Begin The Begin

February 1, 2008

The first time I saw R.E.M. perform “Begin The Begin” was the last time I saw them in concert, which was kind of a long time ago: It was the night after George W Bush won a second term as the President of the United States back in 2004. The band opened the show with “It’s The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine),” which was very unexpected and droll way of dealing with the crushing disappointment, but as soon as they ended, the launched into “Begin The Begin,” and the context underscored everything great about the tune.

Most obviously, “Begin The Begin” rocks with great force and urgency. Within a couple seconds of the intro, the entire band sounds focused and driven, as if on a life or death mission. It’s not the heaviest or fastest song they’ve ever written, but it’s certainly one of the most aggressive. On one hand, it seems designed to shake the listener out of their apathy, and on the other, it’s meant to inspire and motivate. “Begin The Begin” isn’t a passive sort of protest song, it’s not just some bitter commentary on the poor state of the world; it’s a call to arms. By the second minute of the song, the thesis of Lifes Rich Pageant as a whole is laid bare: You don’t like the way things are? You hate the way our institutions have become corrupted? Well, let’s begin again.

Much to his credit, Michael Stipe doesn’t ever pretend that a new beginningΒ  is something that could come easy. He’s not spouting revolutionary language for the sake of it, but instead acknowledging that real, lasting change is something that takes time, work, and often a great deal of failure.Β  “Begin The Begin” isn’t about the short term; it’s not an exhortation to riot. It’s asking the listener to become an active participant in their society — if there’s any hope of standing up to the powers that be, you have to engage, create, and build. You need to have a voice, and more than that, a voice that can and will be heard. After all, “silence means security, silences means approval.”

79 Responses to “Begin The Begin”

  1. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Begin The Begin is an amazing track and certainly one of my personal favorites. Along with Finest Worksong and Circus Envy I believe it IS the hardest rocking/most aggressive song in their discography and it is a powereful and tone setting start to LRP – a very political album. Despite being a call to arms because of the bad state of American affairs for me the song has always been one of hope and positivity. Depeche Mode covered the same topical ground in their song “And Then…” which comes just a years or so earlier, but their tune is almost a fatigued and spirit-broken call for change, whereas REM delivers the same message with a much more resilient power and energy. Good right up Matthew, and very telling with Super Tuesday looming 4 days on the horizon. Let’s begin again indeed.

  2. Bert Echo Says:

    Definitely an R.E.M. masterpiece. Each member of the band shines in this song, as a matter of fact, this might be Bill Berry’s finest hour on percussion – which is saying a lot. Might not be the heaviest R.E.M. song, but it is the most intense.

  3. Mr Cup Says:

    A pep talk with fire crackers ready for insertion?

    If I had the words…
    The feeling travelling at speed through a glacial canyon on the squall feedback…
    The key shift of the organ in the middle 8 that does things to my nether regions that always requires absorbent paper…
    The hollering as you catapult into a momentary void only to feel the blistering speed of ice thrust upon you once again…
    A voice so confident, full, exasperated…
    Drums that curdle adrenaline…
    An organ that melts steel…
    A throttling of a guitar that shouldn’t be tolerated in polite company…

  4. maclure Says:

    Great song and one of the first songs I learned to play on an overdrived electric guitar. It launches an astonishing record too.

    It took me a long time to figure out the “tiger running round the tree” line. The lyrics annotations give a good description of the little story of Sambo and the tigers that turn into butter that Stipe drew from. Actually, the song handpicks characters, ideas, stories, quotes from a very wide variety of sources – I think the lyrical richness marries nicely with the driving guitars which actually stick to a fairly functional chord progression.

  5. maclure Says:

    re: Sambo and the tigers. The full illustrated story is recounted here online:

    Er, it is somewhat unpolitically correct and macabre, but what is the point Stipe is trying to draw out? Any ideas, anyone?

  6. Bandwagon03 Says:

    Nice write-up Matthew. I have always liked this song, and this album especially, I feel it is probably the greatest opening song that REM has in their catalog.

    To me, this album was a real turning point for REM, no longer happy to wax poetic about trains, and images from the gothic south, Stipe got very much more politically involved lyrically. Cuyohoga, Fall on Me, Flowers of Guatemela, etc. This track really set the tone for the whole album, wake up, get involved!

    Maclure: Do you think Stipe was saying we should not follow leaders with their circular logic, etc? “Silence means security, Silence means approval, On Zenith, on the TV, tiger run around the tree Follow the leader, run and turn into butter”

    Maybe about questioning our leaders, thinking for ourselves, etc?

  7. Rich Says:

    The best R.E.M. opening track, hands down…and there’s some heavy competition, when you think about it (no, not Radio Song).

  8. ADB Says:

    Probably my favourite Peter Buck guitar line EVER, and as an album opener, it takes some beating. Love all the various references within the lyrics too – this song taught me a great deal when I was 15/16, I remember looking up Miles Standish, Martin Luther etc in an encyclopaedia. One question – did anyone else think that in the line ‘the philanderers tie the murderer’s shoe’ that ‘tie’ was a verb rather than a noun, as in tieing shoelaces, or was that just me..?!

  9. David T. Says:

    Mr Cup – When I saw that Begin the Begin was the latest blog entry, all sorts of thoughts and feelings emerged from the past. When I read your assessment, I realized that what I wanted to say had just been said. As Dave Letterman used to say, “You crystallized my thoughts to perfection.”

  10. milesy Says:

    It’s good stuff, isn’t it? I agree the middle 8 hits the spot, and the progression back into the verse is just great.

    I always thought itemize was automize, whatever that means.

    Who is miles(y) standish?

    BtB does rock- but for me there is still just that faint echo of twang and Byrdsian folkiness under the surface. So, the rockingest REM song ever goes to Departure, with honourable mentions to Worksong, Inside Out and I took your name.

  11. David T. Says:

    From the Wikipedia entry:

    Captain Myles Standish Kt. (c. 1584 – October 3, 1656), (sometimes spelled Miles Standish) was an English born military officer hired by the Pilgrims as military advisor for Plymouth colony. Arriving on the Mayflower, he worked on colonial defense. On February 17, 1621, he was appointed the first commander of Plymouth colony. Later, he served as Plymouth’s representative in England, and served as assistant governor and as the colony’s treasurer. He was also one of the founders of the town of Duxbury, Massachusetts (named after his ancestral seat at Duxbury Woods, Chorley) in 1632.

    Standish is often remembered for his bravery in battle and his reputation as the military captain of the Pilgrims, as well as a character in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s fictitious poem The Courtship of Miles Standish.

  12. adam Says:

    at the time pageant came out.. this song was a biiiiiig deal. those guitars.. drums.. production.. this was the new REM. exciting stuff… they played it late in the set in ’86 – always thought it would have been a good set opener of course.. but These Days did the trick, thats for sure. They since have moved it up in the set. Run, and turn into butter

  13. Dark Bob Says:

    By far one of the best songs of their catalog. A great opener to a great record. Always rocks out when played live. Great stuff.

  14. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Adam, isn’t it RUM will turn into butter? That’s what I always thought!

  15. Ignis Sol Says:

    The urgency is sewn through every fabric of “Begin the Begin.” From the driving music, the in your face lyrics and exaperation-breaths heard from the singer in the midst of the song. It is a favorite of mine and one of those that makes me proud to be a fan of R.E.M.

    I once saw a lively outdoor performance of this and Michael was wildly dancing all over the stage whipping the crowd into a frenzy. My friend compared him to Elvis.

    On the tiger/butter thing
    My dad had an old copy of Little Black Sambo stashed away like some treasure because it was banned for it’s insentivity. I remember that story well. I recall the wonderful illustration of the tiger turning into butter around the tree and how the family proceeded to put it on a stack of pancakes for a yummy meal. I am not sure if my dad still has this copy.

    Sadly, there used to be a fast food chain with the same name in the American Midwest. Now, the USA has the insensitve Outback Steakhouse! Ay, and Black Angus πŸ˜‰

    Begin the begin, indeed.

  16. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    True story, about two years ago the Black Angus steakhouse near where I live had the “g” on the sign burn out and for like three weeks it simply read – Black Anus!

    Yum! πŸ™‚

  17. ScottMalobisky Says:

    or as Archie Bunker would say “Henry Woolworth Longfellow”,

    What if Tom Petty would rip into this at the Big Bowl ?
    The crowd would be staggered , STAGGERED I tell ya, Wouldn’t that be like off the charts cool?…I wonder what percentage of that crowd would know this little number ? Probably quite a few considering the two participants in the Big Bowl –a variation on the Yankees vs. The Bosox :)–two bastions of liberal leanings and intellectual pursuits , more prone to dig REM I’m figurin ….they would be staggered I tell ya , staggered would I ..

    the band kinda gets lost a little bit in the Tourfilm version of this (or should I say Michael gets lost) , the Billy Graham thing is a bit over the top, weird, but they were young and fearless…..

    …ditty in the local paper about how that repulsive hateful “church” in Kansas has now declared that God not only hates gays but despises Reno also…….I laughed my black anus off…………..

    thanx david T. , now can you tell me who Vasco Di Gama was ?

    The Obama Song

    Let’s Go Giants !!!!!!!!

  18. Paul Alferink Says:

    Vasco De Gama sailed around the cape of good hope, right?

  19. ScottMalobisky Says:

    ADB , I didn’t only because of the way that line is sung , the inflection , or enunciation , whichever. the timing of the words within the lyric …The philanderer ties his lover’s shoe and is then murdered by her ??

    whoa Mr.Cup !!!!!! ride that tiger

    ..interesting stuff in the lyric annotations on this one..

  20. ScottMalobisky Says:

    yeah Paul , and Cortez “came dancing across the water ,Man, with his galleons and guns”…yeah , I remember when I was in junior high school and we learnt all those world explorers and shit , I sometimes get the impression kids don’t really learn those guys these days.

  21. Andy Says:

    This is the first REM song I ever heard. I still remember walking in Newsom’s Music in Rome, GA, and just as I entered, they must have dropped the needle on the record because there was this amazing riff and then…

    About that opening riff: I’ve always loved how Peter Buck reinterpretted banjo/bluegrass picking and used it to propell the songs. Some of the Chronic Town stuff does that really well.

    With “Begin the Begin,” something different seems to happen. Peter Buck seems to have taken a fragment of the “Dueling Banjos” riff (a la Flatt & Scruggs), and rather than using it throughout the song to enhance the momentum, he uses it like an ignition switch. The song begins with a fragmented bluegrass riff that totally rocks, and what follows is their finest hour (or 3-4 minutes)–and far removed from the arpeggio-picking of Chronic Town.

    I bought LRP when it came out simply because the guy at the record store happened to be playing it when I walked in. Twenty years later, “Begin the Begin” still strikes me in the same way.

  22. Ben Says:

    This song is one of the 3 or 4 songs that are always jostling for the position of best R.E.M. song ever, and without question it’s their best album-opener.

    And I guess I’ll be the love voice of dissent here, but as awesome as that guitar riff is, it’s Bill’s drums that really bring the whole thing home. They’re loud and impossible to ignore, like a crowd of pissed-off people pumping their fists in the air. Coincidentally, that’s exactly what the crowd was doing the first time I heard the song live, two weeks before the 2004 election.

  23. Paul Alferink Says:

    God, I love this song. I was so pleased that this song and Gardening at Night made there R+R Hall of Fame set. I was worried they would stick with Post-Document stuff.

    As I’ve said before, this is my favorite album, largely carried on the strength of the first three songs. Plus, my own taste in music tend toward political and folk-rock, and this album has that in spades. So I’ll allow for disagreement on this subject. I understand and allow for my own prejudices.

    Some REM book I have talks about first track strength growing from Reckoning (Harborcoat) until it reaches the apex with Document. (Finest Worksong). I always thought this was better and Finest was actually the worst of the lot. . .

  24. Tim Says:

    Amazingly, although I claim to be an REM fan since 1991, I had never heard this song until Perfect Square in 2003. Eponymous was the only thing I knew of REM pre-Document. It immediately became one of my favorites and gave me the motivation to check out more early REM, buying up Lifes Rich Pageant, Murmur, Reckoning, and Fables, soon after.

    This has to be the best opener by far in the REM catalog, and I think LRP has the best 1,2 punch of any album as well, in fact the case could be made for the best 1,2 and 3, or even the best 1,2,3 and 4 tracks of any REM album. Begin, These Days, Fall One Me, Cuyahoga. Fantastic.

    Anyways, great great song, just wish I would’ve discovered it sooner.

    On a side note, the chorus to the new single, “Supernatural Superserious” can be heard at
    remhq. Sounds great. Mike Mills harmonizing again.
    Certainly a return to form for R.E.M. I cannot wait for Accelerate to be released.

  25. Bruno Says:

    Nobody mentioned the cool lower harmony on the choruses yet. So I will. How about that cool lower harmony on the choruses?

  26. ScottMalobisky Says:

    welcome back , Bruno !
    where ya been , hanging with Maynard ?
    or down in the pipeline filling in time ?

  27. Bruno Says:

    Thanks for the greeting Mr Malobisky. Been gone for awhile yup. But I keep my eye on Sir Matthew’s blog of course.

    And uh, oh, do I need to look back and find which post I mentioned Maynard in!

    Well, on Miles Standish. Sometimes the lyrics, (especially Stipean lyrics) mean something else entirely to each of us. Unaware that there ever was a Miles Standish, the lines ‘I looked for it and I found it – miles standish proud’ to me always meant ‘I looked and saw the great wild beauty of the mountains, valleys and plains stretching out before me’. Or something like that. The power of untamed nature. It’s potential. And that idea spoke to me.

    So I think I’ll quietly stick with my version. I like it better.

    A little bit of uh huh and a whole lot of oh yeah.

  28. Andy Says:

    Here’s “Dueling Banjos” on youtube.

  29. Bruno Says:

    Ouch, my banjo hand hurts!

    I see what you mean Andy. There’s a similar approach in the bit Peter used in Begin. But I also think it’s because he was/is a pretty limited lead player. He’s a strummer and a plays a lot of arpeggios. He couldn’t step on the distortion pedal and rock out on some face ripping solo if his whole life depended on it. And thank god for that! His whole folk guitar approach is a cornerstone to the REM sound.

    Ha, imagine Stipe working with Steve Vai or Eddie Van Halen to make yourself cringe.

  30. Andy Says:

    I think a similar point has been made about the Edge: he isn’t the greatest guitarist but he’s been able to really do a lot with what he can do. And the result (for Edge and Peter Buck) is something totally distinctive.

    At the same time, didn’t I hear Mike Mills once say that Peter Buck had “the best right hand” in rock n’ roll. Seems like sort of a backhanded (no pun intended) compliment, but I suppose once of Peter’s strengths is picking.

    Maybe Michael Stipe could recite some lyrics over Eddie Van Halen’s “Eruption.”

  31. Bruno Says:

    Now you got me started.

    Taking nothing away from Eddie’s talent – and the guy really did rewrite the book on rock guitar in, what, the 80’s I guess. His whole hammer on notes solos was pretty amazing even if, personally, it pretty much amounts to musical wanking – hence the term ‘wanking solo’. Peter and the Edge are a different breed. You’re right. Using their limitations to their advantage. And staying way clear of any of that cliche rock stuff.

    The Edge also rewrote the book. I remember him getting ‘Best Guitarist’ awards then. He couldn’t produce a solo to match the ‘rock’ guys either, but he worked with melody and anthem in a cool way. He also used the tools, meaning effects and amps etc in a way that separated him from the masses.

    Peter too, that cyclical approach to his playing – the arpeggio playing was very cool on that Ricky. He didn’t try to be a rock guitarist and instead chimed along in a great way. Like someone said before in this post, a bit like Roger McGuinn of the Byrds – melody and ring.

    In fact I’ve heard that quote before – best right hand – and I agree, the guitar playing, especially on the early stuff, is magic. It’s not pick, string and overdrive, it’s chime and strum. To great effect.

    Damn, like I say, don’t get me started!

  32. Bruno Says:

    I’ve inadvertently started a new topic by the way –

    Micheal Stipe as lead singer of songs that, if he were to sing them, would make you laugh.

    First entry: ‘Jump’, by Van Halen – the version we know but instead of David Lee Roth singing, Stipe steps in instead!

  33. maclure Says:

    Gosh, I can’t keep up.

    Vasco de Gama has something to do with Brazil, there’s a football team named after him here.

    Agree with comments about Buck’s guitar playing. I once knew a guitar prodigy who was working in a guitar shop in London. He was the shred-king and I was in awe of him for a while. He asked me what guitarists I liked, and I said “Peter Buck” and he sorta shrugged his shoulders like that wasn’t anything special. Then he said: “He’s Mr. chord progressions”. But, he was right! Buck’s guitar playing fits into a bigger picture of what REM do – it’s about the whole song, the way chords are fit together, the mood and not just the middle 8 twiddling. I’ll stop now.

    Re: black anus – BWD, Lol! I was just hoping you were going to say the “l” had also burnt out for extra effect.

  34. Bruno Says:

    Beth – KISS

  35. Bruno Says:

    In my darkest hour – Megadeth

  36. Bruno Says:

    It seems to work best with 80’s metal!

  37. Bruno Says:

    ‘We built this city on rock and roll’

  38. ScottMalobisky Says:

    King Crimson Eptitaph, one of the most gut-wrenching songs of all time. I could see Stipe giving that a whirl……..articulating my darkest hour…….

  39. lenny Says:

    Great comments everyone — I was so excited to read about this great song, and after reading this page, it makes the song sound that much better (hard to believe that’s possible).

    Tim — for a further discussion on LRP and it’s standing with best track #1, best 1-2, best 1-2-3, etc — read the These Days page (if you have a few days to get through all the comments)!!

    Mr Cup — your comment on the “key shift in the organ” cracked me up — but that sounded like a personal problem — nether regions – HA!

  40. Bruno Says:


    Ok, this took some research.’Lorelei’ by Styx!

  41. Mr Cup Says:

    Oh boy-it’s not what I meant. But what the hell, ‘it’s all good’!

    This guy I worked with was taking the piss out of the Edge’s guitar work one time, implying he could play two notes. Then he says, in his worst Irish accent ‘look I can play piano too’ and played two notes with his index finger.

    It was amusing, but it made me realise that I generally don’t like anything virtuosic. Well, nothing made in the last 200 years say.

    People that do good stuff within limitations are more interesting to me.

  42. Bruno Says:

    Yeah, with Peter it comes down more to what you don’t do more than what you can’t do. He avoids all the noise and fireworks and just create a good sound.

    Cat Scratch Fever

  43. Bruno Says:

    ‘How will I know’ – Whitney Houston

  44. ScottMalobisky Says:

    Stipe’s voice is incredible in this song. that “wheaeeaearll” growl thing after the middle part there, sounds like a rabid wildcat on steroids

  45. Andy Says:

    “Shake Your Love” – Debbie Gibson

  46. Bruno Says:

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” – Queen

  47. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    What about an REM version of The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now?” or “Hand In Glove”?

  48. Bruno Says:

    Well yeah Beethoven but I think you’re missing the point. Your choices might actually be good whereas the idea is stuff that would be funny or just bad if Michael were to do them.

    i.e. “Sister Christian” Michael Stipe and Night Ranger

    That’ll make you cringe.

  49. ScottMalobisky Says:

    I’m liking Obama more and more , has this quality about him that seems to transcend the fray. Mccain is such a moron , ask him a question about the economy and he starts babbling again about he supported the surge. It’s a damn shame because there are some great things about the guy but that’s all he ever talks about , and he continuously comes across like a spoiled petulant child. Obama has been really impressing me lately…… LET’S BEGIN THE BEGIN ……WHEEEAAEEERL !!!!!!!!!

  50. Meriste Says:

    This is one of my favorite REM songs, very driving and energizing. I always wondered about that line about the tiger turning into butter, and the link to the Sambo material clarified the meaning.

    As for Michael Stipe and metal… XD I’m currently listening to that King Crimson track for the first track and I can actually imagine him singing it for laughs. Ted Nugent’s song he can probably do too, if he approaches it in an ironic manner.

  51. ScottMalobisky Says:

    uh-oh , Petty DOES sport a Rickenbacker, it could be ripe for the riff, THAT RIFF..although for the sake of accuracy as opposed to sensationalistic journalism ,for truth over provocation, it should be noted that Tom wouldn’t be the one to rip into it , it would be the lead guitarist of The Heartbreakers, nobody knows his name although he is quite accomplished. TP just strums chords on his, pretty much.

    Meriste, that’s about the only way to handle the King Crimson track, just laugh through it , otherwise it’s too overwhelming; as for the Nugent, Stipe does do the previously mentioned rabid wildcat thing in BTB…(I saw Sweaty Teddy three times in concert back in the day, the third time he wore a loincloth and knee-high boots..nothing more) He’s been banned for life from Houston by the mayor for screaming at the audience, paraphrasing here, “Anybody who wants to stay in thisF&*^%$#ing country should BE REQUIRED to learn the F$%$#@ing language !” Didn’t go over too well with the large Hispanic community there.

    the Miles Standish lyric in BTB really is SOOO ODD , hard to believe that it works . I really like the ,”I looked for it and I found it.” I can really relate to that personally in terms of my life–took me long enough !! but, I found it. Now I need to find more absorbent paper for cup.

  52. milesy Says:

    Livin on a prayer?
    Brothers in Arms?

    The list of painful 80s possibilities is endless (although in the right mood I quite like Brothers in Arms, just can’t inagine JMS singing it)

  53. Mr Cup Says:

    The theme from ” Love Boat”.

  54. Kirsten Says:

    Wow, great write-up Matthew. I’ve come in late, so everyone has pretty well already said what I’d want to comment on – the intro, the middle 8 and the fact that it is a great way to start the album. Now, I know we’ve had this argument before, and this is not my favourite opening track, but I do think that it is the best at setting up the tone and mood of an album.

    ADB – I thought it was a noun too.

    Great/Bad song for Stipe – anything by WHAM!

  55. Martijn Says:

    Does Michael sing “you look to me for reason / it’s not there” at some point? That’s how I remember the line anyway, and it’s one of my favourites (and it reminds me of “Nonsense isn’t new to me”… is he deliberately adding these lines on the band’s most serious albums?)

  56. Paul Alferink Says:

    F*ck the Police by NWA. Having heard Michael rap . . .

    Or Word Up! by Cameo.

  57. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Oh, my bad . . .

    How about “Manic Monday” by The Bangles; “Shattered Dreams” by Johnny Hates Jazz; or “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) by Meat Loaf?

  58. 2d Says:

    “comfortably numb” by pink floyd

    “debaser” by pixies

    “sexual revolution” by macy gray πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  59. Bruno Says:

    “The Final Countdown” – Europe
    “Hot Legs” – Rod Stewart
    “Jukebox Hero” – Foreigner

  60. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    I wouldn’t bet on “Hot Legs”, JMS has said on several occassions that he HATES Rod Stewart and that he was purposefully trying to avoid the style and sappiness of Maggie May. I believe the word JMS used was actually “echk!”

    Nonetheless, I am all for “D’Ya Think I’m Sexy?”

  61. ScottMalobisky Says:

    Martin, you got me racking my brain . That lyric seems familiar to me but I don’t think it’s REM.

  62. Mr Cup Says:

    I think it’s ‘don’t look to me for reason, it’s not there – I can’t even rhyme!’.

    I would pay to hear ‘Hot Legs’.

  63. Kirsten Says:

    I’m with Michael – echk!

  64. jim jos Says:

    some pretty terrible 80’s covers:
    “greatest love of all” Whitney Houston
    “dancing on the ceiling” Lionel Ritchie
    “every rose has its thorn” Poison

    just about everything has been said very well about this song.

    interesting interview with our very own Matthew about the new album can be found online. Good questions by Matthew. Album is “mall loud” interesting.

  65. jim jos Says:

    oh yeah and I doubt if I could refrain from laughing if they covered “Never Gonna Give you Up” by Rick Astley.

  66. Mr Cup Says:

    When I was at a border crossing in Bulgaria, this guard with a rather large gun asked me if I liked Rick Astley.
    It was probably really insensitive of me, but I just pissed myself laughing. Of all the questions I was expecting – it wasn’t that one.

  67. milesy Says:

    Paul: Word Up. LOL
    That image is breathtakingly funny!

  68. lenny Says:

    I think I would just laugh at this one…
    Michael singing “Time after Time” (by Cyndi Lauper)

  69. Mr Cup Says:

    ‘Turn Me Loose’

  70. 2d Says:

    bjork “it’s oh so quiet”
    skunk anansie “on my hotel tv”
    tom waits “little drop of poison”

  71. Beethoven Was Deaf Says:

    Did he have an actual big gun or was that a metaphor for what is required to cross into Bulgaria? πŸ™‚

  72. ScottMalobisky Says:

    DUH !!!!!!
    oh , the lyric is in BTB
    silly boy
    no wonder it seemed familiar

  73. […] Pop Songs 08 tackles one of the great R.E.M. songs, which is wholly appropriate for today: […]

  74. Ignis Sol Says:

    “The Sign” Ace of Base
    “Making Love Out of Nothing At All” by Air Supply

  75. Paul Alferink Says:

    “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey, so long as they just stopped suddenly in the middle of the song. . .

  76. milesy Says:

    Nice one, Scott M. I figured you must have been sarcastic when you said you didn’t think it was REM. If you’d kept quiet, you would have got away with it πŸ™‚

  77. Mr Cup Says:

    BWD – yes, a metaphor and that was just to get IN.

    I’d like from Stipey a solo acoustic performance of my all time favorite dance song “Achey Breaky Heart”.
    He could even grow back the ’89 platted mullet!
    Oh yeah!

  78. Kirsten Says:

    Achy Breaky Heart! Ha! Beautiful!

  79. Paul Alferink Says:

    Just goes to show, this song is such the perfect opening song that it kicks of “And I Feel Fine: the Best of the IRS Years.” Over Finest Worksong, Radio Free Europe, and Feeling Gravitys Pull. Wolves, Lower and Harborcoat don’t make the collection.

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