Fall on Me (2:51)

Cover of Eponymous

From Eponymous and 62 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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  • champor

    One of their best songs!!!!!

    5 Nov 2014 Reply
  • swift933

    I remeber my older days.

    10 Jul 2014 Reply
  • Ohlmann

    One of the songs for the island!

    9 Jul 2014 Reply
  • Jibiti

    Unplugged version is fantastic.

    15 Jun 2014 Reply
  • AFtorum

    One of those that, like, define me.

    24 May 2014 Reply
  • mydesperateicon

    best REM song

    1 May 2013 Reply
  • robertfjr

    "Well I could keep it above, but then it wouldn't be sky anymore, so if I send it to you, you've got to promise to keep it whole..." >> Favourite lines. [2]

    28 Mar 2013 Reply
  • CAVermeer

    This has been my favorite R.E.M. for many, many years, and I love rather a lot of them. One of the best bands ever.

    20 Nov 2012 Reply
  • WiseJake237

    Possibly R.E.M.'s most hauntingly beautiful song. And they have a lot of contenders.

    15 Nov 2012 Reply
  • rikrijean


    17 Oct 2012 Reply
  • sdkyle

    In my top 10, all time.

    5 Aug 2012 Reply
  • dascotton

    Aaaahhhh!! Got to love it.

    5 Jul 2012 Reply
  • Predelnik

    "Well I could keep it above, but then it wouldn't be sky anymore, so if I send it to you, you've got to promise to keep it whole..." >> Favourite lines.

    13 May 2012 Reply
  • Dani_Gabarrot

    it´s just too good

    22 Mar 2012 Reply
  • crocy2


    13 Jan 2012 Reply
  • Cloudspotter

    Fine tune. :)

    28 Oct 2011 Reply
  • skank_pit

    Thanks for the music REM, this is one of my favourites!

    28 Sep 2011 Reply
  • Irlandese64

    I loved REM the most during this time....Life's Rich Pageant, Reckoning, Fables of the Reconstruction. This tune is one of my favorites.

    28 Sep 2011 Reply
  • Miggity-Max

    I think I have more of a problem with Live being included as similar. Yikes.

    23 Sep 2011 Reply
  • sdonoh

    Similar artists include U2 and The Police??? Depends on your definition of "similar", I suppose

    13 Jun 2011 Reply
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