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R.E.M. — Belong
Album: Out Of Time
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2687









Released: 1991
Length: 4:03
Plays (last 30 days): 3
Her world collapsed early Sunday morning
She got up from the kitchen table
Folded the newspaper and silenced the radio
Those creatures jumped the barricades
And have headed for the sea, sea

Woah
Woah

Those creatures jumped the barricades and have headed for the sea
She began to breathe to breathe
At the thought of such freedom
Stood and whispered to her child, "Belong"
She held the child and whispered
With calm, calm; belong

Woah
Woah
Woah
Woah

Stood and whispered to her child, "Belong"
She held the child and whispered
With calm, calm; ''Belong.''

Woah
Woah
Woah
Woah

These barricades can only hold for so long
Her world collapsed early Sunday morning
She took the child held tight
Opened the window
A breath, this song, how long
and knew, knew; "Belong"

Woah
Woah
Woah
Woah
Comments (239)add comment
This is just classic goodness!
 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

Must be amazing to sing like that - it sounds so easy, in the here and now in full voice.

But when you can't sing like that (and want to) hearing this is like watching people party on a distant planet and you don't have a rowboat to go and visit.

Sometimes I feel like I live on Pluto. 


This comment...buried.  This should be a top reflection...eloquent, heart-felt and interesting....bravo to the author,  whether or not if you like this song...
This and Country Feedback are my favorites from this album! 
From this album, Belong and Country Feedback are two of my favorites. 
And also the trees ? Who poke the other ?
Stupid song.
 CoYoT51 wrote:

But... we don't have a melody !
- Who cares?  Let's put cheap harmonies and that's a wrap.



We wait with eager anticipation your melodic effort. No doubt it will put REM to shame.
they're really good at the woah.
But... we don't have a melody !
- Who cares?  Let's put cheap harmonies and that's a wrap.
Me parece una linda banda, simplemente 
 cc_rider wrote:

That seems as good a description as any. Better than most.

Bernie Taupin (among others) has admitted some (a lot) of his lyrics don't make much sense. Some of BT/EJs best work is, uh, obtuse. But it paints a vivid image, even if it doesn't always have a coherent story.
c.

Sometimes the imagery is more important than the narrative.
 poprocker1 wrote:

these creatures jumped the shark. back around Document



I like Out Of Time! I was 10 when it came out, so this is squarely in my REM Wheelhouse, and part of my definition of just REALLY GOOD Alternative music.
 Jelani wrote:

Get rid of Stipe and this song's a 9. right now, 7.



I dunno, man. Billy Corgan, Tom Waits, and Neil Young made a lot more money than Stipe with much worse voices.
for an instant I thought this was The Alarm 
This song makes me wanna buy a bass guitar.
I really like REM but for me this is not one of their best.  There are so many great REM songs that it's strange this makes the cut.  
Crap.
Art in general, music in this case, can form a bridge between the world in which we live and the turmoil within our own hearts and minds.
 tcseeley wrote:

I don't know Michael Stipe and won't pretend to speak for him, but if he's like most song writers I've heard over the years he would tell you the song is about whatever you want it to be about. No doubt he knows what he thinks it's about, but if he told you it may well ruin it for you.

I've posted elsewhere on RP about "Year Of The Cat" by Al Stewart. I've been struggling now for 5 decades to figure out what the hell the year of the cat is and what it has to do with Peter Lorre. Then I read an interview with him in which is said in so many words the lyrics are just gibberish. Granted they paint a vivid picture in your mind, and it's a great song for that reason alone, but it's not about anything. I was much happier when I did not know that.


Finnbayer wrote:

I love the Leonard Cohen quote below about saints, which I think also refers to how Leonard wrote poetry.  Gotta love the net - I first heard the quote about (gulp) 50 years ago,  and the runaway ski image has stuck with me all all these years.  I didn't remember much more about it, but with a few clicks,  there was the full quote in all its glory.




“What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love. Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve the chaos; if he did the world would have changed long ago. I do not think that a saint dissolves the chaos even for himself, for there is something arrogant and warlike in the notion of a man setting the universe in order. It is a kind of balance that is his glory. He rides the drifts like an escaped ski. His course is a caress of the hill. His track is a drawing of the snow in a moment of its particular arrangement with wind and rock. Something in him so loves the world that he gives himself to the laws of gravity and chance. Far from flying with the angels, he traces with the fidelity of a seismograph needle the state of the solid bloody landscape.”




 
 



R.E.M. recorded and released how many songs? And you're playing this one? 
Get rid of Stipe and this song's a 9. right now, 7.
 slaven41 wrote:
So what IS this song about, anyway? I think I remember Stipe saying in an interview once that he always knows what his songs are about. 

I’ve always interpreted this song to be about a mother coping with the realization that her child will one day leave her and go out into the world, and hoping that that child will be alright. 
 
That's how it lands with me too. This song really resonated with me during an intense period of my life... after searching for my biological mother for 18 years, I finally found my family only to discover my mother had died 10 years earlier. It was a heavy blow that I could never have predicted (in spite of wondering if she had died many times). I made a 2-CD mix at the time called "mothermix" and this was one of the songs on it.

As an 18-year old she had to open that window and wish me the best, as it was her only choice.
One of the worst R.E.M. songs, and I'm a fan.
 Mugro wrote:
poprocker1 wrote:
these creatures jumped the shark. back around Document
I disagree. They stuck with me through this album. After that, I lost them. They went shamlessly into commercial success with this album. You can only do that with one album, because after that you become self-parody and a sham. However, it was fun while it lasted! This is fun song to sing along to!
 
I don't know.... Automatic For The People and Monster were pretty damn good albums that came after this one.

validation
This kind of reminds me of Rufus Wainwright's "Beautiful Child" - https://youtu.be/2l3lswalDEA
 nicknt wrote:
I love R.E.M., but this one is not a memorable song.
 
Yes, but still very good to listen to!
I love R.E.M., but this one is not a memorable song.
Lol !

 slaven41 wrote:
So what IS this song about, anyway? I think I remember Stipe saying in an interview once that he always knows what his songs are about. 

I’ve always interpreted this song to be about a mother coping with the realization that her child will one day leave her and go out into the world, and hoping that that child will be alright. 
 
That seems as good a description as any. Better than most.

Bernie Taupin (among others) has admitted some (a lot) of his lyrics don't make much sense. Some of BT/EJs best work is, uh, obtuse. But it paints a vivid image, even if it doesn't always have a coherent story.
c.
 MrStatenIsle wrote:
More lifeless belly-aching... To each there own, but this band has no soul.
 
You sir, or ma'am, are an idiot.  Peace.
I don't know Michael Stipe and won't pretend to speak for him, but if he's like most song writers I've heard over the years he would tell you the song is about whatever you want it to be about.  No doubt he knows what he thinks it's about, but if he told you it may well ruin it for you. 

I've posted elsewhere on RP about "Year Of The Cat" by Al Stewart. I've been struggling now for 5 decades to figure out what the hell the year of the cat is and what it has to do with Peter Lorre. Then I read an interview with him in which is said in so many words the lyrics are just gibberish. Granted they paint a vivid picture in your mind, and it's a great song for that reason alone, but it's not about anything. I was much happier when I did not know that.

 slaven41 wrote:
So what IS this song about, anyway? I think I remember Stipe saying in an interview once that he always knows what his songs are about. 

I’ve always interpreted this song to be about a mother coping with the realization that her child will one day leave her and go out into the world, and hoping that that child will be alright. 
 

Good to hear this after all these years 😊
"this band has no soul"

baffling


I love this one.  Just a really good song.
 MrStatenIsle wrote:
More lifeless belly-aching... To each there own, but this band has no soul.
 
* their. Also, you're wrong.
 MrStatenIsle wrote:
More lifeless belly-aching... To each there own, but this band has no soul.
 
I think the more likely scenario is that incredibly, there are listeners who don't feel it.
This is a damn fine record!
Do I hear And also the trees ??
More lifeless belly-aching... To each there own, but this band has no soul.
Wow.  This song is so good.  
 blove wrote:
I love you bass guitar, you sound really good on this song.
 
so good! (dudu du du du dudu)
hope the world is not collapsing next sunday cause will go on holiday
but nice intro - i love this song - cool
This is the second song I've heard today from this wonderful album.  Thanks again, RP, for keeping my musical horizons so broad and fascinating.
 Emwolb wrote:
probably my favorite R.E.M. song....

 
And your LEAST favorite is the track immediately before this one on the orig. album:

"Shiny Happy People"

AM I RIGHT?
So what IS this song about, anyway? I think I remember Stipe saying in an interview once that he always knows what his songs are about. 

I’ve always interpreted this song to be about a mother coping with the realization that her child will one day leave her and go out into the world, and hoping that that child will be alright. 
 benhardt57 wrote:
Why does R.E.M., U2, Talking Heads and Peter Gabriel get SO much air time here? I can think of LOTS of good artists I never hear.

 
To drive you crazy, why else? But seriously, there are some artists that I've heard more than I care for, even ones I like (Gabriel) and the ones I burned out on years ago (Zeppelin). After 10 years of listening, I can sometimes predict what's next and think of finding a new station. But then I PSD into something I hadn't heard before or Bill plays something new and intriguing like Zola Blood.

Bottomline: RP is essentially one man's musical preferences with some community suggestions taken into account.
 benhardt57 wrote:
Why does R.E.M., U2, Talking Heads and Peter Gabriel get SO much air time here? I can think of LOTS of good artists I never hear.

 
Prolific does not equal profound. Ugh. (Excluding Gabriel of course!)
 benhardt57 wrote:
Why does R.E.M., U2, Talking Heads and Peter Gabriel get SO much air time here? I can think of LOTS of good artists I never hear.

 
Because Bill (and Rebecca) like those artists.
probably my favorite R.E.M. song....
 benhardt57 wrote:
Why does R.E.M., U2, Talking Heads and Peter Gabriel get SO much air time here? I can think of LOTS of good artists I never hear.

 
Don't forget Dire Straits - they're on here a lot too. Not that there's anything wrong with that....
I owe ya fifteen bucks.
 benhardt57 wrote:
Why does R.E.M., U2, Talking Heads and Peter Gabriel get SO much air time here? I can think of LOTS of good artists I never hear.

 
I never think of good artists i never hear.
Why does R.E.M., U2, Talking Heads and Peter Gabriel get SO much air time here? I can think of LOTS of good artists I never hear.
Bruce Cockburnish.
bland, like the Eagles
I still appreciate how these guys painted such lyrically enigmatic and downright sonically dramatic masterpieces. Miss that nowadays...
 Lazarus wrote: 
Laz, at exactly what point did you leave your hotel room, head to the homeless camp for spell, and then get on an elevator?
 MojoJojo wrote:

Last week, Japanese scientists "explaced"...placed explosive detonators at the bottom of Lake Loch Ness, to blow Nessie out of the water.

Sir Curt Godfrey of the Nessie Alliance, summoned the help of Scotland's local wizards, to cast a protective spell over the lake and its local residents, and all those who seek for the peaceful existence of our underwater ally. 


It's a good thing Sir Curt is so diligent.
 Lazarus wrote: 
Not trying to always follow you but boy are you right on with this.  Super song from one of the still old school REM.  
 ench wrote:

Welcome to R.E.M. gotta think if you want the lyrics.

 
Actually, R.E.M.'s lyrics work best if you don't think at all. They are just strings of impressionist images. If you try to analyze them you'll find there's not much underneath.

But the vagueness seems to be the magnet for pretentious hipsters that think they've cracked Stipe's "code".
how should i say - mystic and good
 coloradojohn wrote:
Can never forget how often this played in my Walkman as I skied the steep and deep in Summit County, doin' the SkiBum thang that year. 

 
Did the bum one year in the Adirondacks with a mountain bike, except the album was Built to Spill Keep It Like a Secret.
 coy wrote:
cool groove
but the lyrics don't make no sense
 
Do you mean that they make sense to you?  They mean whatever you want them to mean.
Must be amazing to sing like that - it sounds so easy, in the here and now in full voice.

But when you can't sing like that (and want to) hearing this is like watching people party on a distant planet and you don't have a rowboat to go and visit.

Sometimes I feel like I live on Pluto. 
Great song. Wonderful Album. Album came at the right time in my life.

Last week, Japanese scientists "explaced"...placed explosive detonators at the bottom of Lake Loch Ness, to blow Nessie out of the water.

Sir Curt Godfrey of the Nessie Alliance, summoned the help of Scotland's local wizards, to cast a protective spell over the lake and its local residents, and all those who seek for the peaceful existence of our underwater ally.


I'll always remember my 4 yea-old daughter "woh-ing" along to this one back in the day when she was strapped into her toddler's chair in the back seat. 

She's 26 now...YIPES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Can never forget how often this played in my Walkman as I skied the steep and deep in Summit County, doin' the SkiBum thang that year. 
 coy wrote:
cool groove
but the lyrics don't make no sense
 

 
Welcome to R.E.M. gotta think if you want the lyrics.
cool groove
but the lyrics don't make no sense
 
I miss these guys a lot. Hope RP keeps lots of their songs in rotation! 
One of the worst R.E.M. songs ever.
Thank for something different from R.E.M.

Everybody in my church loves this song—  and this entire marvelous album...
 
Haven't heard this one in forever.
 MojoJojo wrote:


Funny, I thought it was
 

HA! I'll never hear stipe the same way again. Dang!
 SinisterDexter wrote:
You're right!  It sounds like Cage mumbling an Elvis impersonation. {#Roflol}

Still a decent song, though.
 

Funny, I thought it was
This is the first song on my running playlist.  It has been for years.  Great stuff.  
Glasgow Rangers? who are dey? gulp.... Exactly!

(for the Brits in the room) 
 romeotuma wrote:

You may have schizophrenia, but you have great taste, by gumbo...
 
 
Well, strictly speaking, the poster has multiple personality disorder rather than schizophrenia, but at least this gives me the chance to relate an example of football fan humour. Many years ago, when the the Glasgow Rangers goalkeeper, Andy Goram, was reported to have undergone psychiatric treatment for MPD, the Rangers fans gleefully sang:

"Two Andy Gorams, there's only two Andy Gorams..."

I'll get me scarf...
 Everybody in my head loves this song as well. Right everybody? Right!

romeotuma wrote:

Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...
 
 


ooooooooohhhhhhhhhh oh I love this!
 Jelani wrote:
Sounds like Nicholas Cage with a Michael Stipe back -up.
 

You're right!  It sounds like Cage mumbling an Elvis impersonation. {#Roflol}

Still a decent song, though.
One of my favorite REM deep cuts - second only to the untitled 11th track on 'Green' - the song that will forever remind me of high school in Athens.
Great album...brings back memories. REM at their peak!

I forgot all about this song! Haven't heard it in a loooooong time! This is a good'n!{#Cheers}
 Stave wrote:

Bah, away with you.  This is one of the best albums from the 90's, and that's saying something.
 
Steve, I'm with you.  Epic, this CD.
I have always loved this song.  Why do I no longer have this CD?  That is the question...
Sounds like Nicholas Cage with a Michael Stipe back -up.
One the few remaining REM songs I can stand to listen to all the way through
 romeotuma wrote:


Interesting you should see it that way...  that was their first album that was a pop hit— before that they were a cult band...  this is the album that truly made them stars...

I think it is an excellent album, myself...  my favorite song on it is "Me In Honey"...  that "Losing My Religion" song is the one that really caught everybody's attention— that is the song that carried them to a new level...

and as poppy as "Shiny Happy People" is, I love it, partly because like "Me In Honey", Kate is singing on it...

there's a lot of good stuff on the album...  I would not call it their best— as a rock solid album, I would call Reckoning their best... but that's just me...

 
I'm not so sure they weren't popular before this (The One I Love, Orange Crush, Stand), but I agree this album was the beginning of a new era for the band. Just hearing this song brought it all back to me, how I felt about it at the time.  I remember being disappointed by this CD, but I also recall that I would listen to it on a regular basis for several years after it came out.  I gave this a 10 just now, first listen on RP.  It is not REMs best stuff, but a very good CD.

Does anyone know what the hell this song is about?
 Geecheeboy wrote:
I always hear Elvis.
 
At least you didn't see him.

 horstman wrote:


This is a great song from an otherwise terrible album.

This album is their worst. Too poppy.

But this song is good.
 
Bah, away with you.  This is one of the best albums from the 90's, and that's saying something.

 MojoJojo wrote:

 
LOL... nice call.

I always hear Elvis.

 RobK wrote:

Yeah. Why they don't have the decency to live in poverty and keep touring in cramped old vans is a mystery.
 
Sarcasm - the lowest form of humor - and funniest!  {#Angel}
I love REM, but this is hardly even a song. It's more like the outline of a song that they never bothered filling in.
 romeotuma wrote:


This is a great song from a great album...
 

This is a great song from an otherwise terrible album.

This album is their worst. Too poppy.

But this song is good.
One of the only songs I really like from this album...great one for the headphones.
Excellent!! Cranked it when this came on. Thank yo for playing it!!
A truely awesome song!
My favorite REM song.
pmnixa wrote:
Has RP been playing more REM lately or is it just me?
I think he has.
"Crowded House are better than REM"...Ha Ha that's a good one
radioparadisehead wrote:
I'm goin' to Disneyland... oh, wait.
haha I just typed the same thing before reading comments
I'm going to Disneyland
squidish wrote:
They're resting on their millions and flying around in private jets and dancing backstage at U2 concerts.
Yeah. Why they don't have the decency to live in poverty and keep touring in cramped old vans is a mystery.
I love you bass guitar, you sound really good on this song.
REM song I like...Hell must be cold down there.
Has RP been playing more REM lately or is it just me? This song takes me back to the days I listened to this album on tape in my walkman repeatedly during a family trip to Mount Rushmore. ha ha My favorite REM album.
I'm goin' to Disneyland... oh, wait.
jeffhtuner wrote:
HAH! All your base! I totally forgot about that timein my life - 1999 was it?
try '91---somehow you've lopped eight years off your "listening life".
...must...crank...louder... Neil
Closer to Golden Palaminos, which was an AWESOME show...