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July 14th, 2005

Song of the Day @ 09:18 pm

zoostation:
I'm currently feelin: pessimistic pessimistic
I'm currently hearin: wake up dead man - u2

Today's Selection is...

"Wake Up Dead Man" from Pop


In a world where people are blowing themselves up to viciously kill U.S. troops handing out candy to children, I don't think a band could mourn over it better than with "Wake Up Dead Man." A Christian band, anyways.
When I picked up Pop, I started reading the lyrics to this song and was kinda disturbed by the "fucked-up." I really stopped reading after that. I don't know why it struck me so...maybe it was cause I hadn't heard Bono curse before. (Shut up.) The more I sat in my car thinking about it, the more I started to think about why he used that particular word (and I'm no prude when it comes to cursing, I just didn't think it had a place in a U2 album). The answer is that there's no other way to describe the world.
It's fucked-up.
And it's fucked-up badly.

To me, U2 was always about hope. A slim chance of hope in any kind of darkness. But sometimes the darkness needs to be acknowledge in a gritty, sugarcoat-less kind of way. In that sense, "Wake Up Dead Man" is more than just a prayer or a plea. It's a wake up to ourselves as well.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Excellent power chords.


// Wake Up Dead Man

Jesus, Jesus help me
I'm alone in this world
And a fucked-up world it is too.

Tell me, tell me the story
The one about eternity
And the way it's all gonna be.

Wake up, wake up dead man
Wake up, wake up dead man.

Jesus, I'm waiting here, boss
I know you're looking out for us
But maybe your hands aren't free.

Your Father, He made the world in seven
He's in charge of heaven.
Will you put a word in for me?

Wake up, wake up dead man
Wake up, wake up dead man.

Listen to the words they'll tell you what to do
Listen over the rhythm that's confusing you
Listen to the reed in the saxophone
Listen over the hum of the radio
Listen over the sound of blades in rotation
Listen through the traffic and circulation
Listen as hope and peace try to rhyme
Listen over marching bands playing out their time.

Wake up, wake up dead man
Wake up, wake up dead man.

Jesus, were you just around the corner?
Did you think to try and warn her?
Were you working on something new?
If there's an order in all of this disorder
Is it like a tape recorder?
Can we rewind it just once more?

Wake up, wake up dead man
Wake up, wake up dead man.
Wake up, wake up dead man.

Sorry, I'm feeling particularly hopeless today after several talks about politics at work and at home.
:/
 
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Comments

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From:sapphires13
Date:July 15th, 2005 01:41 am (UTC)
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**clings to song**

I was a little shocked too, the first time I heard it. It was just odd to hear this plea to Jesus for help, and then that nice F word popping out.

But it's perfect, and it's true. There isn't a nice way to put it, so it has to just be left raw.
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From:zoostation
Date:July 15th, 2005 02:16 am (UTC)
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Raw. RAW. That's the word I was looking for.
Not gritty, but raw.
;)
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From:mangoprophetess
Date:July 15th, 2005 01:45 am (UTC)
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I don't know if anyone can answer this, but is this song in any way related to the Jim Jarmusch film "Dead Man" starring Johnny Depp? Besides just the names being really similar, the modd of the song is close to the film (although the film is pretty nihilistic). Also, the chords in this remind me a lot of Neil Young's score.
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From:volare
Date:July 15th, 2005 02:05 am (UTC)
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heh...sorry, couldn't resist..

I must be old and jaded, I've heard the man say it since 1985, LOL... but yea, having it pop out in that context is a little out of character for his usual lyrical style -- and you know that's exactly what he wanted, the startled reaction..

that said, this song didn't come to life for me til I heard it performed/recorded live. daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn.
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From:zoostation
Date:July 15th, 2005 02:14 am (UTC)
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I've heard the man say it since 1985

lol 1985 - "I'm being born, yeah I just arrived!"
I wasn't a fan (a serious fan anyways) until November last year. The most I had heard of u2 prior to 2000 (ATYCLB) was With or Without You and Still Haven't Found.
So I first got used to Bono being this humanitarian, pleading for peace and whatnot and THEN I read that whole "fucked up" thing. I've got my hat on backwards but it's okay, I'm straightening it all out.
Seriously, me doing the SotD has made me a deeper u2 fan than ever. I barely posted here before I started doing this.
I'm starting to think I'm a u2 whore.
From:proops
Date:July 15th, 2005 02:21 am (UTC)
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when i first got pop, aside from the songs i knew from the best of cds, none of the songs really appealed to me, except this song did. while it is slow, and usually i dont like slow songs, this is one of my favorite u2 songs off this album, love the lyrics.
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From:claudiathefish
Date:July 15th, 2005 02:32 am (UTC)
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I was in several discussions about politics today also, and even had to walk out of one of them to prevent myself from blowing up at someone who was being exceptionally ignorant and saying things like "The US should just blow up Africa and the Middle East".

Great choice for today.

I love the samples in this song, and the "Listen..." part.
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From:zoostation
Date:July 15th, 2005 02:40 am (UTC)
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someone who was being exceptionally ignorant and saying things like "The US should just blow up Africa and the Middle East".

Reminds me of a convo I had with my dad. He suggested we make the Middle East glass by bombing the crap out of it. I reminded him that I have friends in the area and he replied, "well they better like glass."

I did however get to him this week. He's starting to realize that this war is the biggest FAUX PAS ever and has sealed the world's fate in it's own destruction.
But that's just me being pessimistic again.
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From:canadanne
Date:July 15th, 2005 02:40 am (UTC)

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This song means so much to me when I go through my depressed phases. "Raw" is indeed a good word to describe it. I'm not religious myself, but apart from that, I can really relate to the line "Jesus, Jesus help me / I'm alone in this world / And a fucked up world it is too" (in fact I pinched that lyric for another angsty poem I wrote). The song just captures that feeling of despair and loneliness so well. "Is it like a tape recorder? Can we rewind it just once more?"... I wish. :/  All the lyrics are good, and I like Bono's weary, almost zombie-like vocals. My favourite part, though, is when he launches into those distorted Oooo-oooo's near the end. I like the muffled interference on the track as well.

I find it hard to watch the live version on the PopMart video, though. It's just way too depressing, what a miserable way to end a concert!
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From:zoostation
Date:July 15th, 2005 02:43 am (UTC)
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And nicking it is absolutely fine.
:)
From:xxradiohead
Date:July 15th, 2005 02:46 am (UTC)
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I love this song.

I hadn't heard Bono curse before. (Shut up.)
That made me laugh. Not in a making-fun-of-you way.
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From:zoostation
Date:July 15th, 2005 02:55 am (UTC)
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It's alright, laugh at me if you'd like. :D
It was probably more of a mental note to me than anything else. Laughing at myself, in some weird and twisted way.

I still don't know the names of their kids, wives (Ali I have down though), where they live. Where they were born (Dublin for Bono right?) and all that other miscellaneous stuff you are *supposed* to learn along the way to become the uber u2geek.
I think I'll stick to the music though. It seems far more interesting.
:)
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From:hard2explain8
Date:July 15th, 2005 03:13 am (UTC)
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I love the chords right at the end when it finally picks up and Bono sings "Wake up wake up dead man!" -it just amazes me the emotion that can be put into a few simple chords.
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From:jenvargas
Date:July 15th, 2005 03:37 am (UTC)

I try to never talk politics at work. Ever.

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U2 *is* about hope. Their longevity is proof of this. That's why they're the biggest rock band in the world right now ;)

We want hope. We NEED hope (and peace). Some of us are just more willing to admit it than others, that's all.
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From:zoostation
Date:July 15th, 2005 03:49 am (UTC)

Re: I try to never talk politics at work. Ever.

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I seriously hope I can start feeling hopeful again within the next few days.

Heh. Hope to feel hope. Whoa. Deep. I'm so writing that. Somewhere. Bono should nab that from me!

Maybe Harry Potter can cheer me up.
I try to never talk politics at work. Ever
My boss brought it up. And all the ladies in the front usually agree with each other anyways. We just like to bitch about it to no one and then go back to handling insurance claims.
Say - la - vee.
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From:forgottenbelief
Date:July 15th, 2005 05:31 am (UTC)
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I love this song. In my mind, it's in the same vein as 'Love is Blindness' at the end of Achtung Baby. End of the story, nothing is better, nothing is fixed, we've just gotten a little further down the road.

"The human heart is greedy. Blame the human heart" - I believe this quote has been attributed to Bono.

I personally like the albums ending on a dark note. Yahweh is a little too upbeat and happy for me :P Of course, I'm the person that wants to see a U2 concert end with 'Exit'.
From:sabneraznik
Date:July 15th, 2005 07:07 am (UTC)
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Listen to the words they'll tell you what to do
Listen over the rhythm that's confusing you
Listen to the reed in the saxophone
Listen over the hum of the radio
Listen over the sound of blades in rotation
Listen through the traffic and circulation
Listen as hope and peace try to rhyme
Listen over marching bands playing out their time.

This is pure genius, but the reat I can do without. Really this is the only U2 song I next to hate. So good job, boys. Cuz I'm not easy to please. :)
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From:wydok
Date:July 15th, 2005 01:33 pm (UTC)
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At first, I was taken aback by Bono calling Jesus a "dead man" and asking him to wake up. I grew to like this song more, and then I read a sermon in the book "Get Up Off Your Knees" about how this song is basically a psalm of lament. It's freaking brilliant.
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From:fadedgalaxia
Date:July 15th, 2005 01:39 pm (UTC)
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This song makes me cry everytime.
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From:thanks4thefish
Date:July 15th, 2005 04:18 pm (UTC)
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People have covered off most of what I wanted to say.

I love thinking of this song as a Psalm. It very much feels that way.

And the 'Listen...' piece...sheer brilliance.

When we covered Please I talked about how I thought it, and Pop generally, were the height of Bono's lyric writing, and that rings true for this song as well.

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From:tinamachina
Date:July 15th, 2005 06:20 pm (UTC)
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I didn't care for the song on the album, but years later when I bought the Boston and Slane DVD's, I liked it a lot more.

It wasn't the lyrics. It was the original production of the song I didn't like--too fuzzy, too distorted, in other words, the things that kept "Pop" from being a truly great album.

When I watched the Slane DVD and the Boston DVD's versions of "Wake Up Dead Man", it was like "AH! That's better!" Acoustically, the song is gorgeous and so heartbreaking, particularly when you remember Bono's dad just died shortly before those two shows.

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