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February 26th, 2005

Where the Streets Have No Name @ 12:33 am

denazureus:
I'm currently feelin: curious curious

Hello. I recently joined this community, I've been a U2 fan since I was in jr. high in the late 80's. I have a question for you all. "Where the Streets Have No Name" has been my favorite U2 song forever, but I've never heard exactly what this song is about or the story behind it. I once asked a guy from Ireland and he said it was about a depressed area, like a tent city in Dublin, back when times were tough and many people were unemployed and some people were committing suicide by throwing themselves off a tower (the "7 towers...but only one way out" from Running to Stand Still). But I've never heard any confirmation of this. I'd love to hear your ideas & thoughts on this one...What is the song "Streets" about? (Also, if you know of good resources for learning the story/meaning behind other U2 songs, I'd love to know about that too...)
 
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From:specialcamper
Date:February 26th, 2005 09:18 am (UTC)
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"An interesting story that someone told me once is that in Belfast, by what street someone lives on you can tell not only their religion but tell how much money they're making - literally by which side of the road they live on, because the further up the hill the more expensive the houses become. You can almost tell what the people are earning by the name of the street they live on and what side ot that street they live on. That said something to me, and so I started writing about a place where the streets have no name...."
-bono
From:dysprosium
Date:February 26th, 2005 03:21 pm (UTC)
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Beat me to it!
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From:denazureus
Date:February 26th, 2005 07:25 pm (UTC)
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That's awesome!
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From:jinx
Date:February 26th, 2005 08:32 pm (UTC)
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A great site is http://www.songmeanings.net . There are lyrics for thousands of songs by all different groups, and if anyone knows anything about the history of a song, they post their information on the site.
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From:axver
Date:February 26th, 2005 08:58 pm (UTC)
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The thing is, you'll probably find as many interpretations as there are fans, and Bono's never really helped matters by offering a variety of explanations and mentioning Streets in multiple contexts. On the U2MoL, they offer a few views, a number including the quote above: this is the page for Streets.

My personal view is that this song is so broad, so epic, and full of such sweeping grandeur that it can reach Heaven, come down to Ethiopia and Belfast, and go just about anywhere in between. I think it's the perfect piece of music - just look at how the intro affects the live setting. It's about more than just the lyrics.
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From:stateless
Date:February 28th, 2005 06:13 am (UTC)
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beautifully said.
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From:axver
Date:February 28th, 2005 06:16 am (UTC)
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Thanks. :)
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From:canadanne
Date:February 26th, 2005 11:58 pm (UTC)

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In addition to what's already been said, here are a couple of relevant quotes from an interview Bono did on my local radio station...

(1)
Listener: "What place are you talking about in the song The Streets Have No Name?"

Bono: "I'm not sure, really, about that. I used to think it was Belfast, you know, 'cos in Belfast you can tell somebody's religion, you know, from what street they live on. You just have to say where you're born and everybody knows if you're a Catholic or a Protestant and... I think that might have been where Where The Streets Have No Name started from as an idea."

(2)
Listener: "What does the song Where The Streets Have No Name mean?"

Bono: "The song is about... you know, I don't know, that something else, you know, the place... when the music goes off, and you're at a show, and... you know, you kind of... lift off. Transcendence, elevation, whatever you want to call it."
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From:cursedflower
Date:February 27th, 2005 05:00 am (UTC)
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I've always thought & heard others say that it was about Heaven. There is a contemporary Christian band, Mercy Me (of "I Can Only Imagine" fame), and they have done WTSHNN as the closing song in most of their concerts (it really rocks too, I had the honor of seeing them live last year!). The lead singer always says something like, "This was my favorite song about Heaven when I was growing up...", so hmmm. It really makes sense to think of it simply as a song about Heaven when you consider the lyrics.
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From:axver
Date:February 28th, 2005 06:17 am (UTC)
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Mercy Me are covering Streets?

I weep.

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