Lotus (song)

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Single by R.E.M.
from the album Up
B-side "Surfing The Ganges"
Released December 7, 1998
Format 7", cassette, CD, Japanese 3" CD
Recorded 1998
Genre Alternative rock
Length 4:31
Label Warner Bros.
Producer(s) Pat McCarthy and R.E.M.
R.E.M. singles chronology
"At My Most Beautiful"

"Lotus" is a song by R.E.M., released as the second single from their eleventh studio album Up.

The song's recurring line "I ate the lotus" appeared in an alternate form ("I'll eat the lotus...") in a previous R.E.M. song, "Be Mine".

The line "dot dot dot and I feel fine" is a reference to R.E.M.'s 1987 hit "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)".

The song is somewhat minimalist, with Michael Stipe singing surreal lyrics in a percussive manner. It builds on a four-note keyboard part, with a distorted guitar riff at the beginning and after the second chorus.

The single's video, directed by Stéphane Sednaoui, was included as a bonus video on the DVD release of In View - The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003. "I wanted to work with Stephane for a long time," Stipe explained to MTV UK during An Hour with R.E.M. in 2001 after selecting the video for airplay. "Since I saw the video that he did with Björk for, what was that called, "Big Time Sexuality" or something? Where she looks exactly like Shirley MacLaine, 1959-1961. The Apartment, I think, was the name of the film. Shirley McLaine and Björk as Shirley MacLaine on the back of a pick-up truck driving down 5th Avenue in New York City, probably. But I thought this guy exudes sex, he's like sex on a stick, and I wanted to work with him for that reason. He somehow transmogrified that very thing through me. I look very, very foxy in this video, which is why I chose it; it shows off my incredible stomach muscles."

For live performances of the song, Peter Buck alternates between electric guitar (chorus) and keyboard (verse). "[Playing keyboard] always excites me," Buck explained in a soundbite during MTV Uplink, a recording of the band's performance at New York's Bowery Ballroom in October 1998, "even though it's only with one finger." "But it's a big finger," joked Mills. "It's great."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Peter Buck, Mike Mills, and Michael Stipe unless otherwise indicated.


  1. "Lotus" - 4:31
  2. "Surfing the Ganges" - 2:25
  3. "Lotus" (Weird Mix) - 4:33

7" and cassette

  1. "Lotus" - 4:31
  2. "Surfing the Ganges" - 2:25

Japanese 3" CD

  1. "Lotus" - 4:31
  2. "Suspicion" (live in the studio)1 - 5:39


1 This version is different from the Ealing Studio recording found on the "Suspicion" single.


Chart (1998) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[1] 18
Canada (RPM)[2] 32
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[3] 50
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[4] 60
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[5] 26
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[6] 31
US Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks (Billboard)[7] 31


External links[edit]