R.E.M. Lyric Annotations FAQ
R.E.M.: Murmur: Catapult



A military machine for hurling missiles, such as large stones or spears, used in ancient and medieval times. [American Heritage Dictionary]

Catapult! Catapult!

"don't try to turn it off"
Presumably referring to a television. [Ron Henry]

Note the play on words: cowered/coward. [Ron Henry]

"opie mouth"
Opie was a character on The Andy Griffith Show, played by then-child actor Ron Howard. It was a sweet show, adorable sitcom pabulum from the 50s. But consider (since Murmur focuses so much on how words sound) what the word "Opie" sounds like. Open. An open mouth, agog at the evening's ("it's 9:00" -- or maybe Saturday morning?) entertainment. Opium: a drug that numbs. There's a famous quote that "Television is the opiate of the masses." (It's a rip off of Karl Marx's "Religion is the opiate of the masses.") [Chris Piuma]

[TV Guide with Opie]
Ron Howard as Opie,
above Andy Griffith.
Note Opie's mouth.

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Lyrics from Kipp Teague's Lyric Archive.