A song for all the mating glow worms out there…..
Nightswimming – REM (1993, Warner Bros Records, Taken from ‘Automatic for the People’)
If you ever find yourself in Bermuda in the first week of September, then you should probably enter the Labor Day Road Race. It is a 10km run or walk that takes in the northern part of the island (or did when I ran it) and winds it away through Pembroke Parish before dropping down through Black Watch Pass (literally a tunnel cut into some rocks) and down to the finish. It’s famed for its spectacular views of the ocean on the north coast. One part of that north coast in an area called Spanish Point, which also if you are in Bermuda in the first week of September you should check out – but wait until the darkness comes, grab a few bottles of Corona Beer and pack some swimming shorts. Because in those waters, at night and pretty much only when the moon is at its fullest, you will see the most amazing live sex show on the earth.
I’m not talking about American tourists getting jiggy with it in the water, I’m talking about glow worms, for some reason Spanish Point is the glow worms favourite pick up joint. The females start it all off, they rise from the mud at the bottom of the sea to the surface and as they do they omit as bright green chemical which glows under moonlight and attracts the boys. The boys then zoom up from the bottom and they pretty much have a party and give the watching crowds (and it is a tourist attraction) a spectacular light show, the erm, climax of the evening sees the males and females both, again, erm, release what can only be described as an explosion of glow before it all settles down again.
Michael Stipe says that ‘Nightswimming’ is all about an area of his home town that he and his friends used to go skinny dipping in when they were a much younger band. It was the fifth single to be released from the bands ‘Automatic for the People’ album and is if you ask me one of the finest songs that the band ever recorded, the band have rarely sounded quite as gorgeous as they do in ‘Nightswimming’.
There are of course two quite well known cover versions of ‘Nightswimming’, both are pretty good in their own way.
Nightswimming – Gene (1997, London Records, Taken from ‘Where Are They Now’ single)
Nightswimming – Jason Isbell (2021)
A couple of other REM songs that were considered before I plumped for ‘Nightswimming’, you could of course have this
Superman – REM (1986, I.R.S Records, Taken from ‘Lifes Rich Pageant’)
Stand – REM (1988, Warner Bros Records, Taken from ‘Green’)