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September 4th, 2005

Song of the Day @ 10:48 am

onebadkite:
I'm currently feelin: sleepy sleepy
I'm currently hearin: Running to Stand Still (live, R&H version)

Today's selection is...

"Running to Stand Still" from The Joshua Tree

If there were a U2 Song Claim community,  this one would be mine.  No, I don't have a drug habit, but we've all been interpreting and re-interpreting and loving the way any U2 song could fit any of us in the way we want to.  So there you have it.
As I mentioned yesterday, I don't like the intro.  But it eventually strays away from that, and becomes a simple piano piece, for the most part.  Into the Heart, tells me that it's inspired by Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" and Elton John's "Candle in the Wind".  At least musically, the lyrics are an original creation.  Bono's harmonica solo towards the end is very somber.  On the ZooTV tour tape, he's playing it and you can't see him through the fog, it's all the more creepy.  I think the simplicity of the instrumentation goes really well with the very heavy lyrics.  Anything else would be over-doing it, almost too much to take... to have to feel the pain musically and lyrically.  The song has a climax, but it's still very quiet.  This is one I can't wait to hear live, when Bono goes to town on the "Ah la la la de day"s.
The genesis of this song is pretty simple, and it's about heroin use.  There's even a reference to Ballymun, Dublin, in the line about seven towers.  The towers are actually buildings of apartments, and stand out in the sky as a landmark to the squalid conditions everyone was living in in the 80s and Dublin.  If the city has improved since then, I don't know.  The lyrics are sung in the third person, about a person removed from the guys or their relatives, so it's dedicated to no one in particular.  It tells the sadness of a girl who wakes up every day, and wants to get out of where she is, even if her 'one way out' is the needle in her arm.

 


Running to Stand Still

And so she woke up
Woke up from where she was
Lying still
Said I gotta do something
About where we're going
Step on a steam train
Step out of the driving rain, maybe
Run from the darkness in the night

Singing ha, ah la la la de day
Ah la la la de day
Ah la la de day

Sweet the sin
Bitter the taste in my mouth
I see seven towers
But I only see one way out
You got to cry without weeping
Talk without speaking
Scream without raising your voice
You know I took the poison
From the poison stream
Then I floated out of here

Singing...ha la la la de day
Ha la la la de day
Ha la la de day

She runs through the streets
With her eyes painted red
Under a black belly of cloud in the rain
In through a doorway she brings me
White gold and pearls stolen from the sea
She is raging
She is raging
And the storm blows up in her eyes
She will...

Suffer the needle chill
She's running to stand...
Still

Fave Lyric:
You gotta cry without weepin'
Talk without speakin'
Scream without raising your voice.

Trivia:
Maybe this'll just be an every other entry thing.  But reecord2 tells us that WILATW's guitar intro is just heavily distorted.  As if I knew what that meant... O:)

 
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Comments

 
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From:hbpen
Date:September 4th, 2005 04:00 pm (UTC)
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One of my top 5 U2 songs. Actually, probably one of my top 2... ;)

When they played this at the show I went to in Chicago, I cried a little. So beautiful.
From:amerrydeath
Date:September 4th, 2005 04:08 pm (UTC)
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Should never be taken away from Bullet again. Unbelievable pair of songs. I am guilty of singing this at the top of my lungs in my car... so gorgeous; of the Lovetown and ZooTV versions, I can't decide which I like best.
From:xxradiohead
Date:September 4th, 2005 06:49 pm (UTC)
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I sing it, too. What's even funnier, so did my dog. When my parents split up, my dad would take me and my dog to his house and we'd play that song, she'd howl at the very end of it note-for-note. I wish I'd gotten it recorded for proof(and memories).
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From:ifyoudont
Date:September 4th, 2005 04:37 pm (UTC)
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this song makes me cry.
every time.
without fail.
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From:stateless
Date:September 6th, 2005 06:57 pm (UTC)
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yeah.
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From:boriel
Date:September 4th, 2005 05:53 pm (UTC)
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one of my favorite songs, but have just recently heard a zoo tv version with no piano - edge on guitar instead right from the beginning. i cant describe it adequately - what he does with that guitar - the guitar and bonos voice compliment each other, challenge each other, and edge makes the guitar weep and moan and scream in time to the lyrics. I cant go back to the original version now since hearing this one.

my favorite lyric is the same as your favorite lyric...but my favorite line for sheer imagery is 'under a black belly of cloud in the rain'...perhaps because where i live i am able to see this in my own skies.
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From:specialcamper
Date:September 4th, 2005 10:20 pm (UTC)
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Freaking Gorgeous. Beautifully haunting. I love your choice of lyric but with the next couple of lines

You got to cry without weeping
Talk without speaking
Scream without raising your voice
You know I took the poison
From the poison stream
Then I floated out of here
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From:reecord2
Date:September 5th, 2005 10:45 am (UTC)
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I...er.... I'd just have to show you. I'm coming to your garage, make sure the door is open.
From:onebadkite
Date:September 6th, 2005 02:15 am (UTC)
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I don't have a garage....
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From:reecord2
Date:September 6th, 2005 03:19 am (UTC)
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Damn, I was going to play the intro to WILATW, but the garage is the only place you can play guitar, ya know.
(no subject) - (Anonymous)
From:onebadkite
Date:September 6th, 2005 02:16 am (UTC)
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"When I Look At The World" My last song of the day.
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From:bonoffee
Date:September 8th, 2005 09:26 pm (UTC)
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I adore this song. I like how it's so quiet and peaceful-sounding,but the lyrics are so sad and haunting. I adore those lyrics you highlighted - they are definitely my faves as well, pure poetry. Anyone who dares to say Bono isn't one of the best lyricists ever needs to listen to this song and then eat whatever hat they happen to have handy.

I made my dad listen to 2 whole tapes of U2 recently, and this was the song he turned up loud without my asking ;)
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From:canadanne
Date:September 9th, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC)

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I am so behind on these it's not funny.

Can't believe RTSS hadn't been done before on SOTD, I could have sworn it was!  I guess it's just been discussed in other random threads.

As everyone else has already said, this is an amazing song. It's pretty perfect all round, I wouldn't do anything to change it. It's lovely to sing along to, especially with the way it starts so softly and builds up to this beautiful wail of emotion in the middle. (There's something freaky about that part. I always think I hear Mum calling my name, half drowned out by the music, when I listen to it... and I've come across several other people who also think they hear people calling their name during the same part of the song!  No idea what that's all about!)

The whole song is gorgeous lyrically, I can't really pick a favourite line, though I definitely have a soft spot for the Ha la la la de day's.

Without a doubt, the best live version was ZooTV... I don't have the words for how indescribably jaw-dropping that arrangement is. Especially with the visuals, as on the Sydney video. That whole outro with Bono screaming "Halle, Halle, Hallelujah" to the heavens, and then playing the eerie harmonica tune while all that smoke engulfs him... until it all gradually gives way to Streets... fuck, I can hardly think of anything more spine-tingling. It's bringing tears to my eyes just thinking about it. I was disappointed with the version they played on the Vertigo Tour, it was so passionless compared to that ZooTV classic. Which is probably why it got dropped in favour of Miss Sarajevo.

I once had a dream in which I heard a dance remix of Running To Stand Still. Weird, I know, but it actually sounded amazing... I was gutted to wake up and realise this remix didn't really exist.

Btw, I think the Ballymun Flats have been demolished now. At least, some of them have.

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