The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite

The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite (R.E.M.)

  • 18 Aug 15:50
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"The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite" is a song by the American alternative rock band R.E.M. It was influenced by the song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", both in the title of the song and through the song's opening refrain. The band used "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" as the B-side to this song.

The song was released on the band's 1992 album Automatic for the People and was later released as a single in 1993, reaching #17 in the UK singles chart.

The song was placed on R.E.M.'s Warner Brothers "best of" album In Time - The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 in 2003, although Peter Buck's personal sleeve notes on the song were not complimentary. It was one of four songs from Automatic for the People to make the compilation, more than from any other album.

The song's complete title is not featured in the lyrics, but there is the line, "the sidewinder sleeps in a coil" as well as the later line "the sidewinder sleeps on its back".

The lyrics are famously easy to mishear. A 2010 survey found that the chorus line "Call me when you try to wake her" was the most misheard lyric in Britain, beating Purple Haze into second place. The most common mishearing of the chorus line is "Calling Jamaica".

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