R.E.M. Lyric Annotations FAQ
R.E.M.: Up: Hope



"you want to go out friday and you want to go forever."
[My interpretation of this line] was to go out with your friends and party. [Another person's] interpretation was to go out meant to die, leave the world. Kind of heavy. [Stipe, from an online interview.]

"and the intern was a mess"
An intern is a recent medical school graduate getting practical training before practicing medicine.
[Ron Henry]

"and they did the same to Matthew"
If there is a real-world "Matthew", it's so far unknown. It isn't Matthew Shepard (although there are some interesting coincidences), because the song had already been recorded was Shepard was killed.
[Chris Piuma]

"and you know it's allegory"
An allegory is a symbolic story in which characters and events stand for abstract concepts, not meant to be taken literally.
[Ron Henry] * The Limited Edition package has this lyric as "you know its allegory" where the standard package has "you know it's allegory". [jogan]

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Lyrics from Kipp Teague's Lyric Archive.