Oh My Heart

Album: Collapse Into Now (2011)
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Songfacts®:

  • Recorded in New Orleans and written as a post-Katrina prayer, this ballad with a funeral march feel was first performed live on a National Public Radio podcast in 2010. The studio version leaked on to the internet via R.E.M.'s own website at the start of the following year.
  • Stipe's lyric for this soulful lament for New Orleans follows on from Accelerate's "Houston," with its Katrina-refugee this time returning home to the Louisiana city. After bemoaning the destruction of his home city, the protagonist focuses more on the overcoming of adversity. "This place needs me here to start/ This place is the beat of my heart," sings Stipe.
  • "New Orleans, being the heart and soul of American music, is a city that we've always loved, that has seen more than their fair share of misfortune lately," bassist Mike Mills told The West Australian. "It's a town that could use a little bit of a boost."
  • When Peter Buck first heard the demo for this song, he thought of the TV show Deadwood, a historical crime series set in South Dakota. "You know ... drunk guys lying in the mud and the rain. That just somehow felt appropriate," he wrote in the liner notes for Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage.
  • Jem Cohen shot the music video in Vienna, Austria, while on location for a feature film. Cohen has also directed the videos for "Belong," "Country Feedback," "Nightswimming," "Talk About the Passion" and "E-Bow the Letter."

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