Song of the Day #1,747: ‘Losing My Religion (Major Key)’ – R.E.M.

remA few months back there was a brief moment where popular songs in the opposite key were all the rage. Minor key version of major key songs and major key versions of minor key songs hit YouTube in a wave.

The first one I heard was this major key rendition of R.E.M.’s ‘Losing My Religion.’

It’s disconcerting to hear a song you know by heart suddenly sounding very different. And it’s not like a live or acoustic version that is substantially different by design. This is the same recorded version you’ve heard a thousand times, only suddenly upbeat.

The same process has done fascinating things to the Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams‘ and The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude.’ In its transition to a minor key, that Paul McCartney classic becomes downright depressing.

I don’t really like any of the “new” songs created through this process, but I applaud the creative effort behind it. It’s as much a psychological experiment as music-making.

Life is bigger
It’s bigger
And you, you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I set it up

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

Every whisper
Of every waking hour
I’m choosing my confessions
Trying to keep an eye on you
Like a hurt lost and blinded fool
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I set it up

Consider this
The hint of the century
Consider this
The slip that brought me
To my knees failed
What if all these fantasies
Come flailing around
Now I’ve said too much

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

But that was just a dream
That was just a dream

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

But that was just a dream, try, cry, why, try
That was just a dream, just a dream, just a dream
Dream

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4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,747: ‘Losing My Religion (Major Key)’ – R.E.M.

  1. Dana says:

    Did REM have anything to do with this? It’s a novel experiment, but me no likey.

  2. Amy says:

    I don’t understand anything about this. First… why? Just why? Second, are the vocals identical with just a change in instrumentation (as I don’t think Stipe would sign up for this nonsense)? If so, isn’t it the disconnect between vocal and instrument that is particularly jarring?

    Finally, I’ll just echo Dana – me no likey.

  3. Clay says:

    The bands in question are not party to the transmogrification. And I believe it is the whole track — vocals and music alike — that is shifted in key,

  4. pegclifton says:

    interesting, I’m not sure I like it but I don’t hate it either

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