Friday, 18 May 2018

Talky Songs #1: Belong

Just in case you're one of those people who lie awake at night worrying about the number of ongoing and unfinished series this blog has running, let me reassure you that I haven't forgotten any of them. I have an idea who the next entry for Yesterday's Big Thing will be about; I've not thought about Songs I Hated When I Was A Kid in ages but I'm sure there's a couple more out there; I still haven't revealed the most shocking of my Songs I Bought Because I Fancied The Singer; and yes, I've only managed the grand total of one post so far in my Anyone Can't Play Guitar series, but there has to at least be a post about Richard Thompson coming up, even if I quit that series then. They'll all be back when you least expect them, but as I never force a post and only write about things when the mood hits me...'s another new series. There are loads of these too, so potentially it could run and run. Or I might get bored with it after today. We'll see.

I do like it when singers stop singing for a bit and just talk to us. So I decided to do a series focussing on my favourite songs that feature far more talking than singing. There might be little bits of singing in them, but there's usually far more mumbling.

1. REM - Belong

Possibly the first REM song I truly fell in love with, and the very best song on their breakthrough album, Out Of Time... even though the rest are very nice too. (Yes, even Shiny Happy People. Don't be a snob. It's got Kate Pierson on it: how can you hate it?)

It's a song that starts out with a story: "Her world collapsed early Sunday morning" is arguably the best opening line Michael Stipe ever wrote. But then it gets weird and spooky. What are the "creatures that jumped the barricades and headed for the sea" and why did they make her world collapse? Are they coming for her? Can she protect her child? Why is it so important to Belong? Why does she open that window at the end...?

There may be answers to those questions if I google them, but to be honest I don't want to. The song evokes so many potential stories, I don't want to be limited by someone else's interpretation - not even Michael Stipe's.

1 comment:

  1. Good idea for a series - Can we expect the RAH Band's Clouds Across the Moon?


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