Readying to bury your father and your mother
What did you think when you lost another?
I used to wonder why did you bother
Distanced from one, blind to the other?

Listen here, my sister and my brother
What would you care if you lost the other?
I always wonder why did we bother
Distanced from one, deaf to the other

Oh, oh, but sweetness follows

It's these little things, they can pull you under
Live your life filled with joy and wonder
I always knew this altogether thunder
Was lost in our little lives

Oh, oh, but sweetness follows
Oh, oh, but sweetness follows

It's these little things, they can pull you under
Live your life filled with joy and thunder
Yeah, yeah, we were altogether
Lost in our little lives

Oh, oh, ah

Oh, oh, sweetness follows

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh sweetness follows


Lyrics submitted by shut

Sweetness Follows Lyrics as written by Peter Buck Bill Berry

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Sweetness Follows song meanings
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  • +6
    General Comment

    Publisher, BITE THIS

    "Sweetness Follows"

    Readying to bury your father and your mother What did you think when you lost another? I used to wonder, why did you bother? Distanced from one, blind to the other

    Listen here my sister and my brother What would you care if you lost the other? I always wonder, why did we bother? Distanced from one, blind to the other

    Oh, but sweetness follows

    It's these little things, they can pull you under Live your life filled with joy and wonder I always knew this altogether thunder Was lost in our little lives

    Oh, but sweetness follows Oh, but sweetness follows

    It's these little things, they can pull you under Live your life filled with joy and thunder Yeah, yeah we were altogether Lost in our little lives

    Oh, but sweetness follows Oh, but sweetness follows

    nycniteon April 04, 2014   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    This song happened to me. Buried my father and my mother, and my siblings and I got closer, but it's fleeting. The sweetness that is.

    jgarboon March 25, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    A family has fallen apart, over little things, they're distant from each other. It took a funeral to realize that there's some things bigger than those petty squabbles. So after the sadness of a funeral, hopefully the brother & sister & remaining family can reconnect (i.e., sweetness follows the sadness). This song could not be prettier.

    smallwonderroboton August 16, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    'Distanced from one, Blind to the other'

    The relationships within familly maybe? Have good relationships while you can?

    Almost Realon February 23, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Oh, ignore naivada's rantings. He comes in here all critical of other people not living up to his standard of musical criticism excellence, and in the meantime creates a post all filled with grammar, spelling, and logical errors. Just some 14 year old kid who thinks he can teach the world what "the truth" is.

    Stipe created in this song a little piece of beauty that will last hundreds of years, it is just incredible.

    I will suggest a slight different interpretation than most people though. My viewpoint is as someone who has not lost either parent, but who knows it won't be long now. They are both in their eighties. And I have 5 brothers and sisters who have fought among ourselves at different times. I see "readying to bury your father and your mother", and the other lyrics about family, as meaning "what the hell are you doing being upset with your (living) parents or your siblings, how can you waste precious time like that, when soon they will be gone forever."

    Lotus123on June 21, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I think this song basically means that we can get hung up on little pointles things and let them bring us down, or we can look past those and "live a life with joy and thunder"... also its talking about how things can only get better-- how sweetness comes out of the most horrible of situations

    cattleon December 27, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    The lyrics are deep as hell, as already pointed out. But I think the guitar "solo" in this song is actually really significant as well. It's not very structured; there really aren't any notes played. It's just a beautiful wall of sound, akin to some shoegazey stuff. I think it's an abstract representation of the emotions that the lyrics are trying to portray ... although I'm pretty sure the guitar does a better job, as much as I love Stipe's voice.

    Otherwise, thank you, Naivada, for making me smile. Those types of comments piss me off, too, although my analysis of Cattle's subsequent comment suggests sarcasm ... ;)

    Aoshieon January 01, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I was reading about this song on wikipedia. There was a quote from Michael Stipe that said "I've written songs before that I thought were these incredible diatribes against organized religion, these numbing thoughts that this life doesn't matter because you're moving on to something better... 'Sweetness Follows' is the song I'm thinking of" That pretty much sums it up for me. He is saying "Live your life filled with joy and wonder/thunder" because it is ridiculous to assume that all these little things that can pull you under and the distance some of us feel from the ones we love will all be resolved somehow when we die.
    Organized religion tells us some other better world awaits us when we die; hence the line sweetness follows.

    That's what I get.

    evan5828on July 03, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This song can fairly simply be summed up as no matter how dark things get, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It is the midpoint of Automatic for the People, and represents the point where things are starting to look their bleakest in life. But this song urges the listener to carry on, and if they do, they are awarded with the stunningly hopeful climax of "Find the River." A brilliant way to structure the 9th greatest album of all time.

    HyperBullyon April 10, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    The author speaks simply on sheer HYPOCRISY, hence, questions himself (or a third person):

    "Why would you worry now about what you´ve just lost, since you were always apart when such things were so reachable ? At the same way, why siblings would care on each other fall, if they´ve always been kinda indifferent on eath other business during their whole little lives?"

    And answers:

    "Such feeling is a mask! Barely formality!! After that, everyone will go back to each own private and sweet little world... Since these "petty things" won´t get you down, go back to your unmeaning little life and be happy, until you get surrounded by people like you on your grave."

    starsaxon February 14, 2012   Link

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