What does Shiny Happy People mean?

Search Login

REM: Shiny Happy People Meaning

Song Released: 1991

Get "Shiny Happy People" on MP3:

Get MP3 from Amazon

Shiny Happy People Lyrics

Play "Shiny Happy People"
on Amazon Music

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...


    click a star to vote
    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.


    click a star to vote
    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.


    click a star to vote
    Jul 21st, 2017 7:56pm report

    People being on Prozac to help cope with life.


    click a star to vote
    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]



    click a star to vote
    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.


    click a star to vote
    Dec 23rd, 2012 12:53pm report

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


    click a star to vote
    Apr 9th, 2012 4:16pm report

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


    click a star to vote
    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.


    click a star to vote
    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?

More REM song meanings »


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

The Grand Tour Ritasarani
Lay, Lady, Lay anonymous
Alone anonymous
Lovers Moon anonymous
Lovers Moon anonymous
No Scrubs anonymous
Alone anonymous
Lovers Moon anonymous
Dancing's Not A Crime anonymous
Lay, Lady, Lay anonymous
Giant anonymous
Goodbye Stranger anonymous
Good Morning Heartache anonymous
Sex on Fire anonymous
Mr. Blue Sky anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

Really Shouldn't Drink Around You
Teddy Robb
I Hate This
Tenille Arts
Shot Clock
Ella Mai
Put A Date On It
Yo Gotti
Murder On My Mind
YNW Melly
Florence and the Machine
Hunter Hayes
Make Me Want To
Jimmie Allen