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R.E.M. — Sitting Still
Album: Murmur
Avg rating:
7.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 825









Released: 1983
Length: 3:13
Plays (last 30 days): 1
This name I got we all agreed
She could stop, stop it well rid
We could bind it in the sist-
We could gather, throw a fit

Up to par and Katie bars the kitchen signs but not me in
Set a trap for the big kill
Don't waste your time sitting still

I'm the sun and you can read
I'm the sign and you're not deaf
We could bind it in the sist-
We could gather, throw a fit

Up to par and Katie bars the kitchen signs but not me in
Set a trap for the big kill
Don't waste your time sitting still
I can hear you
I can hear you
I can hear you

This name I got we all agree
She could stop, stop it well rid
We could bind it in the sist-
We could gather, throw a fit

Up to par and Katie bars the kitchen signs but not me in
Set a trap for the big kill
Don't waste your time sitting still
I can hear you
I can hear you
I can hear you

You can gather when I talk, talk until you're blue
You could get away from me, get away from me

I'm up to par and Katie bars the kitchen signs but not me in
Set a trap for the big kill
Don't waste your time sitting still
I can hear you
I can hear you
I can hear you

I can hear you
I can hear you
I can hear you
Can you hear me
Comments (119)add comment
As a teenager a friend of mine and I thought about starting a band.  He insisted that all rock lyrics were meaningless nonsense and you could just write words that sounded good together.  I disagreed.  But sometimes I think early REM took this exact approach.  Maybe I'm not sharp enough to pick up on the deep meaning though.  Anyway, he was right in the sense that to this day I don't get any meaning from these lyrics but love the song. 
First CD I ever heard circa '83. Noticeable audio improvement over cassette particularly in the high end. Detailed, crisp and clear. 
I think I have the full R.E.M. catalog, and have spent the last month+ listening to it on shuffle. This was my band in the 80's and 90's, and for some reason put them aside for other music. But coming back to them recently, I feel that their depth and breadth of  music rivals any other American band. Maybe Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers comes close? It's just quality track after quality track...
 surfrider4life wrote:
Most Excellent///Early R.E.M that is ; >
 
Still love their old songs / albums from the 80s. Maybe 'cause this was my era of discovering 'my' music...
Still bringing it, our Ga. boy-gods. Now all grown up, of course. They do go on. And on. 
Gods of the genera. IMHO they owned the punk pop universe in 1983 or at very least had a controlling portion.
 jrozzelle wrote:
I remember when REM played this in the Milestone Club, Charlotte, 1982.  I looked over at Brian and he had this euphoric glazed look on his face—probably the same one I wore—and he said, "That song just happened to me." 

I can vividly remember that show, my first time seeing them.  Amazing how music imprints on you when you're young. 
 

Same for me at the Pier in Raleigh with about 50 other people in the club. Epic.
 KurtfromLaQuinta wrote:
Still my mostest favorite REM song.
Or any song.
 

Yeah, me too Kurt
Most Excellent///Early R.E.M that is ; >
Such great music and bands came out of the Athens, Georgia scene. Still a great place to catch some really good bands to this day.
I remember when REM played this in the Milestone Club, Charlotte, 1982.  I looked over at Brian and he had this euphoric glazed look on his face—probably the same one I wore—and he said, "That song just happened to me." 

I can vividly remember that show, my first time seeing them.  Amazing how music imprints on you when you're young. 
Still my mostest favorite REM song.
Or any song.
 treatment_bound wrote:
This is the leadoff track on Matthew Sweet + Susanna Hoffs' 2013 album "Under The Covers Vol. 3".  They do a great version. 

Here's to hoping there's a Vol. 4 on the way where they take on their favorite songs of the 1990's.
 Under the Covers, Vol. 3

Track list

"Sitting Still" (R.E.M.)
"Girls Talk" (Dave Edmunds)
"Big Brown Eyes" (The dB's)
"Kid" (The Pretenders)"Free Fallin'"  (Tom Petty)
"Save It For Later"  (The English Beat)
" They Don't Know" (Kirsty MacColl)
"The Bulrushes" (The Bongos)
"Our Lips Are Sealed" (The Go-Go's)
"How Soon Is Now" (The Smiths)
"More Than This" (Roxy Music)
"Towers of London" (XTC)
"Killing Moon" (Echo and the Bunnymen)
"Trouble" (Lindsey Buckingham)
Under the Covers, Vol. 3
Really great that they appreciate all of this amazing music enough to cover it.  Some versions work better than others and none are quite as good as the originals, but it's nice that they did this.  Best feature is that you can understand more of the lyrics.
 


 treatment_bound wrote:
This is the leadoff track on Matthew Sweet + Susanna Hoffs' 2013 album "Under The Covers Vol. 3".  They do a great version. 

Here's to hoping there's a Vol. 4 on the way where they take on their favorite songs of the 1990's.
 Under the Covers, Vol. 3

Track list

"Sitting Still" (R.E.M.)
"Girls Talk" (Dave Edmunds)
"Big Brown Eyes" (The dB's)
"Kid" (The Pretenders)"Free Fallin'"  (Tom Petty)
"Save It For Later"  (The English Beat)
" They Don't Know" (Kirsty MacColl)
"The Bulrushes" (The Bongos)
"Our Lips Are Sealed" (The Go-Go's)
"How Soon Is Now" (The Smiths)
"More Than This" (Roxy Music)
"Towers of London" (XTC)
"Killing Moon" (Echo and the Bunnymen)
"Trouble" (Lindsey Buckingham)
Under the Covers, Vol. 3

 


Now 34 years old.  Still great.

I'll be in Athens, GA in early May.  Should I go looking for that giant pile of kudzu on the album cover? 
My first REM purchase back in the day. Still my favorite. Supreme.

REM were so very very good before their career went mega. I liked their later work but worshiped the earlier stuff.


 Proclivities wrote:

Bill plays that tune once in a while.  There is a similar guitar sound in the production of both tunes - Mitch Easter and Don Dixon clearly liked that jangly, Power-pop-guitar sound.

 
Too bad Mitch Easter's music never gets played here.
This is the leadoff track on Matthew Sweet + Susanna Hoffs' 2013 album "Under The Covers Vol. 3".  They do a great version. 

Here's to hoping there's a Vol. 4 on the way where they take on their favorite songs of the 1990's.
 Under the Covers, Vol. 3

Track list

"Sitting Still" (R.E.M.)
"Girls Talk" (Dave Edmunds)
"Big Brown Eyes" (The dB's)
"Kid" (The Pretenders)"Free Fallin'"  (Tom Petty)
"Save It For Later"  (The English Beat)
" They Don't Know" (Kirsty MacColl)
"The Bulrushes" (The Bongos)
"Our Lips Are Sealed" (The Go-Go's)
"How Soon Is Now" (The Smiths)
"More Than This" (Roxy Music)
"Towers of London" (XTC)
"Killing Moon" (Echo and the Bunnymen)
"Trouble" (Lindsey Buckingham)
Under the Covers, Vol. 3


Wore out an old Maxell with Murmur and Reckoning back to back. They once were so great.
 d48m02h wrote:
Oh.....that jangly-Byrdsy guitar takes my breath away all the time.  When REM sounded GREAT!!!{#Bananajam}

 
Amen. IRS-period REM was the best band in America.
 kcar wrote:

A certain time, a certain sound: the first bars of this song made me think this was the Records' "Starry Eyes", which I haven't heard in years on years...

I remember how fresh REM  and mysterious sounded on the first records. People would spend an inordinate amount of time trying to decipher the meaning behind the lyrics...

 
Bill plays that tune once in a while.  There is a similar guitar sound in the production of both tunes - Mitch Easter and Don Dixon clearly liked that jangly, Power-pop-guitar sound.
 Amyjacksoncc wrote:
Makes me want to a) run through fields b) drive country roads with windows down in summer c) dance on tables at harvest moon saloon
 
And quit my day job... {#Wink} 
 vandal wrote:
Ahhh, the good 80's. . . 

 
A certain time, a certain sound: the first bars of this song made me think this was the Records' "Starry Eyes", which I haven't heard in years on years...

I remember how fresh REM  and mysterious sounded on the first records. People would spend an inordinate amount of time trying to decipher the meaning behind the lyrics...
 coloradojohn wrote:
Early REM! Anything from their first 3 records can still blow me away anytime anywhere; always was & always shall be Amazing, Amen!

 
Yes; I always thought the Mitch Easter and Don Dixon years were their best era.
 Sasha2001 wrote:

Mine too Kurt, mine too.
 
One of my favorite, if not most favorite, bands. Their first album "Murmer" woke me up from my "pop rock" prison. Radio Free Europe will always be my favorite REM tune. Alternative from that point on.

 KurtfromLaQuinta wrote:
This has to be one of my most favorite songs ever.

 
Mine too Kurt, mine too.
Makes me want to a) run through fields b) drive country roads with windows down in summer c) dance on tables at harvest moon saloon
Oh.....that jangly-Byrdsy guitar takes my breath away all the time.  When REM sounded GREAT!!!{#Bananajam}
Great song from an absolutely great album
Bill, can you play more old REM for those of us that somehow missed some of this great stuff?
Nirvana, before Nirvana.

This song is glorious...  we be dancing...  love it...
 
Yay, PSD!!!!
Early REM! Anything from their first 3 records can still blow me away anytime anywhere; always was & always shall be Amazing, Amen!

Everybody in my church loves this song...
Sigh.  Murmur and Life's Rich Pageant...those were the days.
Love it! {#Sunny}Let's dance!
 Miksalml wrote:
Only 7.7?
 
My thought exactly! A solid 9 from me. 
 waggpj wrote:
I met Michael Stipe by chance, in Arles, France. I was with my wife and he was drinking coffee in front of the "cafe da la nuit". We went there and said hello, and we took a picture. He was brief, polite, and nice.

 
That's cool..My story  is not as good as yours..I was working in Athens GA some 15 years ago. I went out to lunch, driving down the road and I saw Michael setting in his decked out Ford Bronco at a traffic light.
This has to be one of my most favorite songs ever.
Only 7.7?
 stockvc wrote:
love that album.
 


Yes, I agree...  this song is marvelous...

 
love that album.
Ahhh, the good 80's. . . 
 teapot wrote:
Early REM is so interesting to listen to all these years later. You can really see how unique they are even if they pretty much had the same musical and lyric pattern in every song back then. ;-) They changed the musical landscape.
 
Yep.
I remember at work straining to get KROQ-FM from Pasadena out here in the desert (geographical and musical) from my FM radio in my truck.
I would circle the house I was working on to get the best signal possible.
Drag my speakers, with long extension cords, into the house and turn up great New Wave "Rock of the Eighties" music.
It's when I first heard of REM.

Work almost became fun.


Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...


 
Oh my god they were good.

I don't know if I would even be the same person without this album.
This mesmerizing album once spent near-record time in my tape-deck (maybe only Dark Side of the Moon, Zep 4, Candy-O and Who Are You spent longer in there before this) and I'm kinda surprised how good it sounds just now...might have to dig out the old REM again!  Thanks, RP!

 Cynaera wrote:
I love this older R.E.M. stuff... {#Dancingbanana}
 


I hope you are dancing right now...  love this song...

 
 Cynaera wrote:
I love this older R.E.M. stuff... {#Dancingbanana}
 
Absolutely, me too!!

Takes me back to the early days of my marriage. 
I love this older R.E.M. stuff... {#Dancingbanana}
Why is the release date listed as "?"  The answer is 1983.  Do I win some AUX speakers?

Awesome album.  And "Pilgrimage" should be played soon ... 

New to me REM song. Like it.


We be dancing...  love it...

 
 meauclaire wrote:
Nothing better than old school R.E.M.
 

Yea, I miss them terribly. Oh well, all good things must pass and we do have the legacy of all their wonderful music from 79-91.......{#Meditate}

Nothing better than old school R.E.M.
definitely takes me back —- they made you almost felt cool going to high school in Georgia.
after all these years, it's still fascinating to me that Stipe could manage to be so clearly singing in English and yet remain so nearly indecipherable.  But hey, that just made it all the cooler!
 
Well, since we're name dropping. I've been Michael Stype's server at a trendy Park Ave. eatery...twice, and he was a gracious host to his friends and business associates as well as being a solid tipper.
 waggpj wrote:
I met Michael Stipe by chance, in Arles, France. I was with my wife and he was drinking coffee in front of the "cafe da la nuit". We went there and said hello, and we took a picture. He was brief, polite, and nice.

  and I once played pool with him and Peter Buck at the Cubby Bear lounge in Chicago in 1989......they were there for a Robyn Hitchcock show, which was also a benefit concert, so good on them, and yeah, nice enough :)

I met Michael Stipe by chance, in Arles, France. I was with my wife and he was drinking coffee in front of the "cafe da la nuit". We went there and said hello, and we took a picture. He was brief, polite, and nice.

 Tosko wrote:
Suddenly I am back in a dorm room, circa 1985 . . . .
 

Yes....and one of my favorite albums (did I just double-date myself).
Suddenly I am back in a dorm room, circa 1985 . . . .
Beyond awesome.
Early REM is so interesting to listen to all these years later. You can really see how unique they are even if they pretty much had the same musical and lyric pattern in every song back then. ;-) They changed the musical landscape.


This really is a fantastic song...  we just turned the volume wayyyy up...  love it...


Spring of 1985... this album and Reckoning in the cassette player playing over and over on the long drive to Texas...
Yep. {#Cowboy}
Nothing wrong with a tune fron REM, great.
Ah.  Now this is my favorite REM vintage.  Awesome Bill!


We be dancing...  our hips are moving...  love this song...


 shawshank wrote:
 
{#Iamwithstupid} I miss this type of R.E.M.

 
I can hear you!



love it...


Nice to hear an older, deeper cut of R.E.M.'s on RP.


This song is soooo good for the ears...  classic R.E.M. jangle...


 peter_james_bond wrote:

I second that! {#Jump}{#Jump}
  
{#Iamwithstupid} I miss this type of R.E.M.

Saw them open for The English Beat in 1981 as Radio Free Europe was getting airplay.  I am still looking for reasons to enjoy Michael Stipe's new music as much as I did the band's earlier work. 
 lmic wrote:
 phineas wrote:
Perfect.
{#Yes}

 
I second that! {#Jump}{#Jump}
 phineas wrote:
Perfect.
{#Yes}



very cool song...  love it...


I swear, I used to know all the words and sing along with this one!  in a way.
 Tim_in_N_FL wrote:
Old school R.E.M. from the Chronic Town & Murmur era.  You would never hear this anywhere else these days besides RP!  Thank You!
I attended college in Athens, GA in the mid-80s so this music has become dear to me...{#Good-vibes}
 

Yeah, this is a great song from an awesome album...  love it...


Old school R.E.M. from the Chronic Town & Murmur era.  You would never hear this anywhere else these days besides RP!  Thank You!
I attended college in Athens, GA in the mid-80s so this music has become dear to me...{#Good-vibes}

{#Drummer}

Classic!

(that Vampire Weekend song earlier just left me wanting to hear this, and Bill delivers!)
I wouldn't have known this was REM if I didn't see it on the playlist.

It doesn't suck. How strange and rare. (Although I did listen to this album twice a year or so ago,it was after I had heard just  too much garbage from them  to take them seriously)


Cover art...

https://991.com/newgallery/REM-Chronic-Town-411136.jpg

Sorry I don't have the thing to upload. IMO, this little EP is one of the most important records of the last 25 years. I'd put my original copy (that I bought in Starkville, MS of all places..<g>) in a safe deposit box, if I could afford one big enough. {#Yes}
Old School REM. Love it!
I thought I wasn't much into REM because I had grown old.  Since I still love this maybe it's only them that have taken a few years.

 d_prock wrote:


Better than South Central Rain?
 

Impossible. But still really good here.
lmic wrote:



DITTO!{#Roflol}
KurtfromLaQuinta wrote:
One of my most favorite REM songs.
:yes:
E_A_D_G wrote:
The real deal. Minimalist just beyond the garage pioneers. Most xlnt.
++
The real deal. Minimalist just beyond the garage pioneers. Most xlnt.
I remember seeing these guys for free on Legion Field in Athens in 1984. Best estimate of the crowd was about 6,000. Guess we were on to something. Paid 70 bucks for them in 2004. How things change!!!
what happen with the cover bill? i can help to upload? :curtain:
the best old REM! love it.">
treatment_bound wrote:
Best "unedecipherable lyrics" song. Ever. :question:
Better than South Central Rain?
Wizzuvv_oz wrote:
From back when REM used to ROCK!!
Absolutely! Can't stand them nowadays.
handyrae wrote:
So true (and hysterical) -- knowing all of the sounds a quarter of the lyrics is about what you get with early period REM. I saw then live in about 1986 and Micheall Stipe did the whole show with his back to the audience. Couldn't even lip read the lyrics!
Hysterical indeed. I saw Stipe in an interview once and he referred to it as "syllabalizing." So I don't think even he knows all the words!
DBCinCA wrote:
Back in my college days, when this album was inevitably in the mix at parties, I loved to sing this aloud. I had it down pat, which means I knew all of the sounds and maybe a quarter of the words.
So true (and hysterical) -- knowing all of the sounds a quarter of the lyrics is about what you get with early period REM. I saw then live in about 1986 and Micheall Stipe did the whole show with his back to the audience. Couldn't even lip read the lyrics!
loud_family_fan wrote:
Back when they were great and produced by Mitch Easter.
Along with Let's Active. We NEED some Let's Active on Paradise!
From back when REM used to ROCK!!
MOLLYRIFFIC!
Definitely brings back memories for me. A friend of mine who went to UGA in the late 70's-early 80's kept telling me how great the band was and I was fortunate enough to catch them before they got really big. I'll always have an image of Stipe hiding behind this big mop of hair singing unintelligeably (sp?). At any rate, in 89, I saw them at a benefit concert where they did 2 sets. First one was all of "Green" and the second was "Murmur" from start to finish. He dedicated this song to his sister, so I suspect it means something to him.
Back when they were great and produced by Mitch Easter.
DBCinCA wrote:
Back in my college days, when this album was inevitably in the mix at parties, I loved to sing this aloud. I had it down pat, which means I knew all of the sounds and maybe a quarter of the words.
I pulled this off a web-site, and I don't know if they're "official", but here goes: From: Murmur (The lyrics shown here reflect the studio version of this song as released on Murmur. Stipe has called this song "an embarrassing collection of vowels I strung together some 400 years ago - basically nonsense.") This name I got we all agreed See could stop stop it will red We could bind it in the scythe We could gather, throw a fit Up to buy, Katie buys a kitchen-size, but not me in Setting trap for the big kill, waste o' time, sitting still I'm the sun and you can read. I'm the sign and you're not deaf. We could bind it in the scythe. We could gather, throw a fit. Up to buy, Katie buys a kitchen-size, but not me in Setting trap for the big kill, waste o' time, sitting still I-I-I can hear. I-I-I can hear. I-I-I can hear. This name I got we all agreed See could stop stop it will red We could bind it in the cist We could gather, throw a fit. Up to buy, Katie buys a kitchen-size, but not me in Setting trap for the big kill, waste o' time, sitting still I-I-I can hear. I-I-I can hear. I-I-I can hear. You can gather when I talk, talk until you're blue You could get away from me. Get away from me. I'm up to buy, Katie buys a kitchen-size, but not me in Setting trap for the big kill, waste o' time, sitting still I-I-I can hear. I-I-I can hear. I-I-I can hear. I-I-I can hear. I-I-I can hear. I-I-I can hear. Can you hear me?
treatment_bound wrote:
Best "unedecipherable lyrics" song. Ever. :question:
Back in my college days, when this album was inevitably in the mix at parties, I loved to sing this aloud. I had it down pat, which means I knew all of the sounds and maybe a quarter of the words.
AphidA wrote:
Love the chiming Rickenbacker.
Agreed. One of my "Desert Island' records, easily.
AphidA wrote:
Love the chiming Rickenbacker.
Byrdsy. :yes:
vvlee wrote:
My little sister used to think he was saying "waste of time, sit 'n' spin" :cheesygrin:
Can't blame her... that's what it sounds like to me too!
Ah, such memories of lonely teenage days. My little sister used to think he was saying "waste of time, sit 'n' spin" :cheesygrin:
Great song, lyrics make NO sense, but oh well. I agree, amazing day today, thanks Bill!
REM Murmur. Liz Phair - whitechocolatespacegg. Kirsty MacColl. What an outstanding day at RP. I've been away for a month or so ... what a wonderful way to return. Thanks, Bill & Rebecca for continuing to provide such pure bliss to our listening ears.
AphidA wrote:
Love the chiming Rickenbacker.
It's amazing how distinctive Rickenbackers are, right?
Love the chiming Rickenbacker.
One of my most favorite REM songs.
Best "unedecipherable lyrics" song. Ever. :question:
Ditto. Perfect. Thank you.
Perfect.