What does Everybody Hurts mean?

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REM: Everybody Hurts Meaning

Song Released: 1993

Covered By: Jasmine Thompson (2014)

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Everybody Hurts Lyrics

When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on
Don't let yourself go, 'cause everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Oct 11th 2005 report

    To correct earlier postings, this is NOT off the Monster album (which is indeed dedicated to River Phoenix -- "For River") but rather off Automatic for the People. Michael Stipe explained it as a song for people going through tough times -- and essentially saying "It happens to everyone, and I'm here for you." While he was close with Phoenix, this song was not about him.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Jan 3rd 2006 report

    Basically it's about people go through many struggles and obstacles in life but you can go through it because many other people (friends, family) go through it as well. We all are human. Life is not perfect.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Jun 4th 2006 report

    It seems like it is reaching out to those who think about committing suicide:
    "When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on."
    It is preaching the fact that there is always someone to look out for you, you just may not know it.
    "When your day is night alone"
    This is enforcing the suicide issue. Basically, when you are that down, your days will be full of your own dark sorrow and it will seem that it is all night.

  4. anonymous
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    Mar 24th 2012 report

    Unlike many REM songs, this one does not need that much interpretation - it seems to say petty much what is on the tin/lable. Yet is it not the songs clear and direct words that sometimes gives its' power to help everybody that hurts?

  5. anonymous
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    Nov 9th 2009 report

    It is aimed at teens killing themselves because highschool is such hell for them, look it up on wikipedia.

  6. anonymous
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    Oct 31st 2009 report

    I Think It's just about the death of a loved one, and we all need to grieve and go through the process,and once we have gone through that then we can move on, but we will never forget.

  7. tatbrat
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    Jun 23rd 2008 report

    Everyone has moments in life where they feel they want to give up, but hang on! It will get better!

  8. anonymous
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    Mar 20th 2008 report

    This song is about how I feel at the moment. I have to be strong. My 3 children need me. The oldest is only 3 and my partner has left me. I hurt so much.

  9. anonymous
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    Dec 24th 2007 report

    This song came out a year before Cobain's suicide. Cobain and Stipe were very close, and Stipe was one of the last people to talk to Kurt and try to help him. But it is said when Cobain killed himself he was listening to this song. They don't know for sure, but when investigators found his body R.E.M. was still playing on his stereo.....Just some info for ya.

  10. anonymous
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    Mar 6th 2007 report

    His friend killed himself suicide so he made it watch video everyone walks off to kill themselves

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  11. brielle
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    Mar 3rd 2007 report

    OMG! I love River Phoenix and I'm like his biggest fan.. His death was so sad. This song is really nice- good to remember a great actor!!

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  12. anonymous
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    Jun 4th 2006 report

    This is the desperate cry of a girl who has little self respect. She hates what she sees in the mirror. She is calling on someone to help her to stop the hate. She is saying that she is being shunted away for being different.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  13. anonymous
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    Sep 24th 2005 report

    To Michael Stipe, I'm sure that this song has deep personal meanings (possibly to do with the death of River Phoenix). However, as with all great songs, the meaning of this one is universal. There is something about the night which makes us all feel that we are alone. On our own to face our demons, on our own to face the pain in our lives, and on our own to face the emptiness of our own existance. This song encourages the listener to, "...hold on...". This is good advice. Though sometimes our circumstances seem overwhelming, another day, another hour, another minute may make all the difference.

  14. King Fish
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    Oct 18th 2004 report

    This song is from the “Monster” album which is dedicated to actor River Phoenix. The song was inspired by the premature death of the actor. Michael Stipe describes the event as “the most shattering event of [his] life.” Phoenix began his acting career at age ten on television and then went on to play major and starring roles in movies like “Explorers” (1985), “Stand by Me” (1986) and as young Indiana in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989). He was also signed to star in “Interview with a Vampire,” (Brad Pitt’s part) with Tom Cruise. He died age 23 outside a night club in Los Angeles, owned by actor Johnny Depp. The cause of death was determined to be drug overdose. Stipe was rumored to be intimately involved with Phoenix.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway

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