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R.E.M.: New Adventures in Hi-Fi: How the West Was Won and Where It Got Us


 [New Adventures in Hi-Fi]

"Blood from stone/Water from wine"
It's a reversal, of course, of "water from a stone" and "blood from wine": the first is a reference to Moses' miracle of bringing forth water from the rock during the exodus from Egypt [Ex 17:1-7]; the second is a reference to transubstantiation, where the wine becomes the blood of Jesus. Reversed as it is in these brilliant lines, however, the first phrase becomes resonant of the first plague that God inflicts upon the Egyptians before the Exodus: the plague of blood, which makes the water undrinkable [Ex 7]. The second phrase becomes a parody of Jesus' miracle of making water into wine. [Dan Nooter]

"Canary got trapped, the uranium mine. A stroke of bad luck, now the bird has died."
Miners would bring canaries into coal mines. If the bird died, that meant the air was too toxic. [Chris Piuma]

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Lyrics from Kipp Teague's Lyric Archive.