This is not a challenge
It just means that I don't love you as much as I always said I did
When I said I wanted to write about R.E.M.’s album Collapse Into Now, it was simply because they’re my favorite band. They bring me back to adolescent nights of staring at ceilings wondering about the future, crying myself to sleep, and then somehow figuring out it would all be okay. I had no idea more than three decades later they’d still speak to me on difficult nights.
I rang the church bell
Till my ears bled red blood cells
Down South religion is supposed to be part of your DNA. But what if it isn’t? Are you broken? Music saves the sinners. Losing my Religion was never about god, but enough people thought so, and I never corrected them. R.E.M. was the soundtrack to my sanity, to my peace, and reminded me I was not crazy. Every album was completely different. This album is no exception, but it is certainly exceptional.
I will make it through the day
And then the day becomes the night
I will make it through the night
If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to wonder if you could make it through a night, this lyric means nothing. For those of us who begged to never wake up, this music saved our lives.
This place needs me here to start
This place is the beat of my heart
“Oh My Heart” is the most meaningful song on the album for me. As I consider moving away from the only home I’ve known, it hits hard. It’s a good thing, and it’s right. But sometimes there’s a soundtrack to a decision, and this is it.
I have earned my voice
That’s how heroes are made
If the flowers crack the grave and leave the pattern of the pavement
I can hear you shouting over it all
I feel like a contradiction
I'm a walking science-fiction
That someone has pulled me up and out of cartoon quicksand
The winners write the rulebooks, the histories and lullabies
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.
So often when I tell people my love for R.E.M. they assume I love Losing My Religion or Everybody Hurts or that terrible song with the B-52s. I love them for so many other things. For E-bow the Letter. For the intelligent lyrics. For their well-fought privacy. I’d like to think I can relate to them. I should be so very, very lucky.
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