Steve Berlin of Los Lobos plays the saxophone on this track. Berlin was a friend of the band since their early days: in 1982, R.E.M. was a supporting act for the Chicano-Punk band "The Plugz," which Berlin was a member of at that time.
The lyrics come from an excerpt of a speech of Mother Ann Lee, leader of the American Shaker sect in the 18th century. (source: Inside Out by Craig Rosen, thanks, Martin - Rostock, Germany)
In The Beatles "When I'm 64," Paul McCartney asks a woman if she'll still be there for him when he's 64. In 2006, he got his answer when shortly before his 64th birthday, he and Heather Mills separated.