Radio XXVIII, side A, track 1: “Stand” by R.E.M.

R.E.M. - StandOh, R.E.M., now I know why they were touting this song in that new music promo!  Sooo good, R.E.M.! I know I’ve given you guys a hard time before regarding how smug and self-important I think you guys think you are, but then along comes “Stand”, which is nothing like those other two songs, and suddenly I don’t know what to think.  Here I thought all you guys did was play dour, impenetrable pop music, and then suddenly here’s this fun, silly song that could just as well have been on a kids’ album, a GREAT kids’ album, and is so far removed from what I’ve heard before that it’s hard for me to believe that this is performed by the same band.

There were other songs of yours that I would fall in love with later, R.E.M., but this was the first of your songs that I really, truly, fell in love with.  And as I was listening to this for the first time in a long time, it occurred to me that you guys and this song were actually my gateway drug to my favorite band of all time: They Might Be Giants.  The first song that I ever heard by them was “Birdhouse In Your Soul”, and there is most definitely a feeling that “Stand” and “Birdhouse” are kindred spirits.  It’s really those opening few notes of each one, and you know right away that you’re in for a musical treat.

And just like TMBG, this song has lyrics that only a rare few could write and perform and it just works.  Because this song is basically just about paying attention to where you are in the world, and it also has some nice reminders about what your feet and your head are for.  So yeah, it’s basically a song for a kindergartner that full-grown adults were enjoying the hell out of.  Thanks for making such fun music, R.E.M., and for paving the way for the Johns.

“Stand”

Stand in the place where you live
Now face north
Think about direction, wonder why you haven’t before
Now stand in the place where you work
Now face west
Think about the place where you live, wonder why you haven’t before
If you are confused
Check with the sun
Carry a compass
Ta help you along
Your feet
Are goin’
To be on the ground
Your head
Is there
To move you around, so stand in the place where you live
Now face north
Think about direction, wonder why you haven’t before
Now stand in the place where you work
Now face west
Think about the place where you live, wonder why you haven’t before
Your feet
Are goin’
To be on the ground
Your head
Is there
To move you around
If wishes were trees
The trees would be fallin’
Listen to reason
Season is callin’
Stand in the place where you live
Now face north
Think about direction, wonder why you haven’t before
Now stand in the place where you work
Now face west
Think about the place where you live, wonder why you haven’t before

<awesome R.E.M. jam>

If wishes were trees
The trees would be fallin’
Listen to reason
Reason is callin’
Your feet
Are goin’
To be on the ground
Your head
Is there
To move you around, so stand (stand!)

Now face north
Think about direction, wonder why you haven’t before
Now stand (stand!)

Now face west
Think about the place where you live, wonder why you haven’t

Stand in the place where you live
Now face north
Think about direction, wonder why you haven’t before
Now stand in the place where you work
Now face west
Think about the place where you live, wonder why you haven’t before
Stand in the place where you are (now face north)
Stand in the place where you are (now face west)
Stand in the place where you are (your feet are goin’ to be on the ground)
Stand in the place where you are (your head is there to move you around)
So staannnnd

 

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3 thoughts on “Radio XXVIII, side A, track 1: “Stand” by R.E.M.

  1. Greg Urbano says:

    Diggin it, bring back the memories!

    Like

  2. […] R.E.M., so great to hear this one again!  I was pretty enamored with this song back in the day, and no mystery why, since it’s all […]

    Like

  3. […] with gobbledygook as I sang along with it.  At the time, I didn’t realize that this would be the second song that would lead me to the eventual destination that was They Might Be Giants.  I didn’t know who you were at the time, Elvis Costello, other than that you had the best […]

    Like

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