3. Rogue Wave - "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite"

Rogue Wave on “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite”
“R.E.M. was my favorite band growing up, especially when they first started out. I loved how mysterious their words were, their DIY aesthetic in their t-shirts and album art, Michael Stipe’s Salvation Army boots and rumors that he put mustard in his hair sometimes before a show. I idolized this band and their skewed message. It was everything I wanted to be for the most part. By the time Automatic For The People came out, I had expanded my horizons considerably, but I was still excited about how the band continued to change and try new sounds, new ideas, new instrumentation. “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite” is far and away one of my favorite songs from the record. I love how odd the lyrics are, as if Michael Stipe can barely fit in each line what he wants to say. I also like how it borrows from another melody (’The Lion Sleeps Tonight’) to make its own song. Instead of covering their version exactly, we instead tried to borrow from their melody and make our own song.
- Zach Rogue

Rogue Wave

Mike Mills On “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite”
“That’s a song that to this day I’m not really sure what it’s about, but it’s a lot of fun. We never do it live, but it’s a good record. It’s just one of those songs that never seemed like it need to be done live. We might’ve messed around with it at sound check a couple of times, but it never felt like something we should really try.”

Check out Oxford Collapse’s cover of “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite” here.

“The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite” lyrics
This here is the place I will be
staying.
There isn’t a number. You can
call the pay phone.
Let it ring a long, long, long, long
time.
If I don’t pick up, hang up, call
back, let it ring some more.
If I don’t pick up, pick up… The
sidewinder sleeps, sleeps, sleeps
in a coil

Call me when you try to wake
her up. Call me when you try to
wake her.
Call me when you try to wake
her up. Call me when you try to
wake her.
Call me when you try to wake
her up. Call me when you try to
wake her.

There are scratches all around the
coin slot
like a heartbeat, baby trying to
wake up,
but this machine can only
swallow money.
You can’t lay a patch by
computer design.
It’s just a lot of stupid, stupid
signs.

Tell her,
Tell her she can kiss my ass, then
laugh and say that you were only kidding.
That way she’ll know that it’s
really, really, really, really me.

Call me when you try to wake
her up. Call me when you try to
wake her.
Call me when you try to wake
her up. Call me when you try to
wake her.
Call me when you try to wake
her up. Call me when you try to
wake her.

Baby, instant soup doesn’t really
grab me.
Today I need something more
sub-sub-sub-substantial.
a can of beans or blackeyed
peas, some Nescafe and ice,
a candy bar, a falling star, or a
reading of Doctor Seuss;

Call me when you try to wake
her up. Call me when you try to
wake her.
Call me when you try to wake
her up. Call me when you try to
wake her.
Call me when you try to wake
her up. Call me when you try to
wake her.

The cat in the hat came back,
wrecked a lot of havoc on the
way,
always had a smile and a reason
to pretend.
But their world has flat
backgrounds and little need to
sleep but to dream.
The sidewinder sleeps on his
back.

Call me when you try to wake
her up. Call me when you try to
wake her.
Call me when you try to wake
her up. Call me when you try to
wake her.
I can always sleep standing up.
Call me when you try to wake
her.
Call me when you try to wake
her up. Call me when you try to
wake her.
Call me when you try to wake
her up. Call me when you try to
wake her.
I can always sleep standing up.
Call me when you try to wake
her.
Call me when you try to wake
her up. Call me when you try to
wake her.
I can always sleep standing up.
Call me when you try to wake
her.
I can always sleep standing up.
Call me when you try to wake
her.

We’ve got to moogie, moogie,
move on this one.

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Comments (5)
  1. Rogue Fan  |   Posted on Oct 2nd, 2007 0

    Brilliant my fave (so far)

  2. RemainInLight  |   Posted on Oct 5th, 2007 0

    Took a lot of creative freedom with this one but it works – my favorite track on the album. Thanks to Stereogum for putting this whole thing together and pulling in some great bands.

  3. Ruisort7  |   Posted on Oct 12th, 2007 0

    Love it, great work. Thanks.

  4. Mike  |   Posted on Nov 14th, 2007 0

    Phenomenal! Bands that not just do a karaoke-like-cover always get me off!

    Love it!

  5. This is what Sidewinder might have sounded like if it was recorded for Up instead of AFTP. I love it. :)

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