Sunday Music #4

Posted by Flat Eric on
Category: Music58 Comments

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There is nothing we love more here at Jammy Toast than listening to some of our favourite tunes. From time to time we will post a music video from an artist or genre that we think will be enjoyable to you; our friends. We often feature music that you may not have come across before, or music that maybe you just missed the first time around. Try and listen with an open mind, you never know, you may find something you can add to your iPod. If you have any music videos you would like us to feature then drop us a line – we are always happy to listen to requests but we cannot promise to feature everyone’s favourite

“Nightswimming” is a song by REM and released in 1993 as the fifth single from the group’s album Automatic for the People. The song is a ballad featuring singer Michael Stipe accompanied only by bassist Mike Mills on piano and with a string arrangement by former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones and an oboe played by Deborah Workman in the latter part. Stipe sings about a group of friends who go skinny dipping at night, which draws from similar experiences in the band’s early days.

Mike Mills recalled he was playing a piano riff at John Keane’s studio in the band’s hometown of Athens, Georgia. While he almost discarded the melody, it attracted the interest of singer Michael Stipe. Mills said, “I never thought it would amount to much because it was just a circular thing that kept going round and round and round. But it inspired Michael.”

While the song was not included on the Out of Time album which they were recording at the time, the demo recorded during those sessions was used for Automatic for the People. Mills has also claimed he recorded the piano part at Criteria Studios in Miami, on the same piano used by Derek and the Dominos on the recording of “Layla”.

“Michael listened once, nodded his head to hear it again, and on the second pass he sang the lyrics. It was “Nightswimming,” exactly like the record we would record a year later,” explained Peter Buck in 2003. “I was standing in the corner, dumbfounded.”

The inspiration for the song has been debated by the band members. Mills said, “It’s based on true events”, explaining that in the early 1980s REM and its circle of friends would go skinny dipping after the Athens clubs closed at night. “We’d go to parties, we’d go to the clubs and we’d go to the Ball Pump, and there would be any number of these same 50 people, so it was a very tight circle of friends.” Peter Buck holds a similar interpretation. However, Stipe has denied that that is the topic of the song; rather, Stipe says the song is about a “kind of an innocence that’s either kind of desperately clung onto or obviously lost.” Stipe said there are autobiographical elements to the song, but insists most of it is “made up.”

The music was written by Mike Mills and Michael Stipe wrote the words but the song is credited to the whole band as was their custom at the time.

This version of the song was recorded on the “Later… with Jools Holland” show on 14th October 2003.


REM – Nightswimming

REM – Nightswimming.

Don’t forget, if you have any music videos you would like us to feature in the future, drop us a line. We are always happy to listen to requests from others, we cannot promise to feature any but we will try our best to find the videos if we think others will enjoy.

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Flat Eric

Flat Eric is a star of Levi’s commercials for Sta-Prest One Crease Denim Clothing. His name comes from an idea for a commercial that included having a car run over his head and flattening it. The idea was not used but the name stuck. Flat Eric rides with his friend Angel around California, evading the police as a wanted criminal.

58 Comments on “Sunday Music #4”

      1. Jamie Carragher, Ian Rush, Scoach, Lorah , Cilla Black, The Beatles, The las, Robbie Fowler, Lilly Savage, Scouse Dave, Kev’s Cabs, Darren Gee, Purple Aki, your boys have took one of hell of a beating!!

  1. Rolf report 5 Oct

    Most days my humans drive me to campus in my catmobile. If they didn’t I would go there anyway & this way I stay safe. I love the journey. I am attentive & curious the whole time, watching the world go by from the window. I hop out as soon as we arrive.

    Rolf x

  2. I wish my human would stop taking these embarrassing photos of me. I knew I wouldn’t fit in this tiny box but I just needed to make certain. I gave her a serious look, but she ignored it and took the photo anyway.

  3. As they stumped along the path they didn’t say much to each other; but when they came to the stream, and had helped each other across the stepping-stones, and were able to walk side by side over the heather, they began to talk in a friendly way.

  4. It’s a message from the football gods to take your grubby beach towels down from the window. Like decayed flowers left tied to a railing, at a scene of a crash that nobody can remember.

    Channelling my inner Morrissey there.

  5. I’ve just dropped the whole biscuit in my cuppa tea so no ones getting a good morning, not a single person, not even meself. Woeful start to the day.

  6. Okay, real effort now with the diet & that’s a promise. Fresh grilled tomatoes on whole wheat toast for dinner tonight and grilled mushrooms for my breakfast brunch. I felt that putting it in writing would force me have to keep to my promise!

  7. These Monday mornings come round thick & fast. I’m supervising the goings on in the corridor. My whiskers are just a bit frizzy due to a dash outside in the rain. Won’t make that mistake again.

  8. Who could have foreseen that Dido Harding, who lost the data of 157,000 customers when she was in charge of TalkTalk, might lose 16,000 test results?

  9. BREAKING: Ed Woodward has gone for emergency talks with the Glazers.

    Wait…no…sorry, I read that wrong. It’s the glaziers he’s gone to see. Someone’s put his windows in.

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