The battle's been lost, the war is not won
An addled republic, a bitter refund
The business first flat earthers licking their wounds
The verdict is dire, the country's in ruins

Providence blinked, facing the sun
Where are we left to carry on
Until the day is done
Until the day is done

As we've written our stories to entertain
These notions of glory and bull market gain
The tele-prompt flutters, the power surge brings
An easy speed message falls into routine


A voice whispers "Son,
The blessed vision comes."
What have I done
What have I done

So hold tight your babies and your guns
Forgive us our trespasses, father and son


Until the day is done
Until the day is done
Until the day is done
Until the day is done

Lyrics submitted by HansMaulwurf

Until the Day Is Done Lyrics as written by Mike Mills Peter Buck

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Until The Day Is Done song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentR.E.M. put two quotes with the lyrics of this song.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -Sinclair Lewis

    "Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams. Thanks for the American dream to vulgarize and falsity until the bare lies shine through." -William Burroughs

    These quotes also point that the song is about the state of the United States, and fit with the album's theme of a dystopian society created by governmental actions.
    Metsfan980on April 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think its about the state of america, and more accurately its foreign policy in recent years. The first verse is clearly about Iraq; 'the business first class' who are licking their wounds are perhaps the oilmen and construction companies who were intially excited about the invasion as they saw the chance to get rich. 'The countrys in ruins' is clearly Iraq too.
    I take the second verse to be about the US itself; the 'easyspeak message' is the language we use knowadays (terror etc) . 'The notions of glory and bull market gain' is surely about the ridiculous idea that to many the country is doing well so long at the stock market is on the rise, completely ignoring the real problems in the economy.
    ramshotelon April 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNo doubt that it's about the harm done to the US and it's people by the Bush admin.
    The album notes differ "Providence blinked, facing the SON". A typo or a clever play on words ?
    Providence = a manifestation of God's foresightful care for His creatures.
    Is God shocked by his own creation !
    "What have I done?"
    Or is this the deceived voter who must suffer under this ruler "Until the day is done".
    A great song.
    alex3058iton July 22, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI disagree EvilVulture: it is drawing attention to the irony of wanting to protect your own babies by killing other people's babies.
    ruprechton September 06, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOh dear, Rush. You are as deluded as your namesake. Just to nix your little fantasy in the bud, I should point out that Accelerate was released in March of 2008 which is quite a few months before Mr. Obama was even elected, and I'd imagine that the song itself was written somewhat before the album was released. Probably about the time Chimpy McBush was stumbling over his teleprompter lines whilst adhering to his favored ideology of "bull-market gains".

    Quite apart from which, R.E.M. are well known for their liberal and progressive political stance…

    But don't despair, you've still got guiding lights like Kid Rock on your team. LMFAO.
    quietlyconfidenton December 07, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Forgive us our trespasses, father and son" - while could simply be a prayer on behalf of America, could certainly be a reference to GHWB and GWB administrations and their horrible decisions to wage war with Iraq....
    EBrown9810on May 08, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song sounds to me like a cross between 'Working Class Hero' by John Lennon, and 'Masters of War' by Bob Dylan - both lyrically and musically.
    driver08ukon June 04, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthey played this over a video during the secret policeman's ball yesterday (the amnesty international annual showtypething.)
    deltasunlighton October 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    TranslationOne of Michael Stipe's more biting political critiques. Along with Skynyrd, the Black Crowes and U2, R.E.M. WILL REMAIN A POLITICAL BAND!
    rabbitbunnyon July 02, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMICHAEL STIPE, WHERE ARE YOU NOW? We need lyrics like this now more than even in the Bush years.
    Morty72on October 01, 2019   Link

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