05 April 2011

R.E.M. 31

31 years ago, R.E.M. performed for the first time.  "Blue", the twelfth and final track on Collapse Into Now, has the feel of "Country Feedback" meets "E-bow the Letter" meets "Belong."  Some of my favorite R.E.M. songs.  "Blue" is the only song on the album whose lyrics are not included in the liner notes.  I found the lyrics online and wanted to share here as part of my R.E.M. birthday celebration.

Feels circus left the stakes a broken ropes useless mug
The ties that bind, ha ha
I can be bad poet
Street poet
Shit poet
Kind poet too

Almost 4AM
Halloween night
Had enough to drink to make my own party
All my fellow writers in half costume, half asleep
Half silly, gone to seed

I don't mark my time with dates, holidays, faded wisdom, locked karma, whatever's

I am made by my times
I am a creation of now
Shaken with the cracks and crevices
I'm not giving up easy
I will not fold
I don't have much
But what I have is gold

I sing in platinum
I dress in brass
I eat in zinc
Let it pass

Compare a toast
I like that
I understand courage
I still roll with the shout of a character I was married to today
I try to see outside myself
I understand the eyes
Excuse all the highs
I am sorry
Ha ha

I like you, love you, every coast of you.
I've seen your eddies and tides and hurricanes and cyclones.
Low ebb tide and high, full moon.
Up close and distant.
I read you like the sky, the sea, the ocean, the sun, the moon.
Blue, blue, blue, blue, blue, blue, blue blue, blue, blue, blue, blue.
Naked and blue.

Breathing with you. Touch. Change. Shift. Allow air. Window open. Drift. Drift away. Into now.

I want Whitman proud. Patti Lee proud. My brothers proud. My sisters proud. I want me. I want it all. I want sensational. Irresistible.

This is my time and I am thrilled to be alive.

I understand
Twentieth century
Collapse Into Now


  1. Luke - I had a Miracle Zone moment when I was assigned to process 33 copies of this R.E.M. CD yesterday, listening the while. Tracks 3 and 6 stood out, demanding more than one listen - sweet, hopeful, soulful. The graphics of black and white stripes reminded me of this photo by bodywallet! http://bodywallet.net/post/4373436861/vertical-stripes-loves

  2. That is great, Aunt Sue! I'm so glad you listened to the album, and happy that you liked some of the songs. "Überlin" (track 3) was a favorite at our listening party, too. You are right about the bodywallet photo, it does evoke images of the album artwork.



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