Me In Honey
October 29, 2007
Let’s just let Michael Stipe explain his motivation for this one himself, okay? This is taken from Marcus Gray’s It Crawled From The South:
Of “Me In Honey,” Michael admits, “Specifically, that song to me is an answer song to 10,000 Maniacs’ “Eat For Two.” It’s a male perspective on pregnancy, which I don’t think has been dealt with. There’s a real push-me-pull-me issue, saying, “I had nothing to do with it,” yet on the other hand saying, “Wait, I have feelings about this.”
Exactly one line in “Me In Honey” gives away the pregnancy angle — “baby’s got a baby with me” — and it’s kinda tossed off in the final verse, so it’s pretty easy to ignore that bit if you’d rather just hear it as song about a guy trying to save face with an angry lover. However, this song works far better just the way Stipe intended, with his protagonist expressing a mix of emotions that has him unsure whether he’s more freaked out by the onset of overwhelming responsibility, or the part of him that wants to escape from the situation.
There’s no doubt that the guy is going to do the right thing. The song overflows with love and goodwill, and despite its confusion, “Me In Honey” is among the most jubilant pieces of music R.E.M. have ever written, with Peter Buck’s circular rhythms driving the song towards percussive fills that push the tune towards its most ecstatic moments. Appropriately enough, the studio recording features backing vocals by the B-52’s Kate Pierson, who not only supplies the track with a wordless female counterpoint, but significantly boosts the tune’s dosage of soulful bliss.