I came across this in the big tape hunt, the lyric sheet for the recording session of the MTX cover of REM’s “Can’t Get there from Here.”
Kevin Army used to use the written-out lyrics as a sort of “score” to follow along with the track for overdubs and punch-ins and such, as you can see from the time codes written next to certain lines. What this usually meant, up to a certain point, was that I’d go off in a corner and scribble them out right before the vocals were recorded, while he was setting up the mic. (I say “up to a certain point” because eventually I got a little more serious and organized and brought in typed-up printed-out lyrics to begin with: that point was… probably somewhere around ’94. That’s still the method now, when it does happen.)
So this lyric sheet survived, though the master didn’t. (Or if it did, it was tacked on to some tape and not labelled as such.) It was originally recorded for a compilation of REM covers called Surprise Your Pig, and it subsequently appeared on the Lookout Records Big Black Bugs compilation CD; and now it’s back “in print” on the MTX Shards Vol. 1 comp.
As I explained in the Shards liner notes, the distinguishing feature here, and the fun part, was coming up with absurd sound-alike words for the incomprehensible Michael Stipe mumbles on the original record. I feel I got off some pretty good ones. However, it was only recently when I took a look at the REM video (for possible cannibalization into some kind of video for the present recording) that I noticed bouncing-ball style lyrics on it and realized that some of my deliberately stupid sound-alike lines actually were the real lyrics!
Not “Donna Reed is not my mom” and “dem bones” though. Those are all ours.
I guess that’s what you get with a couple of inadvertent dueling absurdists. No one really knows whom the joke’s on in the end. Well, it’s me, right? I knew that actually.