And it was very gracious of him to come out in the first place. People seemed to like it.
But I guess someone has to complain about everything.
and sometimes getting mad is the precursor to getting back up.
Not a self promotion. This song does not work with an audience that is not familiar with REM and\or doesn't delve into the lyrics. I have always thought of it as a song about falling out of love. The whole idea of loss is relevant, but I doubt the majority of viewers listen to REM with a sophisticated ear.
There may be far too many people who hear that single line and that wraps up the concert for them, and I would hate to see this entire concert be demonized.
Us And Them, Money, In The Flesh, Another Brick In The Wall, Comfortably Numb.
I see what you're doing. Have a nice day.
You're never going to keep me down!
Sorry, I said "Whiz".
.. there's no get back up in it. The song doesn't challenge religion, but that may be what a lot of people get out of it. I don't think people who rely on religion for some kind of inner peace would appreciate the possible "it's all gone to hell I've lost everything there' no way a benevolent god would allow this to happen."
It just seems like a song that doesn't fit the theme in any sort of universal sense and it got a lot of attention.
And still do, including Christianity. Look at the hatred that comes from Pat Robertson, Ann Coulter, etc.
Joseph Campbell said: You have to lose God in order to find God. I took that as meaning you have to lose your religion before you can truly know God. God lives and breaths in each of us. Religion is a distortion.
Whether anyone agrees with me or not...I think it's wrong to claim that without religion there is no God.
However, with the caveat that I am not a Christian, from my understanding of Christ, be he real or mythical, Coulter, Robertson and their ilk are not Christians either. They are too hate-filled.
In fact, I'm hard pressed to name five others from that band.
They've got one of the most far-ranging, diverse and solid catalogs of any American rock and roll band, in my opinion.
Welcome To The Occupation, Orange Crush, King Of Birds, Stand, Night Swimming, Texarkanna......
Honestly, the most appropriate Post Hurricane sounding tune I can think of, they wrote for Katrina; but it's a bit New Orleans Specific:
I suppose he could have done "Leaving New York" since it talks about New York; although everyone wants to forget that album happened.
I was just naming more songs. I would love to hear Exhuming McCarthy at a protest, though.
Has nothing to do with actual religion. It just means "losing my mind."
Not running an esoteric theme.
She'd say something like "That was enough to make me lose my religion!" when she was frustrated about something. Or she might say it when someone was swearing up a storm. When i first heard the song i just assumed that's what he meant and it had nothing to do with giving up religion.
It's about losing devotion. Falling out of love with a person, job, wanting to drop out of school....
So many people who have just been through it are now clinging to their religion as a means of dealing with loss. I get philosophical theme of that song is about having to give up on something valuable, but the buzz word "religion" is bound to make people who lean on some kind of religious faith uncomfortable. I just think that is something to be respected when people are in such dire straights.
to help those in need. A lot of people happily gave their time and talent
If anyone was offended over an R.E.M song, they have bigger problems
I suppose so. Like losing their house and livelihood? And one of the few things they feel they have left is the collection of religious myths that have gotten them through the night.
and silly, unless you're writing a bad soap. If so, good luck with that
Get over it. Are you the type that needs to be offended for everyone? No one else is complaining about this except for you.
I questioned the choice a performer made for reasons that I believe have merit. I get that you disagree with my reasoning, but are celebrities not to be questioned?
It. Is. Not. About. Religion.
Do you dispute that it is open to speculation as most literature is? It's a mournful sounding song that refers to loss and insecurity that follows. Nothing about getting back up and repairing the damage.
I live in NYC and am originally from the Jersey Shore. My hometown was hit hard by the Hurricane. Most of my friends were "live tweeting" or Facebook Blogging the concert, and not one complained about REM and their song choice. There were other complaints. Kanye wasn't a big hit with my friends. But Losing My Religion is a great song by a great band, and most seemed to appreciate it.
(I acknowledge that my sampling of FB friends and Twitter followers is not a scientific study....)
Though I can name at least five other REM songs that I would have rather heard, Losing My Religion isn't a bad choice.
IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION!!!!!!
Fuck! I hate ignorance!
Do you think every singly bit of literature, poetry, novel, etc. has an exact universal interpretation? You think it doesn't have anything to do with loss? Loss of temper, conviction, love?
He can sing what he wants.
And as far as rock and roll people go, he's pretty hard to challenge in terms of integrity. That's why you've never seen an R.E.M. Song in say, a Levis or Burger King ad.
I'm too busy trying to figure out why Eric Clapton played "When You're Down and Out".
But seriously, folks, have you not lost everything when you've lost your religion? And are there not Hurricane Sandy victims who have lost everything?
That is something people truly do experience. Relatives\friends from out of state would love to help, but.. There's something to be said for singing the blues, but in the context of recovery, I don't see it as the time.
But anything from the Layla album sounds good regardless. And it's cool he went with a deep cut off of it.
that's great I know how to play Losing My Religion acoustic. Great...
does it have to be all complicated. Is Chris Martin suppose to know REMs whole catalog. I think it's not a surprise he knows how to play a REM hit. He did a great job and the two were really good out there.
Good music is open to multitude of interpretations. If that's your take fine, though I don't think you really get the song or REM. That is my take, but I won't try to berate you with it until you submit.
Like most symbolic language it is subject to interpretation and there are some that aren't very well suited to an event that was supposed to be about rebuilding.
Doesn't mean actually giving up one's faith.
"People who don't know common idioms get me close to losing my religion and saying what I really think."
Like the line in "Little America" about "Jefferson I Think We're Lost" can be taken to mean either the author of the declaration of Independence, or their road manager who forgot to bring a map.
Also, while "losing my religion" is a common idiom to the South; I'd never heard of it until the song came out.
I'm a Mid-Westerner myself, but I'm also a word nerd.
from the REM narrative/history. It's like something out of the old days of the USSR...
but clearly whatever issues they had with the guy, were enough to make them want to scrub all discussion of him.
for the past several years, while singing "Little America" Stipe has even replaced the name "Jefferson" with "Washington" or other names.
During the 80s underground, I didn't much care for REM, but even I knew who Holt was. He was an important element in the band mythology.
I guess workplace misbehavior can have repercussions both serious and trivial.
I'm old school, though- I think little america is a fine song as originally written, I dont think they need to change the words.
However, we can't have everything, can we.
Look! Bill Berry!
We're you offended when Billy Joel sang about taking a Catholic school girls virginity?
Yea right. Can you please make the connection between the celebratory tone of Only The Good Die Young and the morose mourning tone of Losing My Religion?
You are on the fucking internet! Look it up before pontificating on matters you know nothing about. It makes you look foolish.
Why are you claiming that you have the absolute truth? I am more likely to hear that style of aggressive argument from people who carry bibles.
My claim is that music lyrics are subject to individual interpretation and that there are people who do make that claim and I don't resent it. It's unfortunate you believe it is foolish to be open- minded and leave people to their own beliefs because you are so entrenched in your own.
If you have Michael Stipe on stage, you're not going to get something peppy.
Or "Fall On Me", something with an appropriately environmental subtext.
"Losing My Religion" is an old Southern saying that means you're pissed.
The phrase "losing my religion" is an expression from the southern region of the United States that means losing one's temper or civility, or "being at the end of one's rope."
It's not about religion.
is a Southern saying. Michael Stipe is from Georgia. It means losing your temper or your mind. The song is about longing and obsession for someone. i.e. That's me in the corner, that's me in the spotlight, but I'm still losing my mind no matter where I am because of you.
It talks about the lengths he goes to to forget, but can't. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with religion, and everything to do with losing one's mind out of desire for someone. Tori Amos, who is from North Carolina, also did a cover of it that was phenomenal. She has such an evocative and passionate style, that I think it came through even more bluntly.
It's a great song about passion, obsession and longing. Everyone from the South has heard someone say "I'm about to lose my religion!".
And a completely different version she does:
Often when you've lost something dear or everything, you don't want someone giving you well-intentioned encouragement. What you want is to have someone acknowledge (and validate) just how pissed off you are over your loss...
I don't need a context to understand what the fine folks in NE are going through .
It's "mean idea" throughout the entire song, which is how I've always heard it as well;
Nevertheless, great tune. Love this version:
Okey-dokey, I'm being sarcastic.
I don't see the problem with Losing My Religion. We're all prone to losing our minds, faith, and ourselves in stressful times.
Loss is a terrible thing for us mere humans to have the capacity to deal with sometimes.
It's an old Southern term, and it doesn't mean what you think it does.
But it was a benefit concert. There was no underlying theme beyond "Pop musicians perform their biggest hits" to entertain people and raise money for a good cause.
Besides, Michael Stipe has always gone out of his way to write lyrics that are very open to interpretation, so claiming that the theme is inappropriate is weird to me, since everybody takes a different meaning from it.
I asked a question and that was my point. Songs are subject to interpretation, and there is little doubt that loss in some form is part of that song. I questioned the idea of playing a song that has a mournful tone about loss without the get back up element.
Bruce Springsteen started with "My City Of Ruins" that ends with a chorus shout and call back - "rise up." I don't particularly like religious imagery. There's lots in Land Of Hope And Dreams. But I have found it forgivable in his newest songs, because of the universal tone of the entire songs. I think it might appeal to other people in a way that is meaningful.
Plus, "losing my religion" means losing your composure.
Plus, even if it meant losing your actual religion that would not be a bad thing.
I can say this: if you aren't the artist or aren't on intimate terms with the artist, you probably don't know fuck-all about their material, and like Tipper Gore, look pretty silly when you criticize them.
an artist's audience certainly has every right, and is usually encouraged, to critique and comment and interpret and share their perspective on that artist's works.
and at some point, if the artist has to explain what the work is about, it's reflects poorly on their ability to express themselves through their creations. i don't think that applies in this case, but i don't think you can really defend a view that only the artist and their intimates can reasonably comment on their material.
The OP was assuming that Mr. Stipe made an inappropriate choice: this assumption was based on the OP's projection of his own interpretation of the song onto the artist.
That projection lies at the root of the post, and is what I attempted to address ( obviously not very well).
Once we do a song, it becomes a living breathing piece of shared consciousness, and I love it when people tell me what a song means to them. I don't appreciate it when they think themselves telepathic and tell me what I meant by it.
If people are going to make assumptions at all, I suggest people consider that the artist is clearly a caring, giving, compassionate man ( as evidenced by his participation in the concert) and so he probably had good intentions with the song choice.
But it would be even better to just appreciate the contribution of the singer to a very worthy cause and leave it at that.
If someone is going to put literature (song lyrics included) out for public consumption it is usually a given that they will accept the likelihood that there will be alternate interpretations and unexpected responses. Assuming the artist is mature enough to understand that they do not own of truth of every single word they have ever written or said.
For someone who is a devout believer the single line "losing my religion" out of context may be interpreted much differently from the intention.
It is ridiculous for someone to not acknowledge that there are working brains that either may not fully appreciate the original intention of the author, or they may have their own thoughts on it based on their personal experience. I think that people who are living through a tragedy might take it out of context and find it painful.
A good artist will tell you that his/her work will mean different things to different people depending on the baggage people bring with them when they view or listen to it.
A perfect example of this was a thread last night where a poster claimed Roger Waters "hates rich people" because of the song "Money".
Obviously the poster brought some "rich persons baggage" with him when listening, because nowhere in the song does he talk about "hating" money or rich people. I come to the song with "poor persons baggage" and I interpret the song to mean that being rich doesn't make you a better or worse person, and you'll get by just fine if you "get a good job with full pay"...
You get out of it what you bring into it when it comes to art...
the artist has little control over the third
... to be about literally losing religion. It's just something grandmothers say. It means "I'm frustrated".
The purpose of the evening was to raise a ton of money for victims so they probably went with the most familiar and in demand. According to Billboard, before the music even started they supposedly had $36 mil. I'll be interested to learn the final amount and how it is distributed.
Death To My Hometown, Wrecking Ball, My City of Ruins, Land Of Hope And Dreams. NY tributes from Billy Joel. Maybe it just opened with a theme. The Stone's and The Who's sets struck me as stark exhilarating defiance. In the spirit of screw Sandy we're still rockin'
songs about getting back up again.
If I was sad about breaking up with someone when I was younger, I'd rather put on a really good blues song expressing the pain of someone losing the woman he loved than listening to a bouncy tune about moving on.
Both types of songs have their place, though, depending on where you are emotionally.
Since Sandy was a by-product of climate change. But that song wasn't a hit, and Losing My Religion was. And anyone who knows Stipe and REM knows the song doesn't mean what you think.
(Okay. Now I'm done. I promise.)