"One Tree Hill" from The Joshua Tree
One of my favorites from JT, an album which I almost prefer the latter half of. It's a dedication to Greg Carroll, the man who had become Bono's assistant for a while. They met him in New Zealand, he was working for their promoter. They liked him so much and felt he had the know-how, that they took him on the rest of the tour and back to Dublin. One night he was taking Bono's Harley home for him, had an accident, and died instatly.
The intro is very tribal sounding, and it soon becomes a powerful hymn. Bono's lyric work is some of the best he's ever done. It's full of water metaphors, a reference to Greg's Maori, seafaring ancestry. Even without the ancestry, the river flowing to the sea is still a powerful image. My favorite part of the song comes with the "rain" lines, where everything is turned up to 11.
And where is One Tree Hill? It's one of several islands that make up Auckland, New Zealand. If you have Into The Heart, it has a very pretty picture of it. It's a daylight picture, but one can imagine how beautiful the moon rising over the hill would be...
We turn away to face the cold, enduring chill
As the day begs the night for mercy, love.
A sun so bright it leaves no shadows
Only scars carved into stone on the face of earth.
The moon is up and over One Tree Hill
We see the sun go down in your eyes.
You run like a river on to the sea
You run like a river runs to the sea.
And in the world, a heart of darkness, a fire-zone
Where poets speak their heart then bleed for it
Jara sang, his song a weapon in the hands of love.
You know his blood still cries from the ground.
It runs like a river runs to the sea.
It runs like a river to the sea.
I don't believe in painted roses or bleeding hearts
While bullets rape the night of the merciful.
I'll see you again when the stars fall from the sky
And the moon has turned red over One Tree Hill.
We run like a river runs to the sea
We run like a river to the sea.
And when it's rainin', rainin' hard
That's when the rain will break a heart.
Rainin', rainin' in your heart
Rainin' in your heart.
Rainin', rain into your heart
Rainin', rainin', rainin'
Rain into your heart.
Rainin', ooh, rain in your heart, yeah.
Oh great ocean
Oh great sea
Run to the ocean
Run to the sea.