WEDNESDAY’S WHATEVER: Trying to pick a favourite R.E.M. song from their enormous body of work is impossible, so instead I’ve picked what I consider to be one of their most interesting / esoteric / deep songs. Hope for me definitely fits that bill. The song comes from the band’s 1998 album Up.
Leonard Cohen gets a songwriting credit due to the similarity of the song to Cohen’s Suzanne
If you’re interested in the meaning of the song, here’s Michael Stipe’s answer to a question posed to him on the song:
QUESTION: one of my favorite REM-songs is HOPE, because I really love the background sound, as well as the energy it transports and the rate. The lyrics are great, I especially love the line ” and you want to cross your DNA with something reptile”, so what is the song about and what was the idea about this special line?
ANSWER: felt very futuristic/21st c. to me that someday we will use prehistoric ‘living fossil’ animal dna to bolster our own immunity; the guy in the song is facing some very difficult questions about longevity and survival, and basically grabbing at any possibility to stay alive. I obviously lifted most of the song from Leonard Cohen, along with the imagery ideas from World Leader Pretend.