Man-Sized Wreath

Album: Accelerate (2008)
Play Video


  • Originally this track wasn't going to be on Accelerate, but after trialling this during some live rehearsals for their Dublin shows in the summer of 2007 R.E.M. decided to include it. Frontman Michael Stipe explained to Uncut magazine February 2008: "We did change things based on audience reaction. There was one song that I announced as a B-side. We were basically just fleshing out the set by playing it. It's not a song we even thought might make the grade, but the reaction from the audience indicated that it should most definitely be a contender. That's called 'Man-Size Wreath.'"

    Stipe added to Q Magazine April 2008 that when he called "Man-Size Wreath" a B-side at the Dublin rehearsals, Bono, who was in the crowd, yelled out, "There are no B-sides anymore."
  • This song was inspired by President Bush's visit to Martin Luther King's tomb on his 75th birthday in 2004, a gesture which was met by busloads of protesters. Stipe told the Daily Telegraph March 8, 2008: "The President showed up, stood with [Dr King's widow] Coretta Scott King, and protesters were held back. He gave a speech. We [the public] paid for the trip because he flew there on Air Force One, but he was also doing a charitable event for the Republican Party the same day, so they made a couple of million bucks. He gave this speech next to Coretta, who didn't want to stand there with him, but agreed to do so if she could make some kind of anti-war statement. I'm not sure exactly how it went down, but there were so many protesters in Atlanta that they used buses to keep them away from him. I was so insulted by that. So that's the genesis of that song."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Amy Grant

Amy GrantSongwriter Interviews

The top Contemporary Christian artist of all time on song inspirations and what she learned from Johnny Carson.

Actors With Hit Songs

Actors With Hit SongsMusic Quiz

Many actors have attempted music, but only a few have managed a hit. Do you know which of these thespians charted?

Michael Sweet of Stryper

Michael Sweet of StryperSongwriter Interviews

Find out how God and glam metal go together from the Stryper frontman.

Songs About Movies

Songs About MoviesSong Writing

Iron Maiden, Adele, Toto, Eminem and Earth, Wind & Fire are just some of the artists with songs directly inspired by movies - and not always good ones.

Frankie Valli

Frankie ValliSong Writing

An interview with Frankie Valli, who talks about why his songs - both solo and with The Four Seasons - have endured, and reflects on his time as Rusty Millio on The Sopranos.

Loudon Wainwright III

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.