Michael Stipe has claimed that he didn't even write the whole lyric down, that he "just had a piece of paper with a few words. I sang it and I walked out." The following day, the hastily-improvised take was deemed good enough and it was not re-recorded. Peter Buck has gone even further to say that "it's exactly what was on his mind that day. It was real." Stipe has stated at concerts that it is his favorite R.E.M. song.
The song is featured on the Perfect Square DVD from 2003, and opens with lyrics from "Chorus and the Ring" followed by Stipe's own additions of "instinct, gut, feeling, feelings". This performance was also added to the two-disc special edition version of the band's 2003 greatest hits CD, In Time, though the original 1990 recording was left off the main disc.
The song is used in Unhook the Stars.