Sunday Music: Nightswimming

Remember those friends that clearly got things so much faster than you when you were growing up?

My buddy Jeff told me how amazing “Nightswimming” by R.E.M. was. He said listen and listen close. It was the best song on the whole album. I thought it was fine, but, wasn’t it just a kind of poppy alt-ballad? Wasn’t “Losing My Religion” or even “Everybody Hurts” more interesting?

Nope. I mean, they’re cool, but ‘Nightswimming” is THE song on “Automatic for the People.”

It wasn’t until the end of high school or maybe college when it started to be track I kept going back to. Maybe because he planted the seed. Maybe because I was finally old enough to start understanding this type of sentimentality.

It got stuck in my head this week with the chill coming back to the air and the reminder summer is ending. It’s a good time for it. To reflect. Because, like Jeff used to sing to me when I said the song was only “ok I guess,” – in that impassioned-yet-melodramatic friend trying to convince you voice, “Nightswimming – deserves a quiet night….”

ps. Jeff also memorized Lisa Loeb’s “Stay (I Missed You)” lyrics and choreography from the music video, exclusively so he could re-enact the entire thing flawlessly anytime it came on, anywhere. Anytime. Anywhere. It was always good for a laugh. And that’s what friends are for.

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