Everybody Hurts by REM Meaning

Everyone gets hurt, you’re not alone. In recent decades, juvenile suicide rates have reached catastrophic proportions. Moreover, in many countries it is steadily increasing from year to year.

Members of the rock band REM have made a contribution to the fight against the problem by writing the song Everybody Hurts, in which they urge everyone who life sends difficult trials to hold on to the end.

History of creation and meaning of Everybody Hurts – REM

All members of the group are listed as co-authors of the composition, but it is known that the main idea belonged to Bill Berry. He also wrote the original version of the track.

Here’s what Peter Buck had to say on REM’s Facebook page about the song’s history:

Everybody Hurts is like Man on the Moon. Bill brought it, and it was a one-minute country and western song. She didn’t have a chorus or a break. Just a verse… We went through about four different ideas on what to do with it, and finally decided to make it in the spirit of Pain in My Heart, recorded by Otis Redding on Stax… It took us forever to find an arrangement and decide who would be on what play. In the end, Bill didn’t play on the original track at all. It was me, Mike and the drum machine. And then we put the tracks on top of each other.

The song encourages people (especially teenagers) to never give up or give in to the urge to commit suicide, even if it seems that life has lost its meaning.

The simplicity of the text of Everybody Hurts was explained by Bill Berry as follows:

The words are so uncharacteristically simple because they refer to teenagers… I’ve never seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the notion that high school is a portal to hell seems pretty realistic to me.

Synopsis for In Time: The Best of REM 1988-2003.

In an interview with the BBC, he spoke in the same vein:

If you’re consciously writing for someone who didn’t go to college or is still quite young, it’s probably best to be very direct. In this respect, it has worked for people of all ages.

To this it should be added that Michael Stipe, who often sings unintelligibly, performed Everbody Hurts as clearly as possible so that all listeners could make out every word and understand the meaning inherent in every phrase.

Release and accomplishments of Everybody Hurts – REM

The song was included in the album Automatic for the People. It was released as a single in April 1993, which peaked at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number seven on the UK Singles Chart. It also reached the top 10 in Ireland, France, Canada and Australia.

Everybody Hurts has been covered by Joe Cocker, Patti Smith, Bonnie Tyler, Coldplay and many more.

Clip Everybody Hurts – R.E.M.

The music video for the song was directed by Jake Scott (son of famed director Ridley Scott), who used Frederico Fellini’s “8½” as inspiration.

In 2010, Everybody Hurts was recorded by a group of famous musicians and released as a single. The proceeds from its sale went to a fund to help people affected by the earthquake in Haiti. This version of the song topped the UK Singles Chart.

Interesting Facts

  • In one episode of The Big Bang Theory, Amy sings Everybody Hurts, accompanying herself on the harp.

Everybody Hurts Lyrics

When your day is long and the night
The night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life,
well hang on
Don’t let yourself go
Everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong
Now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone
If you feel like letting go
When you think you’ve had too much of this life,
well hang on

Everybody hurts
Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts
Don’t throw your hand, oh, no
Don’t throw your hand
If you feel like you’re alone, no, no, no,
You are not alone

If you’re on your own in this life
The days and nights are long
When you think you’ve had too much of this life to hang on

Well, everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes
So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
(Hold on, hold on)

Everybody hurts
You are not alone

Everybody Hurts Lyrics

When the day is long and the night
At night you are all alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life
Come on, hold on
Don’t let yourself break
Everyone cries and everyone gets hurt sometimes

Sometimes things go wrong
It’s time to sing along
When your day turns into a lonely night
If you’re about to break
When you think you’ve had enough of this life
Come on, hold on

Everyone gets hurt
Find solace in friends
Everyone gets hurt
Don’t let go of your hand, oh no
Don’t let go of your hand
If you feel like you’re alone, no no no
You’re not alone

If in life you are left to yourself,
Days and nights are long
When you feel like you can’t take life anymore

Well, everyone hurts sometimes
Everyone is crying
And everyone hurts sometimes
And everyone hurts sometimes
So hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on

Everyone gets hurt
You’re not alone

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