Song Lyric Sunday: Gold and Silver Shine

Jim Adams is the host for SLS. This week’s theme: Money, Gold, Silver, Rich suggested by Paula of Light Motifs II. The song should reference the prompt in the title or lyrics. If it doesn’t, please explain why you chose it.


This week’s choice, pop pickers, is Shiny Happy People by R.E.M. with guest vocalist Kate Pierson of the B-52s. I had such a girl crush on her back in the day!

Bit of a contentious choice, because for all their astounding back catalogue of some truly remarkable music, the band will be primarily remembered for this bubbly three-minute pop song. Lead singer, Michael Stipe is quoted as saying:

“It’s a fruity pop song written for children … If there was one song that was sent into outer space to represent R.E.M. for the rest of time, I would not want it to be ‘Shiny Happy People.”

But there is an edge to the song. The phrase “shiny happy people holding hands” derives from a Chinese propaganda poster used after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

However, it’s hard to remember the message when the music starts. If this doesn’t lift your mood, then it’s time to call the undertakers in.

And here’s a version of the song in rehearsal for a show. Sorry, no idea from which show, but to make up here’s a link to R.E.M. on Sesame Street singing Happy Furry Monsters. I kid you not.

Shiny happy people laughing

Meet me in the crowd, people, people
Throw your love around, love me, love me
Take it into town, happy, happy
Put it in the ground where the flowers grow
Gold and silver shine

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Everyone around, love them, love them
Put it in your hands, take it, take it
There’s no time to cry, happy, happy
Put it in your heart where tomorrow shines
Gold and silver shine

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Whoa, here we go

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people holding hands
Shiny happy people laughing

Shiny happy people holding hands (people, happy people)
Shiny happy people holding hands (people, happy people)
Shiny happy people holding hands (people, happy people)

Songwriters: Michael Stipe / Mike Mills / Peter Buck / William Berry
© Universal Music Publishing Group

8 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: Gold and Silver Shine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s