missing New York | Reviewer: Layer8 | 1/9/14
I think there is too much over-interpreting of the song.
Had the song on my mind on my first trip to New York this winter although I didn't hear it for many years.
Now, after leaving NYC, it perfectly describes my mood.
Discovered them at 62 years young! | Reviewer: Van Allen | 4/23/13
I was taken up with the first British invasion of groups and music and never fixed REM on my radar. However, if this song is representative of their body of work, then I've really missed something special! It's as good as anything the Beatles or Stones did lyrically or melodically...and I guess that's the highest praise in rock-pop. What a mature vision and talented group performing what has become 1 of my favorite songs after I & my wife left that amazing city in the middle of hurricane Sandy. Gotta now get more of them.
I guss | Reviewer: Anonymous | 9/20/11
Well I think, its like loving some so much that leaving is suffocating you but at the time it might benefit the loved one in its own way. Is more like that your presence has become equal to your absence in this relationship........sad, it is. Maddy
Life as it is | Reviewer: sakura
I might not agree with some of the views on this song already written here. But then again, I've never visited New York (or then again, the USA), before or after 9/11 (I truly understand why the americans, generally speaking, feel the need to relate to this moment as to a time-changing experience, but, since I'm an outsider, this phenomenon remains a bit over-evaluated for me. It does seem to me that there are some other things that happened (since then), that are a bit more important in the world's history. Anyway, I'm getting off of line here..)
The main idea was that, in my view, this song has really nothing to do with New York. I may seem simple-minded in this interpretation, but I have my own reasons to be as such. First of all, I've ended a one-year and two months long-distance relationship that has ended with this song in the background. Just imagine yourself leaving the love of your life behind, crying, and yourself just boarding a train that takes you home, with nothing else but an mp3 player which has this song on "repeat". About 22 hours in which your main purpose is not crying. It's an unwished experience.
So, ultimately, what does it mean to me? It just means the world ending, when you've decided how and why it would end. Just imagine that you've decided the 9/11 stuff. How wuould you feel then? And just leaving it all behind...
(I feel the need to excuse my english, first of all, as I am not a native english speaker. At the same time, sorry if you, in any way, have felt offended by my remarks. It was not my intention to do so. And if you feel the need to localize me, I'm from Romania - eastern Europe. I have no expectations that you could (or would) recognize the country, just let me tell you this: I'm from Transilvania, and Dracula doesn't really exist. And we do not believe in it).
Amazing Sorrow | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/21/08
I think this song is about seeing a relationship about to end and instead of waiting for it to happen he leaves first - hence its easier to leave than to be left behind. Maybe he didn't want it to end but it was inevitable and something, perhaps pride or the risk of feeling the pain of abandonment is too much and it seems easier to be the one who leaves instead of being the one who gets left.
I love the image of the mercurial future, so slippery and dangerous, as if we could actually hold it, change it.
From a Plebian | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/6/08
I am not a committed REM fan although naturally like most they've been around all of my adult life. This song strikes me as being one of their most evocotive. The mood it sets is one of mature sadness and reflection, an acceptance of an inevitably unhappiness, a mourning of some kind of loss or failing, that can be universal. That this is skillfully constructed and excellantly executed makes the need for a semantic and literal diviniton of origin interesting but not vital to interpreting the song. Is this not one of the key things that we should require froma work of art?
Brilliant | Reviewer: Anonymous | 10/25/05
This is one of those songs that I can't get enough of. It's great in every way. Pure Brilliance! Listen to it.
leaving Who? | Reviewer: ron | 5/24/05
My guess for the meaning behind this song is that it is about the cultural and social change in new york post 9/11. I visited the city before the event and have since been told that it has now changed, somewhat understandably, but sadly for the worse. For a tolerant individual seeing this change first hand it must be heart breaking, watching the 'light fading out'...
Brilliant song | Reviewer: Julie Harvie | 10/21/04
I absolutely love this song. It's evocative and emotional with clever chord changes and wonderful lyrics. The whole album 'Around the sun' actually is refreshingly good and REM just seem to get better and better with age. Keep it up please boys!
Never Easy | Reviewer: Bonnie Bean | 10/12/04
Went on an REM binge last year and caught four of their shows.
The last one (for me) was in New York. I had never been, was there
with my best friend, stayed for free in her grandpa's funky apartment
in the Village, and was therefore in hog heaven.
This song evokes the longing I feel for that weekend, and the joy of having been.