Everybody Hurts" is a song by R.E.M , from the album "Automatic for the People" This is an anti-suicide song. Berry wanted to reach out to people who felt they had no hope.
On many R.E.M. songs, Michael Stipe purposefully sings indecipherably. He sang very clearly on this, however, because he didn't want his message getting lost.
The song is No. 1 on the PRS for Music list of songs which make real men cry.
The Song was recorded by several stars for Haiti. BBC did a write up on the song which is as follows:
It started out as a song to comfort "younger people", and the attempt to make it accessible to someone "who hasn't been to college" has made it applicable in all kinds of situations.
Everybody Hurts is not a typical REM song. For one thing, you can make out all of singer-songwriter Michael Stipe's words. More importantly, it's immediately obvious what they mean: don't give up.
And so the song has had a much more varied and exposed life than most of REM's output, even before the imminent celeb-carousel rendition.
It was, for example, the first song played by Radio 1 after the two minutes' silence to mark 1996's Dunblane shootings. A version edited to include the sounds of the attacks on the Twin Towers was widely circulated online in late 2001. And the track rubbed shoulders with Candle In The Wind and I'll Be Missing You on the official Diana Memorial album.
But the troubles that the song originally speaks to are more personal.
In the 1993 video, Stipe is portrayed among drivers stuck in an almighty Texas traffic jam, each with troubles on his or her mind, all of these conveyed in subtitles. Among them is a teenager staring out of a window, thinking: "They're going to miss me."
And suicide - especially among the young - is the personal problem with which Everybody Hurts is most often associated.
'Don't throw your hand'
In 2001, the Nevada Assembly passed a resolution praising REM for "encouraging the prevention of teen suicides", specifically mentioning Everybody Hurts.
And in 1995, the Samaritans marked the first anniversary of the suicide of Kurt Cobain with adverts in music magazines which consisted of two verses of the song.
"We've tended to license the song out for free to charity," guitarist Peter Buck told the BBC in 2005. In the same interview , Stipe is characteristically evasive, but Buck is more forthcoming.
"I remember Michael saying something to the effect that he wanted younger people to not have to worry about metaphors," he said. "The only metaphor is in the bridge: 'throw your hand', which is a card-game metaphor."
It's also, to many, a metaphor for taking one's life. Is it incongruous, then, to apply the lyric to Haitians affected by an earthquake?
'Things are tough but they get better'
Not necessarily. Buck told Mojo magazine that "trying to reach a 17-year-old and say, 'it's OK - things are tough but they get better'" involved economy and directness - and that universality automatically means the song is picked up on by other people.
The simplicity of the music helps, too. Based on a beat from a drum machine that cost $20, the track revolves around a few familiar arpeggiated chords.
Even after the arrival of the strings, arranged by former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, there's an intimacy that fits the lyric, and a vocal from Stipe that, in the words of rock critic Garry Mulholland, expresses "all the personal tragedies and troughs that he has travelled through". An earlier version included the line: "Everybody hurts, even the singer of the song."
The charity-single template is, of course, very different to this, and Simon Cowell, the organiser of the new version, is not usually associated with musical restraint. However, the point of next week's release is not faithfulness to the REM original, it's something more commonly associated with Mr Cowell - that is money, in this case for Haiti.
As for REM, Stipe says: "How could we not say yes to this appeal? We're honoured to play even a small role in trying to help."
This echoes what Buck told the BBC in 2005: "The song belongs more to the people that it's aimed at than it does to the band any more."