Nightswimming (4:15)

Cover of In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003

From In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 and 50 other releases

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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Albums featuring this track (51)

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  • riberychen


    15 Dec 2014 Reply
  • MackSpane

    As I've said on other tracks, this was performed and recorded when there was an actual person playing the instruments instead of some computer generated crap in the background, and some youngster mouthing off. Mad Respect for Michael Stipe!

    25 Nov 2014 Reply
  • deathsdemise123

    Beautiful track. For some, this would be a career highlight. It's (arguably) not even the best track on the album.

    15 Sep 2014 Reply
  • aicstpgnr


    2 Aug 2014 Reply
  • nf13

    The strings tuning up at the beginning <3

    8 Jul 2014 Reply
  • R_i_C_h_A_r_D

    7 Jul 2014 Reply
  • shep_shepherd

    My favourite R.E.M. track of all :)

    26 Jun 2014 Reply
  • HerbNhero

    everything about this song is flawless. imagery, mood, vocals, lyrics, composition...xelene_x said it best.

    23 May 2014 Reply
  • joshsaussey

    A beautiful, sweet and innocent track. Love Michael's vocals on this, so heart-felt.

    12 Mar 2014 Reply
  • theironictea

    That voice-crack. I love it.

    10 Feb 2014 Reply
  • Elyssyan

    Love R.E.M ♥

    30 Sep 2013 Reply
  • xelene_x

    This song is so cinematic and gorgeous. I don't think REM ever mastered musical textures as well again as on this record. The feeling of longing and solitude is just so palpable as to be absolutely inescapable.

    26 Sep 2013 Reply
  • CDPETE01

    Two problems with where near any water and I can't swim,somehow night drowning doesn't have the same ring to the track though

    18 Jul 2013 Reply
  • juansebastianpj

    emotiva hasta decir basta.

    29 Jun 2013 Reply
  • TuneBlendR

    Reminds me of going night diving... in calm waters off the coastal reefs of Maui.

    3 Jun 2013 Reply
  • CainDavies

    I wish I remembered to listen to this more

    5 Mar 2013 Reply
  • sassychavi

    Yeah this song is perfect. (2)

    25 Jan 2013 Reply
  • glovetalker

    I went skinny dipping at the beach, 2 weekends ago. with some friends and I couldnt stop singing this song. But the only words I could remember were "Night SwiMMMing" over and over again... I think i ruined everyone's good times....

    28 Aug 2012 Reply
  • randyalbanist

    Love this song.

    26 Aug 2012 Reply
  • linzi76


    23 Aug 2012 Reply
  • All 252 shouts

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