R.E.M. Lyric Annotations FAQ
R.E.M.: Reckoning: Harborcoat



A coat that serves as refuge. [Ron Henry]

Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov (1870-1924), better known as Lenin, leader of the Russian Revolution (1917) and introduced (his brand of) Communism to the Soviets. [Chris Piuma]

"Metal shivs on wood"
The dictionary says "shiv" is a Gypsy [and prisoner] term for a small knife. [Ron Henry] * I always thought the definition included any long, thin piece of metal. As such, couldn't "metal shivs on wood" be train tracks? [billg3man]

"There's a splinter in your eye"
This alludes to the Biblical proverb, Luke 6:41: "Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" [Ron Henry]

"the statues for harboring ghosts"
That is, the memorials to dead heroes. [Ron Henry]

"Reddened their necks"
Perhaps a pun on "rednecks", a disparaging term for Southern white rural laborers (or their ilk); also perhaps "red" as in "Communist". [Chris Piuma]

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Lyrics from Kipp Teague's Lyric Archive.