Hey Now Little Sleepyhead

I haven’t deliberately listened to any R.E.M. for ages. I hear them in passing but don’t often make the effort to play their records. Recently I had an overwhelming urge to hear Find The River. The album it finished off, Automatic For The People, came out a quarter of a century ago and for an album that is right up there in their back catalogue, Find The River is quite the ending, heartstrings tugged at for sure, but also optimistic and wide eyed (at the end of a record that was surrounded by rumours of death and illness). Lovely beyond belief.

Stipe’s lyrics were much clearer by this point-

‘The river to the ocean flows
A fortune for the undertow
None of this is going my way’

But he could still chuck in words for their own sake, for the sound of them-

‘Of ginger, lemon, indigo
Coriander stem and rose of hay’

And finish with couplets that seem to mean something-

‘Strength and courage overides
The privileged and weary eyes
Of river poet search naivete
Pick up her and chase the ride
The river empties to the tide
All of this is going your way’