The song was inspired by [...]
a comet first sighted on 7 March 1973 by Dr. Lubos [Kahoutek],
a Czech astronomer working in the Hamburg Observatory. The comet,
duly named in his honour, promised to be one of the great spectacles
of the century, and whipped up all kinds of End Is Nigh hysteria
among the doom-mongers. In mid-January 1974, however, when it
arrived at its closest point to Earth, it was revealed to be
rather pale and uninteresting. [...] To add to the sense of anti-climax,
it was revealed that [Kahoutek] would not grace our skies again
for another 10 million years. [ICFTS]
Any of various marine fishes of
the family Exocoetidae, having enlarged, winglike pectoral fins
capable of sustaining them in brief, gliding flight over the
water. [American Heritage
"Scissors, paper, stone"
Refers to the children's game.
"If you stand and holler, these
prayers will talk"
This suggests the Biblical saying
(Luke 19:39-40) that if someone is kept quiet the very stones
will cry out. [Ron Henry]
"Michael built a bridge...Michael
tore it down"
Presumably Michael Stipe. [Ron Henry]