Song of the Day- “It’s the End of the World” by R.E.M.

So this week Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States and while many of not most of us were dreading it it has happened and it’s time to move on. R.E.M. is an American rock band from Atlanta, Georgia that formed in 1980. They started seeing some success in the late 80’s but really achieved mainstream success in 1991 with the release of their album Out of Time which featured the hit single “Losing My Religion”.

Team by team reporters baffled, trumped, tethered, cropped.
Look at that low playing! Fine, then.
Uh oh, overflow, population, common group
But it’ll do. Save yourself, serve yourself.
World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed,
Dummy, with the rapture and the rev-‘rent and the right, right.
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light
Feeling pretty psyched.

“It’s the End of the World” starts with a quick drum beat and continues with a manic stream of thoughts that seem all a jumble of mixed emotions. A panic attack that we can go into at times with new random thoughts popping up in our heads before the previous ideas have a chance to settle down in our minds. Even the brief slowdown for the chorus is similar to ourselves trying to take a breath and take a breath to convince ourselves that “we’re fine”, before picking right back up into the downwards spiral. The song has an energy and sound which is similar to British punk music of the era and is relentless in the pacing and combination of an upbeat, bright sound with a pinch of crazy and thoughtful lyrics which became a hallmark of early R.E.M.

Lead singer Michael Stipe said: “The words come from everywhere. I’m extremely aware of everything around me, whether I am in a sleeping state, awake, dream-state or just in day to day life. There’s a part in ‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It’ that came from a dream where I was at Lester Bangs’ birthday party and I was the only person there whose initials weren’t L.B. So there was Lenny Bruce, Leonid Brezhnev, Leonard Bernstein… So that ended up in the song along with a lot of stuff I’d seen when I was flipping TV channels. It’s a collection of streams of consciousness.”

 

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