Song of the Day #2,813: ‘Lotus’ – R.E.M.

rem_upYesterday we got our second random Barenaked Ladies song in a week and today we get our second R.E.M. song in two weeks.

In the previous post, I described the band’s New Adventures in Hi-Fi — the last album to feature drummer Bill Berry — as their swan song. Indeed, they were never the same and never as good after that record.

But I kind of glossed over the complicating matter of Up, the album that followed New Adventures in Hi-Fi two years later, in 1998.

Interestingly, the first record the band had to make as a trio wound up being the most creatively successful. Rather than replace Berry, the remaining members experimented with drum machines and other computerized percussion. Stuck between what they were and what they would become, they were free to try just about anything.

The result is R.E.M.’s most bizarre album but also one of their most successful. In fact, in a list I posted to the blog way back in 2008, I named it their sixth best (out of 14).

[Verse 1]
Hey hey
I was hell
Sarcastic silver swell
That day it rained
Tough spun. Hard won. No
Ocean flower aquarium
Badlands. Give a hand
Honey dip. Flim flam
Hey hey. Hey hey
That cat can walk like a big bad man

[Chorus]
So happy to show us
I ate the lotus
Say haven’t you noticed?
I ate the lotus

[Verse 2]
Storefront window, I reflect
Just last week I was merely heck
Tip the scale. I was hell
Picked me up, then I fell
Who’s this stranger? Crowbar spine
And I feel fine
Let it rain, rain, rain
Bring my happy back again

[Chorus]
So happy to show us
I ate the lotus
Say haven’t you noticed?
I ate the lotus [x2]

[Verse 3]
Let it rain, rain, rain
Save me from myself again
Wash away my ugly sins
Opposing thumb, dorsal fin
That monkey died for my grin
Bring my happy back again
Let it rain, rain, rain
Bring my happy back again

[Chorus]
So happy to show us
I ate the lotus
Say haven’t you noticed?
I ate the lotus [x4]

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One thought on “Song of the Day #2,813: ‘Lotus’ – R.E.M.

  1. Dana says:

    I always thought he was saying “I ain’t the lotus.” 😄

    Anyway, REM had lost me by this point.

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