Chass (sapphires13) wrote in u2,
Chass
sapphires13
u2

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I'm sure I just broke everyone's heart when I nearly forgot to do last week's Song of the Day =P
Hopefully the fact that I'm doing today's fairly early will make up for that.

"The Wanderer" from Zooropa

Look Ma! No Bono! This is the sort of song that the lesser-informed around me might say, "That doesn't count as a U2 song!" about. But it's very much a U2 song, even though Bono is restricted to merely a bit of falsetto noises at the end, he did write the song, and that is the rest of U2 playing the music =P

I have a soft spot in my heart for this song. My dad is a Johnny Cash fan, and by the time I got into U2... I actually knew more Cash songs than U2 songs. Of course, that's changed by now, but I still love this song.
I was reading U2 At The End Of The World for the first time recently, and within it, there's quite a bit about the creation of Zooropa. One line in particular though (toward the end of chapter 25), caught my eye and made me cry out "YES!":
"..hearing Johnny Cash sing over a trippy, distorted track about wandering through a wasteland "under an atomic sky" is as bizarre as it gets.."

Zooropa is a very WTF album, and ending it with Johnny Cash is absolutely the most WTF way to end such an album. After this trippy journey through space (I actually refer to Zooropa as "purple space crack"), you're suddenly brought quickly back down to earth by the Man in Black.

The song starts out with this crazy bass beat, there's something very cheesy about it. And then boom, there's Johnny Cash. It is bizarre. I can only imagine how strange that must've been for anyone listening to Zooropa for the very first time, if they didn't realize the final song would be sung by Johnny Cash.
The song itself, is about a man, using the call of God as an excuse to leave his family and responsibilities. He believes himself to be chosen by God, and goes out looking for God in some rather Godless places. As the book puts it, the protagonist is, "..a self-righteous pilgrim who reveals himself, over the course of the lyric, to be pretty much deranged."
The book also points out something I hadn't really given much thought to before. Picture Bono singing the song, picture it in the context of Bono amidst the chaos of the ZooTV tour.
"..when Bono sings the song it comes off as a mea culpa for all the glitz and surface that U2 has spent the last two years creating. When Bono sings "The Wanderer" it seems like a public confession that beneath the fly shades he is hoping to find God by searching through the glitter and trash."

Remind anyone of a particular line in Mofo? Looking for the baby Jesus under the trash....
Mmm-hmm.


I went out walking
Through streets paved with gold
Lifted some stones
Saw the skin and bones
Of a city without a soul
I went out walking
Under an atomic sky
Where the ground won't turn
And the rain it burns
Like the tears when I said goodbye

Yeah I went with nothing
Nothing but the thought of you
I went wandering

I went drifting
Through the capitals of tin
Where men can't walk
Or freely talk
And sons turn their fathers in
I stopped outside a church house
Where the citizens like to sit
They say they want the kingdom
But they don't want God in it

I went out riding
Down that old eight lane
I passed by a thousand signs
Looking for my own name

I went with nothing
But the thought you'd be there too
Looking for you

I went out there
In search of experience
To taste and to touch
And to feel as much
As a man can
Before he repents

I went out searching
Looking for one good man
A spirit who would not bend or break
Who would sit at his father's right hand
I went out walking
With a bible and a gun
The word of God lay heavy on my heart
I was sure I was the one
Now Jesus, don't you wait up
Jesus, I'll be home soon
Yeah I went out for the papers
Told her I'd be back by noon

Yeah I left with nothing
But the thought you'd be there too
Looking for you

Yeah I left with nothing
Nothing but the thought of you
I went wandering


Favourite lyrics:
I went out walking
With a bible and a gun

The first time I heard that, I was instantly reminded of a certain character from a certain Stephen King book.
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