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Let Me In

by

R.E.M.



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

R.E.M. wrote this about Kurt Cobain after he died in 1994. Cobain was a fan of R.E.M., and when he died, Courtney Love gave them one of Kurt's guitars, which they used on this. It was a left-handed Fender (and one of the few guitars Cobain didn't smash), so Mike Mills had to restring it to play it right-handed.(thanks, Derek - Cheney, WA)
Kurt Cobain (Rolling Stone, January 27, 1994): "I know we're gonna put out one more record, at least, and I have a pretty good idea what it's going to sound like: pretty ethereal, acoustic, like R.E.M.'s last album (Automatic For The People). If I could write just a couple of songs as good as what they've written... I don't know how that band does what they do. God, they're the greatest. They've dealt with their success like saints, and they keep delivering great music."
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Comments (6):

It's proven that REM's automatic for the people was playing while Kurt made his last decision.

It's assumed that the last song he listened to was 'Everybody Hurts'
- Thale, Buskerud, Norway
I saw a 'greatest albums' show one night featuring REM's Monster, in which the show examined each of the track's compositions with the audio mixing engineer, interposed with band interviews regarding song meanings. They confirmed that the song was indeed a lament for the death of Kurt, but I also seem to remember that for this track, each band member played a different instrument to the one they usually play; for instance Michael Stipe was on keyboards, IIRC. This accounts for the simplistic melody but is also one of the song's great strengths - the plodding beat maybe being used as a metaphor for the depression that eventually dragged Kurt down to alleged self-destruction. Mike, Newbury, England.
- mike, Thatcham, England
Michael Stipe has said in interviews it's for and about Kurt. The fisherman reference is down to the fact that Kurt was Pisces and had a slight obssession with fitting into the Pisces demeanour. Gathering up the loved ones refers to the fact that he had all his drug paraphenalia around him when he killed himself. The Let Me In refrain is Michael pleading to Kurt to let him help him, let him close. Michael had sent plane tickets to get Kurt to come and visit him to see if he could help.
- Jason, London, England
Oh wow Joe, great perspective, amazing.
- Kelly, Weatherford, OK
This song is more about Judas Iscariot than Kurt.

The fisherman represents Jesus, who gathered his friends at the last supper to say goodbye. (He gathered up his loved ones and he brought them all around)


Meanwhile, Judas (who betrayed Jesus) wanted to be in the club spiritually. (let me in, let me in)

He wanted to stop Jesus because he didnt understand his mission. (I've got tar on my feet and I can't see.)

After Jesus was crucified, Judas hung himself from the highest branch he could find and the birds ate his flesh. (All the birds look down and laugh at me. Clumsy, crawling out of my skin.)

That's what I think anyway...
- Joe, Staten Island, NY
I've always loved that verse- "I had a mind to stop you/ let me in let me in/ I've got tar on my feet and I can't see/ The birds look down and laugh at me/" It's beautiful.
- Mandy, Smalltown, NY
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