Song Lyric Sunday – 13 December 2020 – Orange Crush

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. Jim has given us Apple /Banana /Cherry /Olive /Orange /Strawberry this week to be included in the title or lyrics.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

The band I’m featuring this week is R.E.M. an American rock band from Athens, Georgia. The band was formed in 1980 by drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and lead singer Michael Stipe, all of whom were students at the University of Georgia. They disbanded, amicably, in 2011.

Orange Crush was released as the first single from the band’s sixth studio album, “Green”, in 1988. It was not commercially released in the U.S. despite reaching number one as a promotional single It peaked at number 28 on the UK Singles Chart, making it the band’s then-highest chart hit in Britain.

The song’s title is a reference to the chemical defoliant Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War. Stipe opened the song during The Green World Tour by singing the U.S. Army recruiting slogan, “Be all you can be… in the Army.” Stipe’s father served in the Vietnam War.

I think R.E.M. were best when performing live. Here is a recording from a 2003 performance in Germany.

….and here a remastered studio recorded version

The middle section of the lyrics mimics the helicopters flying over and around to disperse the defoliant Agent Orange, used to destroy the overhead cover of the Viet Cong. Little did they realise that it was also destroying the lungs, and other organs, of the civilian population, and American soldiers and airmen. That legacy continues to kill people today!

Lyrics

I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(Collar me, don’t collar me)
I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(We are agents of the free)
I’ve had my fun and now it’s time to serve your conscience overseas
(Over me, not over me)
Coming in fast, over me (oh, oh)

I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(Collar me, don’t collar me)
I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(We are agents of the free)
I’ve had my fun and now it’s time to serve your conscience overseas
(Over me, not over me)
Coming in fast, over me (oh, oh)

High on the roof, thin the blood
Another one came on the waves tonight
Comin’ in, you’re home

We would circle and we’d circle and we’d circle to stop and consider and centered on the pavement stacked up all the trucks jacked up and our wheels in slush and orange crush in pocket and all this here county, hell, any county, it’s just like heaven here, and I was remembering and I was just in a different county and all then this whirlybird that I headed for I had my goggles pulled off; I knew it all, I knew every back road and every truck stop

I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(Collar me, don’t collar me)
I’ve got my spine, I’ve got my orange crush
(We are agents of the free)
I’ve had my fun and now it’s time to serve your conscience overseas
(Over me, not over me)
Coming in fast, over me (oh, oh)

High on the roof, thin the blood
Another one climbs on the waves tonight
Comin’ in, you’re home

High on the roof, thin the blood
Another one climbs on the waves tonight
Comin’ in, you’re home

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Mills / Berry / Buck / Stipe

Orange Crush lyrics © Night Garden Music

18 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday – 13 December 2020 – Orange Crush

  1. I liked the R.E,M, live video, thanks for sharing your music again Peter. I read that Michael Stipe was hopped up on sake and he wrongly heard his buddy saying “follow me, follow me I’ve got my rice I’ve got my orange duck”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A powerful, important song that makes me sad. (I have family members and friends who were in Vietnam…some were in the military by choice…others had been drafted as 18 year olds.)
    But, so glad this song is a part of history.
    Michael Stipe is an amazing songwriter.
    (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I always feel such sympathy for the real casualties of war – the long suffering civilians caught up in conflict from both sides. So sad.
    The song was a new one on me,

    Liked by 1 person

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