So this is a song that isn’t liked by REM or their fans but….. I really could care less. It’s a great song because it makes me smile.
According to Songfacts the song is supposedly about a very serious topic….
The title and chorus are based on a Chinese propaganda poster. The slogan “Shiny happy people holding hands” is used ironically – the song was released in 1991, 2 years after the Tiananmen Square uprising when the Chinese government clamped down on student demonstrators, killing hundreds of them.
I can’t believe I am saying this but….. I don’t care because this song makes very happy.
Let’s listen to the whole song so you can enjoy the great riff. Try not to smile and pogo while you listen, I dare you…….