Song of the Day #5,121: ‘The One I Love (Live)’ – R.E.M.

As I wrote yesterday, I’ll spend the next two weeks featuring songs I believe could (or should) play a prominent role in the next season of Stranger Things. My aim is to predict the next 80s viral sensation, following in the footsteps of Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill.’

I have a few ground rules. First, I’m looking only at songs released in the year 1987, a year after the setting of the most recent season. Granted, the show could pull music from any year leading up to 1987, but I wanted to narrow the scope to give myself more of a challenge. I’ll also set aside the question of whether artists would continue to release music on schedule even as world-threatening events are taking place in middle America.

I’m trying to avoid major hits, though I’m usually surprised at how many hits from yesteryear are now completely unknown to Gen Z. But I will stay away from 80s tracks that have a robust life today through commercials, use in TV and movies, and so on.

Finally, my ultimate criteria is whether I can imagine the song in question scoring a slew of clever TikToks as fans race to recontextualize a newly discovered favorite.

My first selections come from R.E.M.’s fifth studio album, Document.

The more obvious pick is ‘It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine),’ a title that is just on the nose enough for a show about cosmically catastrophic events. The lyrics of this one are timeless enough to work in the current era, and I could definitely see the catchy chorus finding its way into the TikTok sphere.

I also see potential for another track from the same album, ‘The One I Love.’ This was a bigger hit, and had a second life on Guitar Hero, but might still be obscure enough to qualify. The shouted “Fire” chorus feels like something that could work well both in the context of the show and on TikTok.

[Verse]
This one goes out to the one I love
This one goes out to the one I’ve left behind
A simple prop to occupy my time
This one goes out to the one I love

[Chorus]
Fire!
Fire!

[Verse]
This one goes out to the one I love
This one goes out to the one I’ve left behind
A simple prop to occupy my time
This one goes out to the one I love

[Chorus]
Fire! (she’s comin’ down on her own, now)
Fire! (she’s comin’ down on her own, now)

[Solo]

[Verse]
This one goes out to the one I love
This one goes out to the one I’ve left behind
Another prop has occupied my time
This one goes out to the one I love

[Chorus]
Fire (she’s comin’ down on her own, now)
Fire (she’s comin’ down on her own, now)
Fire (she’s comin’ down on her own, now)
Fire (she’s comin’ down on her own, now)

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,121: ‘The One I Love (Live)’ – R.E.M.

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    This is quite the fandom exercise you’ve got going. 😉

  2. Peg says:

    I’m so confused 😜

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