The Narrator – “Try Not To Breathe”

By Stereogum / October 3, 2007 - 12:00 pm

The Narrator On “Try Not To Breathe”
An old roommate of mine left a cassette of Automatic For The People in our bathroom when she moved out, and over the last couple of years I’ve played it several million times on the ol’ boombox. Each side is the perfect length for a shower and whatnot, and then you have the other side for next time. The tape’s plastic is transparent yellow! Remember?! It’s hard sometimes to listen to records that have such huge singles (like “Everybody Hurts” or “Man on the Moon,” which I heard faintly in the background at Home Depot while waiting for keys to be copied the other night), but there’s something about Automatic For The People that never gets old. I can’t really put my finger on why this song stands out to me — I just love it. It’s powerful, but in some ways never really goes anywhere. Our bassist James says this is R.E.M.’s “Smiths’ song.” Good call, James.
- Sam Axelrod

Credits, if anyone’s interested: Recorded and mixed by Scott Masson in various rooms in Chicago in August-September 2007. Additional programming by Mannequin Men DJs. Sam Axelrod James Barron Kevin Vlack Jesse Woghin is Narrator.


The Narrator

Mike Mills On “Try Not To Breathe”
“A beautiful song, personally one of my favorite backing vocals that I ever did. I felt like John Lennon when I came up with it. It’s very nice to feel like John Lennon even if it’s just for five seconds.”

Check out Dappled Cities’ cover of “Try Not To Breathe” here.

“Try Not To Breathe” lyrics
I will try not to breathe.
I can hold my head still with my
hands at my knees.
These eyes are the eyes of the
old, shiver and fold.

I will try not to breathe.
This decision is mine. I have
lived a full life
and these are the eyes that I want
you to remember. Oh.

I need something to fly over my
grave again.
I need something to breathe.

I will try not to burden you.
I can hold these inside. I will
hold my breath
until all these shivers subside,
just look in my eyes.

I will try not to worry you.
I have seen things that you will
never see.
Leave it to memory me. I
shudder to breathe.

I want you to remember. Oh.
(you will never see)
I need something to fly
(something to fly)
over my grave again.
(you will never see)
I need something to breathe.
(something to breathe)
Baby, don’t shiver now.
Why do you shiver now? (I will
see things you will never see)
I need something to fly
(something to fly)
Over my grave again. (I will see
things you will never see)
I need something to breathe. Oh.
Oh. Oh.

I will try not to worry you
I have seen things that you will
never see.
Leave it to memory me. Don’t
dare me to breathe.

I want you to remember. Oh.
(you will never see)
I need something to fly
(something to fly)
Over my grave again. (you will
never see)
I need something to breathe.
(something to breathe)
Baby, don’t shiver now.
Why do you shiver now? (I will
see things you will never see)
I need something to breathe.
(something to breathe – I have
seen things
you will never see)
I want you to remember.