Losing My Religion

Right now we’re working on some more new tunes for our next show.  I’m really excited to be adding an old REM tune that has always been one of my favorites, “Losing My Religion”.  Even more exciting for me is that fact that this song is essentially built around a mandolin riff.  I’ll be the first one to admit that I still have a long way to go on the mandolin but I think pushing yourself to learn new material on a new instrument is really a rewarding challenge.

Here’s a bit of background from Wikipedia on how this song came to be.  R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck wrote the main riff and chorus to the song on a mandolin while watching television one day. Buck had just bought the instrument and was attempting to learn how to play it, recording the music as he practiced. Buck said that “when I listened back to it the next day, there was a bunch of stuff that was really just me learning how to play mandolin, and then there’s what became ‘Losing My Religion’, and then a whole bunch more of me learning to play the mandolin.

In the song, Michael Stipe sings the lines “That’s me in the corner/That’s me in the spotlight/Losing my religion”. 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.” Stipe told The New York Times the song was about romantic expression. He told Q that “Losing My Religion” is about “someone who pines for someone else. It’s unrequited love, what have you.” Stipe compared the song’s theme to “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, saying, “It’s just a classic obsession pop song. I’ve always felt the best kinds of songs are the ones where anybody can listen to it, put themselves in it and say, ‘Yeah, that’s me.”

It’s actually coming together pretty well and should be ready by the time our next show rolls around.  In the mean time here’s a link to the original video for your viewing and listening pleasure.  Study up on your lyrics so you can sing along with us too. Hope you enjoy it.


~WPF Dewey


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