Belong

Album: Out Of Time (1991)

Songfacts®:

  • Written by the band while they were on tour, Michael Stipe explained in the October 1992 issue of Q magazine: "(It's) about a mother and child, especially the strong bond that exists between them. The voice is neither hers nor the child's, however. It's someone else commenting on the sense that the bond between a mother and child is the most powerful love of all... I think it's significant to state that it's not a song about defenestration.

    I took great pains to clarify that in the vocal. There's an event that's occurred somewhere far away that has come to the attention of the woman who's the protagonist of the song, and she realizes how significant that thing is to her child and herself, and she goes to the window to take a breath. I think that when I first wrote the song, it did seem like the woman hurled herself and her child out of the window, but that's not what occurs."
  • Producer Scott Litt recalled to Mojo: "I kinda stole the hand claps and finger snaps from 'Under Pressure.' And Michael (Stipe) pulled a kind of John Lennon move, like how Lennon would ask for his vocal to sound like he was on the moon? Michael said he wanted to sound completely detached, like in another place. So we rigged up a Sony Walkman that would record directly to tape. So you get that weird compressed sound, and Michael actually recorded it in a garage at Prince's Paisley Park Studio in Minneapolis, which was where we mixed Out of Time."

    "Sometimes when a musician says to you they want something to sound like it's from another place, sometimes the best thing to do is record it in another place."

Comments: 3

  • Cjsf from Space CoastThe lyrics shown for this song are for "We All Go Back To Where We Belong" (from "Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage 1982–2011") not "Belong". The lyrics for this song are:

    Her world collapsed early Sunday morning
    She got up from the kitchen table
    Folded the newspaper and silenced the radio
    Those creatures jumped the barricades
    And have headed for the sea, sea

    Ooh
    Ooh
    Those creatures jumped the barricades
    And have headed for the sea
    She began to breathe
    To breathe at the thought of such freedom
    Stood and whispered to her child, belong
    She held the child and whispered
    With calm, calm, belong

    Ooh
    Ooh
    Ooh
    Ooh
    She stood and whispered to her child, belong
    She held the child and whispered
    With calm, calm, belong

    Ooh
    Ooh
    Ooh
    Ooh
    Those barricades can only hold for so long
    Her world collapsed early Sunday morning
    She took the child held tight
    Opened the window
    A breath, this song, how long
    And knew, knew, belong
    Ooh
    Ooh
    Ooh
    Ooh
  • Mark from New York, NyFantastic song, fantastic vocals (especially MTV live version.
  • Tom from Marietta, OhI love the song and the imagery of it (although I was never quite sure what it all meant), but what amazes me most about this article is that there is a word specifically for the act of throwing something out of a window.
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