Lift Me Up
by Moby

Album: Hotel (2005)
Charted: 18
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • After George W. Bush was re-elected as president of the United States in 2004, a frustrated Moby contemplated the rise of intolerance and fundamentalism in the world. While the anthemic lead single from Hotel, his seventh studio album, isn't specifically about Bush, it is about how leaders like him are able to stay in power.

    "'Lift Me Up' is about the human propensity towards turning off our higher, critical, rational cognitive functions and willfully and enthusiastically degenerating to an atavistic tribal state wherein we don't judge things from an empirical, rational perspective, but rather from a limbic, feral, tribal perspective," Moby explained on his website.

    "And it's also about how religious leaders and political leaders (and, well, entertainers, too…but hopefully in a relatively benign way…) play upon people's willingness to lose themselves in said atavistic, tribal, collective, irrational behavior. (Most descriptive line: 'It's sweeter than doubt,' regarding the certainty that comes with 'true belief')."
  • Moby wrote this as a tribute to the English goth-rock band The Sisters of Mercy, who released a string of UK hits in the mid-'80s, including "This Corrosion" and "Dominion." He wanted to get the band's frontman, Andrew Eldritch, to sing on the tune, but he couldn't track him down.
  • Broadway performer Shayna Steele (Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar), provided backing vocals.
  • Moby chose neutral titles for the songs so listeners wouldn't know what to expect from the album. "Then, once you actually get into the record, the record is very personal, very emotional," he told The Age. The idea of finding intimacy in an unassuming space also informed the album title, Hotel.

    He continued: "I'm particularly fascinated by the fact that hotels on one hand are these great anonymous public places but they are also really personal intimate spaces as well, and it's that paradox that one space, a hotel room, which is the most neutral, anonymous place in the world, becomes such an intimate space for so many people."
  • If you're wondering what the heck Moby is singing in the chorus, he's actually calling out to a deity of sorts: "Lift me up, higher now, Ama." God names such as Buddha, Jehovah, Allah, and Krishna, all have an 'ah' sound in common that Moby was trying to emulate. He explained: "I thought that it would be interesting to have a word that sounded sort of like the name of a deity, but not specifically so."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Muhammad Ali: His Musical Legacy and the Songs he Inspired

Muhammad Ali: His Musical Legacy and the Songs he InspiredSong Writing

Before he was the champ, Ali released an album called I Am The Greatest!, but his musical influence is best heard in the songs he inspired.

Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes

Chris Robinson of The Black CrowesSongwriter Interviews

"Great songwriters don't necessarily have hit songs," says Chris. He's written a bunch, but his fans are more interested in the intricate jams.

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the Song

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the SongSong Writing

How a goofy detective movie, a disenchanted director and an unlikely songwriter led to one of the biggest hits in pop history.

Paul Williams

Paul WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

He's a singer and an actor, but as a songwriter Paul helped make Kermit a cultured frog, turned a bank commercial into a huge hit and made love both "exciting and new" and "soft as an easy chair."

Butch Vig

Butch VigSongwriter Interviews

The Garbage drummer/songwriter produced the Nirvana album Nevermind, and Smashing Pumpkins' Gish and Siamese Dream.

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater RevivalFact or Fiction

Is "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" about Vietnam? Was John Fogerty really born on a Bayou? It's the CCR edition of Fact or Fiction.