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|R.E.M.: Green: Orange Crush|
It derives (at least in part) its title from Agent Orange, a chemical dropped on the forests of Vietnam as a defoliant to reveal enemy positions and roads. Environmentally speaking, it was a huge disaster, directly affecting pristine tropical rain forest in ways napalm never could--literally killing off a good deal of unique flora and fauna, as well as polluting streams and rivers, eventually winding up in the bodies of native Vietnamese. As a dioxin, Agent Orange is able to affect people (and nature) in long term ways. I don't have statistics, but I do know that in some parts of Vietnam, incidences of miscarriage and spine and neural defects are (or were) so common, that populations have declined. [bstephenson] * Literally, Orange Crush is a brand of soft drink; also, perhaps colloquial for heroin? [Ron Henry] * There's a restaurant in Athens, The Varsity Drive-In, that has a certain slushy drink specialty.... You guessed it, the Orange Crush. I dunno if this has any relevancy to the song, but it's awful fishy. [...] I distinctly remember ordering one of them at the Varsity's other location in Atlanta pre-Document. That would put it way pre-Green. [blake]
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Lyrics from Kipp Teague's Lyric Archive.