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R.E.M. - Nightswimming

[Verse 1]
Nightswimming deserves a quiet night
The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago
Turned around backwards so the windshield shows
Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse
Still, it's so much clearer
I forgot my shirt at the water's edge
The moon is low tonight

[Verse 2]
Nightswimming deserves a quiet night
I'm not sure all these people understand
It's not like years ago
The fear of getting caught
Of recklessness and water
They cannot see me naked
These things, they go away
Replaced by everyday

[Verse 3]
Nightswimming, remembering that night
September's coming soon
I'm pining for the moon
And what if there were two
Side by side in orbit
Around the fairest sun?
That bright, tight forever drum
Could not describe nightswimming

Track 11 of 12 on the album Automatic For The People. In the liner notes of 'In Time: The Best of R.E.M.' (2003) guitarist Peter Buck says that this is the only R.E.M. song where the lyrics came before the music. Lead singer Michael Stipe told Buck & bassist/ keyboardist Mike Mills he had written a full set of lyrics & maybe they could find some suitable music. When the band returned to the studio, Mills played a piece on the piano which fit Stipe's lyrics perfectly. The song is supposedly about swimming naked at night (or 'skinny dipping') but many have their own interpretations.

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