Lyric discussion by pupo111144 

REM spoke about the meaning of the song in an interview with an italian magazine for the flim "man on the moon" while the song does have something to do with kaufman. it really talks about a relationship, that never could work, but the one singing it, equates keeping it going to doing the impossible, he's keeping flowers in full bloom, bending spoons etc.... what he really wants is dancing bears and humming birds, (happiness with this person) "why can't we pantomine? wings on our feet?" he essentially sees this person as "impossible" difficult, he talks about how foolish he was to try to convince her they can be together "i can't believe that i believe that you could see, that theres so many planets in the solar system and noihing up my sleeve"

he's saying he couldn't believe how naive he was to try to convince this person he was sincere. the song is about doing whatever you can to keep a doomed relationship going with a person, knowing it cant work, dreaming of how it could be and also accepting the reality...

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