Chass (sapphires13) wrote in u2,

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And I can't sleep, because Trent Reznor took over my brain, but that's another story entirely, let's get on with this sorta-early SOTD, shall we? And should I start calling this "Song Of The Whenever"? I've gotten a bit lazy about it lately, haven't I?

"Red Light" from War

My least favourite song from War (a lot of people might say The Refugee is theirs, but I have a rather strange affection for that song). And while Red Light is my least favourite song on the album, I don't by any means dislike it, it's just not that memorable.

The first thing that makes this song stand out as OMGWTFDIFFERENT is that !there are girls in it! Someone who had never heard it before might immediately react to it in just this way: "Huh?! What?! WHO ARE THESE WOMEN?!"
Coconuts, apparently. If I can trust canadanne's comment on this song's previous SOTD. Coconuts? Seriously? Can I get a confirmation on that? Because seriously... I have an irrational fear of coconuts. One of the reasons listed in my Friends-Only post for why I might not add someone to my LJ is this: "6. You post about tomatoes a lot. I'm scared of tomatoes. I'm scared of coconuts too. And Gavin Friday. And Rufus Wainwright when he sings in French."
AHEM, anyway. Coconuts, yes. They appear in two songs, Red Light and Surrender, and the two songs go hand in hand, and their presence sort of fits, so it's okay. To dig into the most straightforward interpretation, the songs are both about a prostitute who commits suicide.
Now, I haven't seen the movie Taxi Driver yet (but, I will, I promise!), but Bono has stated that the two songs were inspired by it. And once you know what happens in the movie, that becomes obvious. In the movie, the lead (Robert Di Nero) tries to rescue a teen prostitute (Jodie Foster), but she refuses to be helped.
That in mind, let's move on to the song. We open with the Coconuts (XD) singing, and a little bit of Larry rhythm. At 7 seconds the tempo picks up, and at 15 seconds Edge and Adam jump in, quickly followed by Bono.
As stated before, I don't find this song to be very memorable, and I think that's partially due to the sparseness of the lyrics, but mostly due to the music. There's just not much to it, and nothing really stands out. And then of course there's that damned horn that starts in midway through the song. Ugh. No offense to brass instruments... but they just bother me in U2 songs. This is why I prefer live versions of Angel of Harlem over the studio version.
But aside from the lacking in the lyrics, Bono's vocals are pretty good in this song. Granted, he's a bit hard to understand at some points (and even sitting here looking at the lyrics, which I know are probably correct, my mind is refusing to believe it, because my mind made up it's own lyrics to match his utterings long ago). I like the way Bono stresses certain words in the first first. And of course his voice is carrying that War energy present on the rest of the album. Also of note is the way he carries his voice straight up during the "love, love, love" repetitions after the second verse.
And I know I've slagged off the lyrics, they're not all bad, but they could've been better. They get very repetitive at times, and there's really not much too them at all. But I will say that I love the second verse. It's a great visual image, though a dark one. It's interesting as well, the image of the girl almost relishing in the idea of her suicide, as something she can control, her own late show, her own tragedy, hers, no one else's.
In the end I like Surrender better, but not too much more than Red Light.

I talk to you
You walk away
You're still on the down beat
You say you don't want my help
But you can't escape
If your running from yourself

I give you my love
I give you my love
Give you my love
Still you walk away

It's your own late show
As you jump to the street below
But where can you go
To leave yourself behind
Alone in the spotlight
Of this, your own tragedy

I give you my love, love, love, love
Love, love, love, love, love...

In the heart in the heart
In the heart of the city
Heart in the heart in
The heart of the city
Oh, love...
I pour my love out for you
And I'll bring you through
See you're not alone

I give you my love, give you my love
Give you my love, give you my love
Give you my love, give you my love
Give you my love, give you my love
I give you my love, love, love, love
Love, love, love, love, love...
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