The cat in the hat came back, wrecked a lot of havoc

The lyrics to The sidewinder sleeps tonight by R.E.M. from the Automatic for the People album:

Baby, instant soup doesn’t really grab me.
Today I need something more sub-sub-sub-substantial.
A can of beans or blackeyed peas, some Nescafe and ice,
a candy bar, a falling star, or a reading of Doctor Seuss;

Call me when you try to wake her up. Call me when you try to wake her….

The cat in the hat came back, wrecked a lot of havoc on the way,
always had a smile and a reason to pretend.
But their world has flat backgrounds and little need to sleep but to dream.
The sidewinder sleeps on his back.

But What does it MEAN? That is, if you can even make out the lyrics; the word “Jamaica” appears nowhere in this song, one the most misunderstood pop texts ever. Making an effort to interpret Michael Stipe’s lyrics in this song, R.E.M. bass player Mike Mills said, “Half of the song is about somebody trying to get in touch with someone who can sleep on his floor. The other half – you’re on your own.”

Here’s The sidewinder sleeps tonight by R.E.M.
***
Not incidentally, Dr. Seuss was born 108 years ago today. He died on September 24, 1991, about a year before the Automatic for the People album was released.

From MAD: The Idiotical: Dr. Seuss for the Digital Age

The movie Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax opens today.

Shelly Goldstein reads a story about marriage equality, in the style of the day.

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4 thoughts on “The cat in the hat came back, wrecked a lot of havoc

  1. Two of my loves—Dr. Seuss and REM—in the same post! How ever can I cope? I suppose I’ll have to check back tomorrow. Mind you, I check every day regardless, so that’s easy enough… with no Jamaica in sight.

  2. My favorite Dr. Seuss book is “Onefish, Twofish, Redfish, bluefish.” And my favorite REM song is “Nightswimming”. Both are pure poetry, in different ways!

  3. I really wish Peanut was in town so I’d have an excuse to go see The Lorax! I love Dr. Seuss. I don’t think it’s the kind of movie Entrepreneur will go see with me! 🙂

  4. My favorite Dr. Seuss book was penned when he was still writing as Theo Geisel: One Apple On Top. It’s a riot, and Riley and I used to act out the crash-smash-chaos of the toppling cart. Thanks for a great memory, Rog! Amy

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