What does Shiny Happy People mean?

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REM: Shiny Happy People Meaning

Song Released: 1991

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Shiny Happy People Lyrics

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Shiny happy people laughing

Meet me in the crowd
People, people
Throw your love around
Love me, love me
Take it into town
Happy, happy
Put it in the ground
Where the flowers grow
Gold and silver shine

Shiny happy people...


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    Jun 12th, 2018 6:42am report

    This is, in fact, one of the saddest songs of all time, REM is using an extreme irony on it and, extremely intelligent as usual, demands a sensibility to understand the metalanguage on it when it portrays the opposite what he wants to say.


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    Sep 15th, 2017 9:43pm report

    This song gives me insight even before I started researching what it meant that as we see today as events are taking place and we see these governments,presidents.... "world leaders" (bollocks) greeting each other like everything is okay, but as we know they are puppets for the hidden hand.


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    Jul 21st, 2017 7:56pm report

    People being on Prozac to help cope with life.


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    May 6th, 2017 5:06am report

    “It’s a fruity pop song written for children. It just is what it is,” Stipe told the BBC’s Andrew Marr in 2016. “If there was one song that was sent into outer space to represent R.E.M. for the rest of time, I would not want it to be Shiny Happy People.” [2]



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    May 5th, 2017 5:17pm report

    I interpret it about the fake love of the 60s people who talk love but don't really feel it or genuinely share it.


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    Dec 23rd, 2012 12:53pm report

    Racist lyrics "shine" is colored people. They are from Georgia, no?


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    Apr 9th, 2012 4:16pm report

    No, It's a protest song. It's about the Chinese government under Communist rule.


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    Mar 27th, 2012 3:27pm report

    Stipe is essentially suggesting that these 'shiny, happy people' make him feel sick. Just watch the video and listen to the lyrics. Sarcasm and big non-stop fake smiles all through. A 'happy' melody with a less than happy meaning.


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    Mar 23rd, 2012 3:55pm report


    Perhaps no one has submitted an interpretation because they over-look it as a simple song about Shiny Happy People? Yet, given this IS an REM song, I think it is aimed at phony happy people. Trust others have some in-depth/other ideas?

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