That's great, it starts with an earthquake
Birds and snakes, and aeroplanes
And Lenny Bruce is not afraid

Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn
World serves its own needs
Don't mis-serve your own needs
Speed it up a notch, speed, grunt, no, strength
The ladder starts to clatter
With a fear of height, down, height
Wire in a fire, represent the seven games
And a government for hire and a combat site
Left her, wasn't coming in a hurry
With the Furies breathing down your neck

Team by team, reporters baffled, trumped, tethered, cropped
Look at that low plane, fine, then
Uh oh, overflow, population, common group
But it'll do, save yourself, serve yourself
World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed
Tell me with the Rapture and the reverent in the right, right
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam fight, bright light
Feeling pretty psyched

It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

Six o'clock, T.V. hour, don't get caught in foreign tower
Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn
Lock him in uniform, book burning, bloodletting
Every motive escalate, automotive incinerate
Light a candle, light a motive, step down, step down
Watch your heel crush, crush, uh oh
This means no fear, cavalier, renegade and steering clear
A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline

It's the end of the world as we know it (I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it (I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)
I feel fine (I feel fine)

It's the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

The other night I drifted nice continental drift divide
Mountains sit in a line, Leonard Bernstein
Leonid Brezhnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs
Birthday party, cheesecake, jellybean, boom
You symbiotic, patriotic, slam but neck, right, right

It's the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

It's the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)

It's the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone)
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)


Lyrics submitted by smeghead

It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) Lyrics as written by John Michael Stipe, Michael E. Mills, Peter Lawrence Buck, William Thomas Berry

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

It's the End of the World as We Know It song meanings
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110 Comments

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  • +9
    General Comment

    This song is written about a policy debate tournament. The line "it's the end of the world as we know it" refers to the habit of high school and college debaters to claim that any course of action agree upon in the debate round will lead to nuclear war or some other catastrophe that will cause the end of the world. The "and I feel fine" reflects that everyone realizes that this is just an extra curricular activity that doesn't really matter.

    The line "listen to yourself churn" is another slang word for spewing, the act of debaters reading and making their arguments as quickly as possible to keep within the time limit. The line "world serves its own needs, dummy serve your own needs" reflects the attitude of debaters, especially high school debaters who will argue anything, even slightly morally reprehensible arguments if these arguments serve their purpose.

    The "team by team" line also refers to the debate teams.

    The most obvious reference to a debate tournament if the line "A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies", cause thst's all debate tourny's really are.

    Admittedly there are some non-debate references in there, but considering that Michael Stipe debated, the song makes sense when looked at in this context.

    strawberry81on May 18, 2004   Link
  • +8
    General Comment

    whenever I try to sing this song it takes my breath away. literally.

    KetchupMan36on May 14, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    okay people, this should be pretty obvious but i'm going to point it out anyway. By saying, "it's the end of the world as we know it," the "as we know it part" is pretty important. it doesn't actually mean some guy is going to use a "laser" to blow up the earth. things are changing all the time and sometimes it can be pretty overwhelming. this song is pretty much about taking what's happening and just making the best of it. but most of the song is just kinda random...

    HubCap1438on October 13, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    At my summer camp, when this song is played, you grab the hands of the two people nearest you and huge human chains are formed. These chains then sprint across a huge grassy area, weaving in and among themselves.

    It's pure chaos, and yet it's pure fun. That's what the song is about to me. Everything around you is disorder, and you can't help but revel in the chaos.

    Every once in a while, you need to just take a step back and laugh at the world around you.

    Dimaggio23on May 11, 2004   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    In agreement with the debate reference. All the lyrics clearly describe policy debate-where participants 'spew' arguements at top speed.

    sctdbron February 10, 2006   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    This song is about all those catastrophists who are endlessly proclaiming that the end of the world is nigh. It lists off all the possible ends of the world that people fear (corrupt government, co2 emmisions, boom burning regimes, continental drift) but he feels fine because it doesn't seem to be happening and the truth is it won't. Thats what this song is about

    monsuier garlicon June 24, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    i think the song is about all the chaos in the world and how everyone seems to get used to it (thats why they feel fine).

    epp88on June 05, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    i was absolutely amazed to what people seemed to think about this song. this songis so obviously about everything being fucked up and messed and everything that can go wrong is going wrong. but even though all this shit is happening the narrator dosent care. this song likely has to do with how the media is constantly empasing all these bad things happening and how your supposed to be paranoid and then after hereing the media saying all these things you just dont care.

    zombiesraftermeon December 21, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    katiebeth, I don't think that anyone apart from Manzoni should use more than three dots... ;-P

    coldsteelon June 12, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I love this song but it's really hard to sing since it goes so fast. But I don't understand why a song gets banned that is not written about 9/11. Do people actually think that by banning certain songs that we'll shield kids from eevrything else that's scary in the world?

    But this song is great.

    anthony_mckeeon July 31, 2002   Link

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