The “Go Tell” Crusade

Wow. So the website called Pop Songs 07-08, which has been interpreting and analyzing R.E.M. songs for the past year or so, has finally done them all. But it’s not over! Now Michael Stipe himself is answering questions from readers, and lots of them. There’s so much here and I haven’t read it all yet but it is fascinating to me, the R.E.M. fan. Maybe you too. In particular this lyric to “Driver 8”:

he piloted this song in a plane like that one,
she is selling faith on the ‘go tell’ crusade

I have been playing that song for years, ever since I could play guitar, and I must say that I always sang it exactly as he says it is. Which is probably not the case for many R.E.M. songs, as they were so inscrutable that the lyrics just had to be guessed at or made up.

I may add to this as I read through it.

UPDATE:

Not enough about older songs, in my opinion, but I found this interesting, about a song that I have never heard (I’ll assume it’s from Reveal or Around the Sun):

Chorus and the Ring is my elegy to William Burroughs and Kurt Cobain, and basically follows a conversation I had with William one afternoon in his backyard about Kurt [I was presented to William at his home in ‘95 by Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore]. The 2nd verse is among my most favorite lyrics that I’ve ever written, topic being instinct, and feels like the man who sold the world to me. But I’m complementing myself there. William, to be clear, was truly shocked that such a smart, beautiful and sensitive man as Kurt could take his own life. Shocked. Not exactly the WSB that I expected.

I mean, this is like a convention of some of my favorite peoples in the world (and Otherworld), in this paragraph.

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