Fall on Me (2:51)

Cover of Eponymous

From Eponymous and 57 other releases

This was the first of two singles released from the Lifes Rich Pageant album. It peaked at #94 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it never charted on the UK Singles Charts.

Though Michael Stipe described the song once as “pretty much a song about oppression,” the song is about acid rain and its effects on the environment, hence the first line of the chorus, “Don’t fall on me.”

In audience patter prior to a performance of the song on VH1 Storytellers in 1998, Stipe mentioned the apocryphal tale of Galileo Galilei dropping feathers and lead weights off the Leaning Tower of Pisa (to test the laws of gravity) as partial inspiration for the first verse:

“I was reading an article in Boston when I was on tour with the Golden Palominos, and Chris Stamey showed me this article about this guy that did an experiment from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, whereby he dropped a pound of feathers and a pound of iron to prove that there was… a difference in the… … density. What did he prove? I don’t even know. “What?” asked Stipe. “They fall just as fast,” repeated the disembodied voice. “They fall just as fast,” echoed Stipe. “Thank you very much. Gentleman on the balcony there! And so there it is… and uhhh. I’ll just shut up and sing it.”

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