Begin the Begin

Album: Lifes Rich Pageant (1986)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This is the opening track from R.E.M.'s fourth album. It was never released as a single.
  • The title "Begin the Begin" is a spin on Cole Porter's classic "Begin The Beguine."'
  • This song is one of Peter Buck's favorite R.E.M. songs to listen to and play, he noted in the liner notes for the compilation Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage. "It set a tough beginning for Lifes Rich Pageant, and I remember it was one of the first things we finished for the record. I recall bringing it in and although it was kind of a complicated song, it paves the way for the fact that Pageant is going a little more focused and loud. Lyrically it points to what we were doing on the record and it pushed us in that direction."
  • Frontman Michael Stipe added: "I always liked opening a song with 'a birdie and a hand.' Two fantastically honest gestures, the f--k off!, and the rampant applause."
  • "Begin the Begin" is also the title of a season two episode of Grey's Anatomy.
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Matt SorumSongwriter Interviews

When he joined Guns N' Roses in 1990, Matt helped them craft an orchestral sound; his mezzo fortes and pianissimos are all over "November Rain."

Zakk WyldeSongwriter Interviews

When he was playing Ozzfest with Black Label Society, a kid told Zakk he was the best Ozzy guitarist - Zakk had to correct him.

Al Jourgensen of MinistrySongwriter Interviews

In the name of song explanation, Al talks about scoring heroin for William Burroughs, and that's not even the most shocking story in this one.

Lajon Witherspoon of SevendustSongwriter Interviews

The Sevendust frontman talks about the group's songwriting process, and how trips to the Murder Bar helped forge their latest album.

Dino Cazares of Fear FactorySongwriter Interviews

The guitarist/songwriter explains how he came up with his signature sound, and deconstructs some classic Fear Factory songs.

Into The Great Wide Open: Made-up MusiciansSong Writing

Eddie (played by Johnny Depp in the video) found fame fleeting, but Chuck Berry's made-up musician fared better.