring against Bush for the 2004 election. I love the way he refers to love being the weapon.
    aikanaeon November 04, 2008   Link

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