R.E.M. - Man On The Moon


 After reading every single interpretation of this song on Song Meanings, I have just decided to agree with a guy named Dave who, while looking maybe a little too deeply into it, made sense to me.  LOL 


I think this song is about Andy's deeply spiritual beliefs.

With the wrestling and elvis references we can see that Andy was fixated on the kind of performance art that was meant to really entertain people through tricking them. Wrestling is quite obvious but the Elvis reference is a bit more unique because although Elvis died, there have always been people who claimed that he lived on and they believe it and feel it in their hearts as much as they can believe in the presence of living people around them. With the Elvis impersonations we can also see how after his death, these performers all contributed to something that in a way upheld this deeply human desire of immortality.


After Andy died, his friends have paid great tributes to him that honour his spirit in such notorious acts as Tony Clifton. Bob Zmuda apparently used to do the Tony Clifton get-up half the time and Andy would do it half the time but they both never admitted it was an act and even tricked concert halls and TV shows to sign this character Tony Clifton as if he were a real person. That being said, when Tony Clifton continues to perform occasional surprise shows to this day it tricks people's minds to thing of the fact that if Tony Clifton's existence prior to Andy's death was either Andy or Bob or someone else altogether, then it in turn gives you this intuition that not knowing if Tony Clifton exists must also mean that although Andy Kaufman died, he is just as likely to be alive when Tony Clifton shows up at a smokey nightclub.


So in essence, the song is about the warm and bittersweet affection for Andy's cleverness in life and how the art that he created is one of those things that at times was done with so much gratitude, kindness and love for the audience. Andy sincerely realized how beyond death his lasting images on screen would still remain and that even though he's long gone today, you could see an Andy Kaufman skit and have it lighten your mood and make you have the humorous moments that make life good.


Have you seen the movie Man On The Moon?


Notice how at the funeral they played a tape where Andy is talking out at the camera and saying "don't be sad" and tells them all that it's a wonderful world and sings to them? This is a perfect example. In doing that, Andy had realized that although dead, he would still communicate with people in really heartfelt ways even though he may not be present in a living human body. Oh, but remember how I mentioned Tony Clifton? Well, when Tony Clifton has made those reappearance's, it's a trick of logical uncertainty of who is under the mask of Tony Clifton. In that sense, there's a physical kind of channel for people to believe that Andy is still with us. It's a trick that Andy put up his sleeve and it's really cool!


Moses went walking with the staff of wood. - this is about when a man makes the decision to go as far as possible in life to find out what is really going on beyond our life. moses was kind of a bad ass because he was like 'screw what everyone else is gonna tell me, i'm gonna find out for myself'

Newton got beaned by the apple good. - reference to the tree of knowledge proposed evil by religion actually being the opposite and awakening the world to the science of how the universe really is
Egypt was troubled by the horrible asp. - a reference to evil again
Mister Charles Darwin had the gall to ask. - a reference to evolution


Now Andy did you hear about this one?

Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Hey, Andy are you goofing on Elvis?
Hey, baby.
Are you having fun? - this question is posed to andy in the song with the belief that through a universal channel of infinity that he is listening

If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on the moon.

If you believe there's nothing up my sleeve, then nothing is cool.

Here's a little agit for the never-believer.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Here's a little ghost for the offering. - this song is like a kind of spiritual incantation to welcome andy's spirit
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Here's a truck stop instead of Saint Peter's. - poke's fun as the idea that heaven either doesn't exist or that the singer is reflecting on the meloncholie or ordinary life
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Mister Andy Kaufman's gone wrestling [wrestling bears]. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Now Andy did you hear about this one?

Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Hey Andy are you goofing on Elvis, hey baby, are we losing touch?
If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on the moon.
If you believe there's nothing up their sleeve, then nothing is cool.

If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on the moon.

If you believe there's nothing up their sleeve, then nothing is cool.

If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on the moon.

If you believe there's nothing up their sleeve, then nothing is cool.

If you believed they put a man on the moon, man on the moon.

If you believe there's nothing up their sleeve, then nothing is cool.

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