Caitlin (stay_please) wrote in u2,

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On the life and death of U2 songs...

This started as a personal LJ post. But I'm changing it. It's going to be a U2-comm post, or a cross-post anyway. (But you've already figured that out, eh?) It can sorta be like my Song of the Day, or yesterday, and multiple songs actually. It's deeply personal, and involves treatments of both "With Or Without You" and "One". So maybe you'll skip them, 'cause they are over-done. But maybe you'll read, to see an entirely personal spin on a song that means something else to you.

Y'know... I have 15 versions of With Or Without You in my music library. FIFTEEN! That includes one video, and 2 "tribute" WOWYs (a blugrass, and a strings). Some songs stay with me forever, and some songs I could leave entirely. Others, come and go, like this one. I prefer it live.

The Rattle & Hum version is by far, the best. It includes the soaring Edge guitar solo, which is the antithesis of the WOWY guitar part. The infinite sustaining guitar was a new item around 1986. It kinda just stays there, holding on to note after note, and there is no "pluck" or "thump" of a pick or finger hitting the string, which you can usually discern in any other song. It almost sounds like something played with a bow. The rest of the song is just kinda strumming in a few chords, and it goes nowhere. But it goes nowhere... nicely. In this version, played in Tempe, Arizona, in 1989... there's a beautiful solo in the last minute or so, after Bono's "Hhhhhoooooooo-ooo-o-oooooo"s. Then comes the infamous third verse... which is really like... four lines
Yeah, we'll shine like stars in the summer night
We'll shine like stars in the winter light
One heart, one hope, one love.

Okay... three. But it really depends on how you break your lines. Like most fans of bootlegs, to me, WOWY is incomplete without this verse.
The other version I really love, is from the Elevation: Boston DVD. It's a much more relaxed version, and Bono doesn't try to climb with his vocals so much. That is entirely due to the fact that he is LAYING DOWN. He picked some lucky-ass girl out of the crowd, and cuddles with her on the heart-shaped catwalk. Yes, I love me some Edge, but I'd cuddle with Bono, too! I like this version because it feels real, sub-Bono, like its sung by any other human being. The climax of the song is a wailing cry, not a beautiful falsetto coo, but a hunkering, guttural "Waaaaaaaahhhh!" If you've seen the video, Bono has his arm wrapped around Lucky Fan Of The Night, is so full of passion, his legs curl up during the note, as if to relieve pressure in his abdomen. Or maybe I just think about Bono's muscular implications too much. We're missing our third verse, and are left with "oooooh"s. But I'm forgiving. *pats Bono on the head*
Lately I've taken on a platonic meaning for this song, though it is entirely about non-platonic love. I just feel hopeless in a relationship, but that I cannot live without this person.

"One" is a song that stays with me forever. If you know anything about me, you know it's my favorite. I mentioned Notes From Underground last week, as an example of a book I've grown with. "One" is definitely a song I've grown with. I remember exactly how I discovered it. I was stood up. Yep. I actually had a date. It was not meant to be, and I don't even believe in fate. But at some point later in that day, or within the next few days, the line "You gave me nothing, and now it's all I've got," caught me. It was really like an epiphany. Through the years I've directed it at different people, my best friend, someone else who promised to be my friend but really wasn't, my parents, my entire family, everyone and no one at all. My latest twist is inward. I know, the lyrics are in the second person, so you must be thinking "Whoa psycho multiple personality girl... dedicates songs to herself." Or maybe you're not, maybe I'm just that self-deprecating for the time being. But eh, it's really come to be a song for everyone, to me. We are so hurtful. Why? If we didn't hurt each other, they wouldn't hurt us, and we wouldn't have to hurt others to feel better about ourselves. So everyone just stop, mk?

X-posted (excerpted really) from my journal
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