"You're in High School, and
you've got bad hair and bad skin, and nobody wants to go to the
prom with you, and this is your song..." [Stipe introducing the song in concert, as quoted
here.] * A "currency" is any medium of exchange.
"the fool might be my middle name"
The Fool, in myth and Tarot symbols,
is an Everyman who naively goes through life unaware of the larger
forces around him. [Ron Henry]
Strange Currencies: "I tripped
On the Tarot card, the Fool is
about to trip over a ledge and fall to his death. [Ron Henry]
* I always thought this was just a reference to the phrase "falling
in love", the "tripped"-part indicating that doing
so was unintentional or a failing on the singer's part. [mmiscevic]