Saturday, January 8, 2011

LIFES RICH PAGEANT: THESE DAYS

This is a favorite of mine.  I think it's because of the Tourfilm performance, but it's such an uplifting and empowering song.  If the album didn't have you at 'Begin The Begin' it gets you here.  On 'Olympia' Stipe says that this song was important to him because it was written after a dark period and there is definitely a lightness to this song and the entire album.  There's something joyful and optimistic going on here 'despite the times.'
  I've put in a nod to the activist Carrie (or Carry) Nation here.  I'm fairly sure I hear this from Mills on the first two verses, but by the end it sounds like carryations (not a word, but that hasn't stopped the band before).  Carry Nation was an activist, primarily against alcohol.  After a rough first marriage to a raging alcoholic she would hold demonstrations against bars and was known for going in with a hatchet and literally breaking up the bar.  She definitely seems to exemplify this song, but if Mills was going to drop a reference like this on the background vocals, it seems like he would do it a little more openly, so for now the reference might be my wishful ears ...

THESE DAYS
Yeah I’m not feeding off you
I will rearrange your scales
If I can
And I can
March into the ocean, march into the sea
Had a hat I put it down and it sunk
Reached down yanked it up, slapped it on my head
All the people gathered

Fly to carry each his burden
(Light and sing Carrie Nation)
We are young despite the years
We are concern, we are hope despite the times
All of a sudden these days
Happy throngs take this joy wherever, wherever

I wish to eat each one of you and
You
Me
You
If I can, and I can
We have many things in common name three
(three, three, three)
I had a hat and it sunk
Reached down yanked it up, slapped it on my head
All the people gathered

Fly to carry each his burden
(Light and sing Carrie Nations)
We are young despite the years
We are concern, we are hope despite the times
All of a sudden these days
Happy throngs take this joy wherever, wherever you go

And I’m not feeding off you
I will rearrange your scales
If I can
And I can
I wish to eat each one of you and
You
Me
You
I had a hat and it sunk
Reached down yanked it up, slapped it on my head
All the people gathered

Fly to carry each his burden
(Light and sing Carrie Nations)
We are young despite the years
We are concern, we are hope despite the times
All of a sudden these days
Happy throngs take this joy wherever, wherever you

Carry each his burden
(Fly you sing Carrie Nations)
We are young despite the years
We are concern, we are hope despite the times
All of a sudden these days
Happy throngs take this joy wherever, wherever you go
(Take away, scatter the bones of my meal)


This might be the most fun R.E.M. song to play ever, even when I used to play it incorrectly based on the internet info.  Still fun.  Couple of extras here ... the doodles at the end of the lead, and the cool ending.  The lead is amazing, a nice mix of picking and riffing and leading ... only Buck could swing this.  Keep in mind that in the verse, the E chord rings before the D to A.  Also, notice the 'Wolves, Lower' G chord here?  There is also a third guitar somewhere in the verse muting the power chords.  Enjoy!

THESE DAYS
Intro/ Bridge to last verse
e|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-5-3-0-----0----|
B|-5-5-5-5-5-0-0-0-0-0-5-5-5-5------3b-0-0----|
G|-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-4-----------1----|
D|-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-----------2----|
A|---------------------------------------2----|
E|---------------------------------------0----|

Verse
e|-0---0-0-0-0---0-0-0-3---3-3-3---3---3-3-3------|
B|-0---3-2-0-0---3-2-0-3---3-3-3-3-3---3-3-3-3----|
G|-1---2-2-0-1---2-2-0-4---5-4-5---4---5-4-5------|
D|-2-------0-2-------0----------------------------|
A|-2-------0-2-------0----------------------------|
E|-0-------0-0-------0----------------------------|

Guitar 2
e|------------------------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------3---------3-----|
G|---------------4>5-4-2-0---5-4-5-0---5-4-5------|
D|------------------------------------------------|
A|------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------|

Bridge to Chorus
e|-2------|
B|-4------|
G|-4------|
D|-4------|
A|-2------|
E|-2------|


Chorus
e|-0-0-3-2-0---0-3---0-0-3-2-0---0----|
B|-0-0-3-3-2---3-3---0-0-3-3-2---0----|
G|-1-3-0-2-2---2-0---1-3-0-2-2---2----|
D|-2-4-0-0-2---2-0---2-4-0-0-2---2----|
A|-2-4-2---0---0-2---2-4-2---0---0----|
E|-0-0-3---0---0-3---0-0-3---0---0----|

End of Chorus
e|-0-0-3----0-0--|
B|-0-0-3----2-0--|
G|-1-3-0----2-1--|
D|-2-4-0----2-2--|
A|-2-4-2----0-2--|
E|-0-0-3----0-0--|

Lead
e|---0--0--0---0---0--0-0--0--0---|
B|--0-0---0-0---0---0----0--0-----|
G|-4---7-6---12--11--9-7--9--9----|
D|--------------------------------|
A|--------------------------------|
E|--------------------------------|


Guitar 2 at end of lead
e|----12---12-------------------|
B|--12-------12-----------------|

End
e|-0-0-3----2-0-0-0--|
B|-0-0-3----3-2-3-0--|
G|-1-3-0----2-2-2-1--|
D|-2-4-0----0-0-0-2--|
A|-2-4-2----------2--|
E|-0-0-3----------0--|


4 comments:

  1. Nice post! I didn't even realise there was an open B during the opening riff - great tabbing.

    After reading your post, I was curious to find out just what exactly Mike Mills was singing in the first line of that chorus. So, after a bit of tinkering on Audacity, I managed to isolate Mills' backing vocals without Michael Stipe drowning him out. From my hearing, the first line of Mike's lyrics is this:

    "Fly to scare, carry ages"

    Although he says "ages" like "eeges". :)
    I'm not sure if this is wholly correct (he might just be saying gobbledegook, like he does sometimes in "Hyena"), that's just how I hear it. I got the audio from a Tourfilm bootleg I have in which Mike is louder than Michael.

    P.S. Good luck with the Chronic Town gig! If you could post a vid too that would be awesome. :P

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  2. I have noticed that this is one of those songs where Mills has an idea of the background. I too listened to the Tourfilm audio and the more recent live stuff and it's never really the same. Not sure why this is. On Pageant, I am sure I hear the word sing ... a lot of the rest is speculation ... thanks for the props ...

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  3. Are you sure there's not a C chord in the chorus?

    ReplyDelete