Song of the Day #3,042: ‘World Leader Pretend (Live)’ – R.E.M.

remWhen I first heard R.E.M. was contributing a song to the 30 Days, 30 Songs anti-Trump project, I was giddy. I figured the prospect of a racist, misogynist narcissist ascending to the highest office in the world is what it took to reunite one of my favorite bands ever.

Alas, their offering turned out to be not a new song but a previously unreleased live version of a track from their 1988 album, Green.

At least the song, ‘World Leader Pretend,’ is a favorite of mine.

Here’s their brief intro:

A perfect song for these strange times.

Here’s the song:

I sit at my table and wage war on myself
It seems like it’s all, it’s all for nothing
I know the barricades
And I know the mortar in the wall breaks
I recognize the weapons, I’ve used them well

This is my mistake
Let me make it good
I raised the wall
And I will be the one to knock it down

I’ve a rich understanding of my finest defences
I proclaim that claims are left unstated
I demand a rematch

I decree a stalemate
I divine my deeper motives
I recognize the weapons
I’ve practiced them well
I fitted them myself

It’s amazing what devices you can sympathize
Empathize
This is my mistake, let me make it good
I raised the wall
And I will be the one to knock it down

Reach out for me
Hold me tight
Hold that memory
Let my machine talk to me
Let my machine talk to me

This is my world, and I am the World Leader Pretend
This is my life, and this is my time
I have been given the freedom to do as I see fit
It’s high time I razed the walls that I’ve constructed

It’s amazing what devices you can sympathize
Empathize
This is my mistake, let me make it good
I raised the wall
And I will be the one to knock it down

You fill in the mortar
You fill in the harmony
You fill in the mortar
I raised the wall
And I’m the only one
I will be the one to knock it down

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,042: ‘World Leader Pretend (Live)’ – R.E.M.

  1. Dana says:

    Ah, I miss this sound from REM.

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