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R.E.M. — Sweetness Follows
Album: Automatic For The People
Avg rating:
7.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1727









Released: 1992
Length: 4:13
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Readying to bury your father and your mother
What did you think when you lost another?
I used to wonder, why did you bother?
Distanced from one, blind to the other

Listen here my sister and my brother
What would you care if you lost the other?
I always wonder, why did we bother?
Distanced from one, blind to the other

Oh, but sweetness follows

It's these little things, they can pull you under
Live your life filled with joy and wonder
I always knew this altogether
Thunder was lost in our little lives

Oh, but sweetness follows
Oh, but sweetness follows

It's these little things, they can pull you under
Live your life filled with joy and thunder
Yeah, yeah we were altogether
Lost in our little lives

Oh, but sweetness follows
Oh, but sweetness follows
Comments (267)add comment
The hardest part of learning to be old...
 drwhy wrote:
I would give this song the highest mark.   Although a bit sad the story is strong about families.  This is one of my favorites, and what fantastic album.  Keep it coming Bill.
 
I did give it the highest mark. As I turned 50 and my dad went to a nursing home just before COVID. Having only lost my mom my first year of college, being the youngest of nine where the oldest is 65, I hate to think about who might be the first. I went to a lot of funerals and I hate funeral homes. But this song has always struck a comfortable code with me.
Damn,  I always thought he sang 'sweet swallows' 
 123heyaho! wrote:
R.E.M. again....
 
YAY!
"I'll take 'Bands That Haven't Aged Well', for $100, Alex."
The first thing that caught my attention about RP many, many, many  years ago is that they would play songs by groups I thought I knew somewhat  well, and I'd go, "I never heard that song by them. That's pretty good!" and then when RP would play songs by the groups I knew inside and out, I'd go, "Wow, what a perfect song by them to play." Except when it wasn't.  This is one of those that I'd never heard because I wasn't a big REM fan, but I like it a lot. Thanks RP!
 thewiseking wrote:

I never understood why anyone would care. Every single post on the internet, You Tube,  be it Bach, Coltrane or REM will merit the occasional trolling response from a Mongoloid or Pink Floyd Fan. Why should that diminish or cause you to question your enjoyment?
 

Sorry, does the epicanthus have anything to do with eye movement during sleep, or do peoples with prominent cheekbones simply not enjoy REM?  Hopefully, not the outdated and offensive reference to our cousins with Down's Syndrome. Otherwise, you're absolutely right, thanks friend.
 123heyaho! wrote:
R.E.M. again....
 

Sleepy time...again
R.E.M. again....
The reason I listen to the radio instead of my Spotify feed.
I would give this song the highest mark.   Although a bit sad the story is strong about families.  This is one of my favorites, and what fantastic album.  Keep it coming Bill.
This song is a 10 and not even the best song on the album.
I really enjoy the new Radio Paradise  ,Bill and Rebecca  .At 70 yrs old, I feel blessed that I found you  !!
             
Beautiful. Straight outta Athens, GA
Nice programming transition....Keating to R.E.M.
Way to pull out of the rut of the previous songs, RP! Can't get much better than the sweeping feedback and harmonics in this classic...
One of their best post 1990 albums! 
 markybx wrote:
Excellent segué from Zoë Keating - Escape Artist it just flows, who'd a thought it? Bill G you are a genius.

 
Agree!!
 DaidyBoy wrote:
Can someone please let me know why this merits a 1 vote?  Thanks for your time.

 
I never understood why anyone would care. Every single post on the internet, You Tube,  be it Bach, Coltrane or REM will merit the occasional trolling response from a Mongoloid or Pink Floyd Fan. Why should that diminish or cause you to question your enjoyment?
{#Daisy}this always gives me chills
 DaidyBoy wrote:
Can someone please let me know why this merits a 1 vote?  Thanks for your time.

 

Sometimes there really is no explanation for why people like what they like, and don't like what they don't like, even when to us it is obvious that a song should be loved (or detested).  Apparently the same holds true for political candidates.
I would set this to 11 if I could. 
Excellent segué from Zoë Keating - Escape Artist it just flows, who'd a thought it? Bill G you are a genius.
Will always remind me of a road trip with my father and brother. I was trying to convince my Dad to listen and appreciate the music I liked. Never did manage it.
 chinaski wrote:
Thanks to RP I've rediscovered this album once listened to long ago. At my present age in having experienced  life long enough I often find the music and song lyrics overwhelm me with emotion. Yes, I'll choke up and my eyes get watery...such as now. This song is very powerful stuff.



  You said it all



Brainchild follows off spring scent.
Can I hear Zeo Keating on cello? {#Ask}
Wonderful transition from Zoë Keating — Escape Artist to this! {#Clap}
I've never liked REM that much, but things are changing thanks to RP (probably because I've only known their overplayed radio stuff)
Thanks to RP I've rediscovered this album once listened to long ago. At my present age in having experienced  life long enough I often find the music and song lyrics overwhelm me with emotion. Yes, I'll choke up and my eyes get watery...such as now. This song is very powerful stuff.


 Proclivities wrote:

I guess those 20 people strongly dislike REM.  There must be more pressing matters to attend to.

 
There might be, but not in my world. Up to a 10 today, peeps.
How could I have not marked this a 10 until now?
 misterbearbaby wrote:

Yeah, O.G. - the only drawback to this otherwise excellent ballad is that it's R.E.M. I have a whole suitcase of prejudices against their music; much of which reached me in their timeframe was drivel.  In that bygone era I would have rather listened to the tones and announcer on WWV *(the time station on 2.5MHz shortwave) for 3 minutes than R.E.M!

 
That seems like the definition of "bias" to me. . .and in line with "ad hominem" logic. But I do agree that this is an excellent ballad :-)
 OlderGentleman wrote:
Was never a fan, but this is quite nice to my old ears. 
 
Yeah, O.G. - the only drawback to this otherwise excellent ballad is that it's R.E.M. I have a whole suitcase of prejudices against their music; much of which reached me in their timeframe was drivel.  In that bygone era I would have rather listened to the tones and announcer on WWV *(the time station on 2.5MHz shortwave) for 3 minutes than R.E.M!
The segue was flawless, then Stipe appeared on the scene.
Just noticed that many others liked the mortise and tenon of change there, however it does appear that I am in the minority on Stipe. Oh well.
I can totally relate... For me, this album came out when I was an enchanted newlywed...and nothing is constant but change, right?...9 years later, divorced...for ages, hearing this album hit me so hard, every time...and sometimes still does...
You are correct:  Crying IS important! Scientists have analyzed tears, and they contain toxins! and the physical act of crying is probably important, too:  Grief "knots" the Qi — 氣 — and most affects the Lung organ and channel/ circuit system (and its Yang counterpart and grounding channel/ organ, the Large Intestine, which not co-incidentally has to do with letting go); when we are worried by grief, we breathe too shallowly, and fail to provide the blood with enough Oxygen to properly infuse the whole Quantum Exchange System that Blood is — for, "Blood is the Mother of Qi, and Qi is the Commander of Blood..." goes the ancient Chinese maxim/ riddle, and this 'shorted' Blood maybe can't give full charge to the Iron in it that our miraculous hemoglobin juggles in square-dance fashion in sets of four, alternating with only Oxygen and Carbon-monoxide, to throw up the array of loops of alternating magnetic fields (the nodes of which correspond to well-known Acupuncture Points) which, by the Law of Induction, induces an alternating electric current in wires nearby, which are our nerves, and thus the Quantum-Boosted Feedback Loop that is the Foundation of Life as we know it is disrupted and pushed out of balance, and furthermore, when incapacitated by grief, we also tend to sit or lie around, and thus we don't move our magnetic bones and network of nerve-wires through the subtle but massive fields of the Earth (the long bones also generate small but measurable piezo-electric currents by the torque of impact movements) which puts a good charge into the particles of Iron and induces juice in our nerves, and being deprived of those benefits is a bad thing. The release of tears, muscle spasms, and bodily actions inherent in the act of crying necessarily dissipates charges (mostly from the Liver, which manifests in the eyes {and nails}, and is the main voltage supply of the body, since it stores and moves several pounds of Iron! but also the Heart, which controls and influences tears and pores, among other things of course; the Heart also governs the voice, which is well known since ancient times as an effective mechanism for the release of grief!) that would otherwise cause stagnation and/ or cascading effects down through the other channels and organ systems, possibly ultimately ending up as a chronic deficiency in the Kidney channel, which responds by dissolving bone matrix to float electrolytes to cover the deficit, which if not reversed, leads to terminal degradation and ruin.  
Cry, cry, cry — and Voice Your Grief — these are the wise, age-old ways to restore proper balance!
———-
Rebis wrote:
The songs on Automatic for the People are largely about processing grief. "Try Not to Breathe." "Sweetness Follows." "Everybody Hurts." "Find the River." It's a really profound album ... For several years I couldn't listen to it without crying sooner or later, because it came out right when my uncle was dying from lung and brain cancer. But it was great that I had it to listen to, because all that crying was important.

yeah, like this, plenty of ooomph
Was never a fan, but this is quite nice to my old ears. 
Oh, that was the perfect segue. Zoe Keating Escape Artist right into Sweetness Follows. Perfect Bill,  you must have a PhD in segues or something!
Again,if Pink Floyd or Zep(yes I know John Paul Jones did the string arrangements)or any other of a multitude of 60's and 70's "Classic Rock" bands had made this soul crushing dirge,this would have an 8.8 rating instead of a 7.8 rating.
 Ahnyer_Keester wrote:
This song is a 10 but man, that segue from Zoe Keating's Escape Artist was a solid 10 too!!!

 
I noticed that too...totally agree...Bill does it again...
a wonderful song, and album....
This song is a 10 but man, that segue from Zoe Keating's Escape Artist was a solid 10 too!!!
 DD rabbi_phil wrote:
jeepers...could this guy be more tortured!?...there"s absolutely no way we're inviting him over to fish, shoot ducks and grill out....what a killjoy.....does everything have to be a cathartic confessional...quit it!

 
Interestingly, REM got the album name "Automatic for the People" from a local soul food joint in Athens, Georgia,  which used the phrase as its slogan.  So, at the very least, I am guessing Mr. Stipe would not necessarily be opposed to firing up the grill.
 DaidyBoy wrote:
Can someone please let me know why this merits a 1 vote?  Thanks for your time.

 
I guess those 20 people strongly dislike REM. Who really knows?
Can someone please let me know why this merits a 1 vote?  Thanks for your time.
 rdo wrote:
breathtaking
 
Waiting for a call, so slipped the headphones on.  Sublime.
Beautiful {#Meditate}
 Well,like Conrad said- "The horror".
 rdo wrote:
breathtaking
 
100% agree.  Thanks RP
breathtaking
Just such a wonderful album, haven't heard it in years.  I may have to dig this one out. 
 supram wrote:
Beautiful merges, coming from Zoe Keating's "Escape Artist" to Flaming Lips' "Do You Realize?", that's why listening to RP still rules!

 
Totally agree about the segue from Zoe Keating. Amazing!

Everybody in my church loves this song...
 
 Rebis wrote:
The songs on Automatic for the People are largely about processing grief. "Try Not to Breathe." "Sweetness Follows." "Everybody Hurts." "Find the River." It's a really profound album ... For several years I couldn't listen to it without crying sooner or later, because it came out right when my uncle was dying from lung and brain cancer. But it was great that I had it to listen to, because all that crying was important.
 
Aw. Thanks for sharing that. A true, sympathetic human you are. Nice to have music help guide you through tough times in life.
All the elements that make REM good are present in this song. Quite simply my favorite REM song ever!

Beautiful merges, coming from Zoe Keating's "Escape Artist" to Flaming Lips' "Do You Realize?", that's why listening to RP still rules!
Oh, my...this is another one of those stretches where I am in orbit around the RP constellation and sound system around my desk here, can't get anything else done but ... lost in our little lives...  Fantastic song, evocative of a fantastic era...
I would like to hear more REM
 sajitjacob wrote:
Cellotastic!
 
+1
 rockpommel16 wrote:
...r.e.m. AFTER zoe keating???..........."look,..there´s a PleaseStopDis-button!"-"fine,thanks for that......"
 
Well, can't please everyone. I like this tune, and the segue. I also like your new term for the PSD button.
...r.e.m. AFTER zoe keating???..........."look,..there´s a PleaseStopDis-button!"-"fine,thanks for that......"
Just wow on that segue...
VERY Nice transition Bill from Zoe Keating!!!
Cellotastic!
 RKeaton wrote:

I've been saying it for years - so many traits are in the eye of the beholder. You see sadness and depression in Michael Stipe - but that's you. You're choosing to see it. This band and this album have plenty of upbeat songs, yet you opt to dwell on the sad ones. Why? I don't know why people do it, but they do. Just ask Leonard Cohen. He writes beautiful songs, but to listen to some people you'd think he was the grim reaper.
 



I gotta agree. I met Stipe several times. He was always fun and talkative. He loves word games and has a true interest in making the world a better place.
I attended the release party at 40 watt. It was a mix of locals, fans, big shots and the band. The music was magical and the food from Weaver D's was yummy.
 romeotuma wrote:


marvelous...  from a great album...

 
 
Yes I agree! 


marvelous...  from a great album...

 
 RKeaton wrote:

I've been saying it for years - so many traits are in the eye of the beholder. You see sadness and depression in Michael Stipe - but that's you. You're choosing to see it. This band and this album have plenty of upbeat songs, yet you opt to dwell on the sad ones. Why? I don't know why people do it, but they do. Just ask Leonard Cohen. He writes beautiful songs, but to listen to some people you'd think he was the grim reaper.
 

LEONARD COHEN?!!........aaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh!!!!........be what you wanna be..see what you came to see..been what i wanna be... i dont like what i see.....do what you wanna do...go out and seek your truth..when i'm down and blue...rather be me than you.....i'm not blind...just see through, faded..  super jaded...
 rabbi_phil wrote:
jeepers...could this guy be more tortured!?...there"s absolutely no way we're inviting him over to fish, shoot ducks and grill out....what a killjoy.....does everything have to be a cathartic confessional...quit it!
 
I've been saying it for years - so many traits are in the eye of the beholder. You see sadness and depression in Michael Stipe - but that's you. You're choosing to see it. This band and this album have plenty of upbeat songs, yet you opt to dwell on the sad ones. Why? I don't know why people do it, but they do. Just ask Leonard Cohen. He writes beautiful songs, but to listen to some people you'd think he was the grim reaper.
The songs on Automatic for the People are largely about processing grief. "Try Not to Breathe." "Sweetness Follows." "Everybody Hurts." "Find the River." It's a really profound album ... For several years I couldn't listen to it without crying sooner or later, because it came out right when my uncle was dying from lung and brain cancer. But it was great that I had it to listen to, because all that crying was important.
jeepers...could this guy be more tortured!?...there"s absolutely no way we're inviting him over to fish, shoot ducks and grill out....what a killjoy.....does everything have to be a cathartic confessional...quit it!
"It's these little things that can pull you under..."


Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...

 
"Live your life full of joy and wonder..."
Beautiful one....
Thanks for the music guys!  Big part of my life in the college years.  An important American band I think many would agree.

REM breaking up is kind of like Ken Griffey Jr. retiring. It's been over for years. The later product is not nearly as electrifying as the early and middle stuff. Still deserves a standing O upon the exit.
With a few exceptions, every song on this album is fantastic to most REM fans. 

I'm also one of those people that have teenage memories that are so closely tied to this album as to be almost inseparable.  The years have passed, my grandparents no longer have their riverside cabin, and I'm not the borderline lost kid I used to be...  but any song from this album instantly transports me back to those days and for a few minutes I can put aside the burdens and worries of adulthood. 

While I have not really enjoyed a lot of the newer REM stuff over the years, nothing can take away from how much I loved this cd.
 lathyris wrote:

Bliss.
 
Yes...

 Bosami wrote:
Simply awesome.
 
Bliss.
Simply awesome.
Wow Horstman, that's really hard. I'm sorry you and your son went through that but I'm glad it worked out well. My ache pails in comparison but I'll tell it anyway.

I was in the USAF and got a one year, unaccompanied tour to Korea. My wife and my kids stayed in the US and I went alone. I stopped at the BX when I got to Osan AB and picked up a boom box on sale and grabbed this CD to have something to listen to. It really spoke to my mood.
 zaknafein wrote:
I have a lot of vivid memories tied to this song / record. Not all of them good unfortunately.

Probably the album of my youth that most influenced the person I am today.

  I listened to this album after my son was born. Everyone would think "Wow that's great". And it was. But truth be told, my son was born 4 1/2 months premature, weighed less than two pounds and his life hung by a thread. When the song "Everybody Hurts" played, I slowly rocked myself to sleep in a very painful emotional way.

I still cannot listen to this album without that day (and the days that followed) playing themselves out for me. But my son is good. He's 17, loves rock and roll, and is doing well.

I am glad that REM influenced you so profoundly. Music has a wonderful way of pushing and pulling us this way and the other.

Be good.

 gandalfbmg wrote:


For my money, probably the best album ever.
 


Definitely a contender...

 
I have a lot of vivid memories tied to this song / record. Not all of them good unfortunately.

Probably the album of my youth that most influenced the person I am today.

 romeotuma wrote:

This song is sweet...  this album has a lot of great stuff on it...

 
 

For my money, probably the best album ever.
I just don't care for REM anymore. Michael Stipe is such a blowhard.
 Jeff09 wrote:

Yes.
 


This song is sweet...  this album has a lot of great stuff on it...

 
 romeotuma wrote:


Always good to hear it...  love it...

 
 
Yes.



Always good to hear it...  love it...

 


Yeah, this song is fantastic...



awesome...  love it...



One of my favorite moments on arguably R.E.M.'s finest album.
 copymonkey wrote:
One of many underappreciated R.E.M. tunes, from one of their several underrated albums.
 

Nope, no, uh-uh.{#No}
 lathyris wrote:
I find it so hard to believe this is  a band
  Typo fixed.

 For the love of God, why play REM at  7:30 in the morning? My retching reflex isn't fully awake. Listening to this is  like watching a really, REALLY  bad actor  vomit on black and white TV.

Should be paired with CarbonLeaf - Raise the Roof
 peter_james_bond wrote:
I am an REM fan and I recognize that this is a great album but I find it so drenched in sadness that it's hard for me to listen to. I reach more often for their older cds like Life's Rich Pagent, Document, etc.
 
Yes, this is a very dark album, although I find this song and others off this album. especially the very beautiful "Try Not to Breathe" really resonate with me, with having elderly parents who won't be around much longer and realizing I'm not getting any younger.

Reminds me that I haven't been to Weaver D's for lunch lately.  BTW, R.E.M. is holding a release party soon for their new CD.  Stay tuned.
 copymonkey wrote:
One of many underappreciated R.E.M. tunes, from one of their several underrated albums.
 

Yes, I agree...


One of many underappreciated R.E.M. tunes, from one of their several underrated albums.
haunting song.  always liked as in the context of the album.

Which is something I need to get back to.  RP is so great at bringing a variety of pleasures, but I grew up with the significance of albums as full pieces of music. Generations before and after me don't have this context.


sweet song...


 tom-kenna wrote:
what romeotuma lacks in articulation he makes up for in taste (imho)

  

{#Angel}



I never really warmed to this one even though I love most of this album.
 tom-kenna wrote:
what romeotuma lacks in articulation he makes up for in taste (imho)

 
Also I like his zen-like mantra, it's comforting.

what romeotuma lacks in articulation he makes up for in taste (imho)

 Tagish_girl wrote:

Do you keep using the same lame phrase as a comment just to bug us?  Dig up a thesarus, please!
 

No, I do not do anything with you in mind... sorry...

I enjoy this song tremendously...


 romeotuma wrote:


This song is soooo good for the ears...
 
Do you keep using the same lame phrase as a comment just to bug us?  Dig up a thesarus, please!


This song is soooo good for the ears...


Where is the emoticon for gun to the head?{#Ask}
Sick cover — t album art, I mean. Weak cover art. Song cool. But over-rated.
An absolutely brilliant album.
Simply a classic! {#Nyah}

Hands down my all time favorite album/cd of any genre. Agree on the melancholy and sadness though...


 peter_james_bond wrote:
I am an REM fan and I recognize that this is a great album but I find it so drenched in sadness that it's hard for me to listen to. I reach more often for their older cds like Life's Rich Pagent, Document, etc.
 
I agree. Though this album is one of their best, I prefer to listen to their older stuff (especially Reckoning and Green though).



excellent song from a fantastic album...




love it...