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February 15th, 2006

(no subject) @ 12:20 pm

sapphires13:
I'm currently feelin: hungry hungry
I'm currently hearin: The Wanderer - U2

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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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
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From:beowulfjones
Date:February 15th, 2006 10:20 pm (UTC)
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Enjoy!

OOH! And listen for the Edge -- he adds so much to this version.
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From:ringlunatic
Date:February 15th, 2006 09:36 pm (UTC)
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Well... if that SK character is Roland of Gilead I totally agree. That's who I'm thinking about almost every time I hear this song :)
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From:sapphires13
Date:February 15th, 2006 09:55 pm (UTC)
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!!!!!!! I wasn't even thinking of Roland! But I'm only on the second book of the Dark Tower series, and of course I hadn't even started the series yet at the time, but Roland fits too! **freaks out**

I was actually thinking of The Dead Zone actually. Greg Stillson, before becoming a politician, was a Bible salesman.
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From:ringlunatic
Date:February 16th, 2006 12:19 pm (UTC)
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That is a good one as well! But I'm a so-called Dark Tower junkie and all things serve the Beam anyway ;)

Have fun reading the rest of the DT books. I'm actually about to start my annual DT reading for this year :D
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From:luindilwen
Date:February 15th, 2006 09:59 pm (UTC)
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Yay! I love this song!
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From:specialcamper
Date:February 15th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
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I used to be really weirded out by this song, but it has grown to be one of my faorites off the Zooropa album.This is my song of choice when my friends blast Johnny Cash while driving by the high school (Its fun to weird the kids out).
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From:bonoffee
Date:February 15th, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
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There's an Anglo-Saxon elegy called 'The Wanderer' which we're studying soon and I've had a read of it already. It's made me wonder if there is any connection between that and this song, although I'm not sure how likely it is that Bono's read the poem (it's Bono so anything is possible!). The elegy is more about exile and wondering where everything he once had has gone. I think that would fit in somewhere with the song but this is my pure speculation. If I met Bono I'd have to ask him, though.

As for the song itself, disco Cash! It's fab how he's the one singing from experience at the end of an album where so many experiences are documented...
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From:wydok
Date:February 15th, 2006 10:18 pm (UTC)
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I love everything about this song but the damn alarm at the end of it.
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From:sapphires13
Date:February 15th, 2006 10:42 pm (UTC)
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I love that thing! Everytime I listen to the CD, I wait to listen to the alarm before switching to the next CD <3

It's so WTF that it ends the WTF final song of the WTF album in a perfectly WTF manner.

If you catch my meaning ;P
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From:zoostation
Date:February 15th, 2006 11:09 pm (UTC)

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This song took about 4 or 5 listens to grow on me. And now it's one of my favorites off Zooropa.
I can't say I'm a fan of Bono doing the vocals because I'm used to the deep throaty sound that Cash added to the cheesy bass. Anything else sounds like someone doing a bad cover.
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From:reecord2
Date:February 16th, 2006 05:52 am (UTC)
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That version from the Johnny Cash tribute absolutely SLAYS me. I love it. Love it.
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From:stateless
Date:February 16th, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC)
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you nailed it - that lyric from mofo popped up around the same time, bono explaining something about zooropa to BP fallon over the phone. have you read faraway so close?

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