Song of the Day #237: ‘Shiny Happy People’ – R.E.M.

furryThis song is almost a parody of happy songs. And again, it’s a song that has been all but disowned by its writers. Michael Stipe reportedly hates ‘Shiny Happy People’ and kept it off the band’s greatest hits collection despite it charting relatively high.

I find it harmless enough. I like the little waltz-y string intro, though the chorus gets annoying pretty fast. I do like how Stipe’s voice sounds accompanied by B-52’s singer Kate Pierson’s. She was used to even better effect on Out of Time‘s final track, ‘Me in Honey.’

Incidentally, the definitive version of this song is the performance of ‘Furry Happy Monsters’ the band delivered on Sesame Street.

Shiny happy people laughing
Meet me in the crowd
People people
Throw your love around
Love me love me
Take it into town
Happy happy
Put it in the ground
Where the flowers grow
Gold and silver shineShiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Everyone around love them, love them
Put it in your hands
Take it take it
There’s no time to cry
Happy happy
Put it in your heart
Where tomorrow shines
Gold and silver shine

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing


2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #237: ‘Shiny Happy People’ – R.E.M.

  1. Dana says:

    Well, I knew it was just a matter of time before this song appeared this week. Acdtually, I don’t mind the song all that much, mostly for the reasons you mentioned, including Pierson’s harmonies.

  2. Amy says:

    What I don’t like about this song is the chorus. The music and the verse work well enough. Take my general dislike for a repetitive chorus, then make that chorus consist of the words “shiny happy people,” and you pretty much have a recipe for a song that will annoy the hell out of me 🙂 Well-done, R.E.M.

    Will you take requests for happy song week? How about “Chelsea Morning” or “These Are Days” or “How Sweet It Is” – there are so many wonderful “happy’ songs. Those are three of my favorites, and I doubt the artists (Joni Mitchell, Natalie Merchant, and James Taylor) feel a need to disown any of those three songs.

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