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December 13th, 2006

(no subject) @ 10:20 am

sapphires13:
I'm currently feelin: tired tired
I'm currently hearin: Rockin' in the Free World - UJam

It's been a while since I've done this... I used to do a SOTD every week! I think I must've gotten lazy and also run out of songs that I could still be interesting about. Sorry =(
But today I actually have a song to talk about! So yay!

Rockin' in the Free World (Make Poverty History)

On November 17th, Bono and Edge joined Pearl Jam onstage at the Make Poverty History concert in Melbourne, Australia for an energizing rendition of this classic Neil Young song. I have been rocking so hard to this performance, that one day my dad actually stopped in the hallway outside my room and went "Are you rocking in the free world?" and I was like "OH HELL YES!" Except I didn't really say 'hell', because he doesn't like that, and if he knew that my two favourite words were 'whore' and 'fuck' (my third favourite is 'Saskatchewan', go figure), he'd probably slap me XD


What makes this such an interesting SOTD to do is that, while it is a cover, it's been pretty much given all new lyrics, aside from the first verse, and the chorus, which both remain unchanged.
There are several copies of the video on YouTube, but I think I found the best-quality one here, I've also included a ripped mp3, at the end of this post.
What makes this an annoying SOTD to do is that I had to transcribe the new lyrics myself, and there are a few spots where I just had no clue what was being sung. You know, I do consider myself a bit of a music whore, but I charge extra for lyric transcribing. SOMEBODY PAY ME ALREADY!

So anyway, Pearl Jam and Edge take the stage, and as soon as Eddie Vedder reaches his mic, he says "It's a beautiful day" and the crowd all go whooo and he kinda steps back and smiles like 'I am so clever'. After another few moments, the song begins, and let me tell you, I think Eddie's voice was made for this song. Nothing against Neil Young, but I think it sounds better when Pearl Jam does it.
Now, during the first verse, a little thing comes up in the corner of the screen, of a silhouetted crowd wearing white MPH bands. They're a little bit creepy. They're moving like marionettes, and marionettes are creepy, y'all.
So, during the first chorus, Bono pops out from backstage, and the entire crowd goes "OMG BONO YAY!" Bono reaches his mic in time for the last line of the chorus, but he doesn't actually sing into it, he just wiggles it around a bit.
When Bono begins singing the second verse (which is new!), it becomes painfully obvious that he's reading them off of a prompter. Oh Bono, that bending down thing isn't fooling anyone. Just get some ginkgo biloba already. Anyway, the lyrics are new, and I have this wonderful vision of Bono and Eddie cozied up somewhere the night before, figuring up the new lyrics, like high school students cramming for a test. Cute.
The first two lines of this first new verse are reminiscent of the first part of the first verse. "There's colours on the street, green, white, and gold" Is this an altered reference to the Irish tricolour? I know it's actually orange, not gold, but nothing rhymes with orange. Plus, the image of 'green, white, and gold' brings to mind money, which is what MPH is really about, in the end. Anyhow, the new lyrics are just an energized punch-in-the-air of 'We can do this, we can Make Poverty History!'
Then the chorus again, and Edge does this solo which... actually sounds a bit like the solo in All Because of You O_o Anyhow, the next verse is cute, just because of what Bono does. Eddie starts it out: "I'm over on the left!", and then Bono suddenly runs way over to the right side of the stage for his bit "I'm over on the right!" I also kind of love the Bono "Oh yeah!"s and Eddie "Yeah yeah!"s at the end of this verse. The next part is cute too, Eddie: "I'm a singer in a band!" Bono: "I'm a father of four!" Eddie: "I do what I can!" Bono: "I wanna do more!" **giggles**
And then another chorus and solo, while Bono and Eddie hold hands. You know, the first time I watched this, like as soon as it hit YouTube, my mom heard it from the other room and came in and said "Are you listening to Neil Young?" I went "Nope! Pearl Jam and U2 singing a Neil Young song!", and then she made me start it over so she could watch. And at this point, when Bono and Eddie were holding hands, she said "They make a good couple, they're both short." My mom is so awesome XD
So then Bono gets to make his little speech, in which he renames the combined bands "UJam" which is cute XD He then sends a salute to the MPH campaigners, and if you watch closely, while he's talking, he's switching his MPH/ONE band from his right wrist to his left wrist for some reason. So then Bono pretty much finishes off the song himself with a couple more lines of the chorus, there's a bit more music, and then it's over.
Amazing, powerful, performance. Just watch the crowd, they're incredibly energized, and totally into it. I just wish I could've been there. I think the new lyrics, and the hope in them and this performance are why I like it so much. And of course, I love both Pearl Jam and U2 ;P

Now, my transcription is as good as I could manage. There are a gaps, but anyone that wants to help me fill them (or correct me anwhere else) is welcome to:

Eddie is italics, Bono is Bold, regular text is both/all together.

There are colours on the street
Red, white, and blue
Yeah, people shufflin' their feet
Yeah, people sleepin' in their shoes
There's a warnin' sign in the road ahead
There's a lot of people sayin' we'd be better off dead
I don't feel like Satan, but I am to them
So I try to forgive 'em any way I can


Keep on rockin' in the free world
Keep on rockin' in the free world
Keep on rockin' in the free world
Keep on rockin' in the free world

There's colours on the street
Green, white, and gold
A thought you can't defeat
A thought that's never growin' old
You can write it on your t-shirt
Or write it on your heart
[...]
[...]
You used your vision of a visibility

You wanna Make Poverty History

Keep on rockin' in the free world
Keep on rockin' in the free world
Keep on rockin' in the free world
Keep on rockin' in the free world

I'm over on the left
I'm over on the right
But we both stand together
Stand together tonight

You can write it on a t-shirt
Write it on your heart
It's a long, long road
But tonight we make it start
You gotta choose your vision over visibility

You wanna Make Poverty History

Yeah yeah
Oh yeah

Yeah yeah
Oh yeah
Yeah yeah
Oh yeah
Yeah yeah

I'm a singer in a band
I'm a father of four
I do what I can
I wanna do more

And when she wakes up in the night
I hold my little girl
[...]
[...]

You gotta trust your vision of visibility
You wanna Make Poverty History

Keep on rockin' in the free world
Keep on rockin' in the free world
Keep on rockin' in the free world
Keep on rockin' in the free world

Good evening, good night
Pearl Jam and U2
We offer you UJam
To the Make Poverty History campaigners, we salute you
Keep on rockin' in the free world
Keep on rockin' in the free world
(Keep on rockin' in the free world)
Politicians have to do what you tell them to do
Go scream it from the mountain
Go scream it in the air
Go scream it from the billboards
Go scream it everywhere
[...]
No labour to the world
Of the visibility

You wanna Make Poverty History

Rockin' in the free world
Rockin' in the free world

YouSendIt mp3 download link
 
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Comments

 
[User Picture Icon]
From:canadanne
Date:December 13th, 2006 10:35 pm (UTC)
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Just be thankful you didn't foolishly attempt to transcribe some of those Axtung Beibi outtakes. That's a few days of my life I'll never get back!

Is this an altered reference to the Irish tricolour? I know it's actually orange, not gold, but nothing rhymes with orange.

This really made me LOL for some reason. *g*

And at this point, when Bono and Eddie were holding hands, she said "They make a good couple, they're both short."

Your mother rocks. :D

Anyhow, I watched this performance when the website was originally streaming it (and it was cool!) but I'll need to watch it again before I can write any sort of proper comment. I've never heard the original song, incidentally.
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From:sapphires13
Date:December 13th, 2006 11:58 pm (UTC)
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Nobody else is commenting on this entry =( I think I scared them all away =O

I've never heard the original song, incidentally.

I had, but not in years and years and years, I went back and listened to it after listening to this one... and this one's better, in my opinion.
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From:kyrillion
Date:December 14th, 2006 01:07 am (UTC)
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we tend to call the flag either orange or gold, just not yellow :)
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From:sapphires13
Date:December 14th, 2006 02:20 am (UTC)
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Thank you! I learned something today =D
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From:rosephile
Date:December 16th, 2006 08:51 am (UTC)
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I'll try to remember to watch/listen to this one again, but you might also want to hear the Hawaii version? I went and had watched this one one time and thought that the Honolulu one was a lot better (but in person may have a lot to do with that!). I'm listening to one of the bootlegs now (but I'm only at The Fly...it's in like 4 more songs), you can find 'em on u2torrents.com and u2start.com (but they're the entire concert, of course).
[User Picture Icon]
From:canadanne
Date:December 19th, 2006 03:01 am (UTC)

"Now look - everybody's into it. They're all into the rock... rocking in the free world..."

(Link)
I'm just watching it again now. (Sorry for the delay, busy weekend!!)

I will start by saying that I wouldn't know Pearl Jam if I fell over them in the street (I don't think they're particularly big in the UK), so the collaboration probably isn't as exciting for me as it is for fans of both bands. But it's still a great energetic performance, and it's fun to see U2 members playing with other bands and not just with each other (wow, that came out ALL wrong!). Like, it's just nice to see the level of respect there is between these artists. And as with the Green Day collaboration, this duet works really well!

I love the way Bono skips merrily onto the stage. *g*

His obvious use of the teleprompter was the first thing that leapt out at me when I originally watched this performance, too - I seem to recall a passage in U2 At The End Of The World(?) that mentions MacPhisto's Sydney speech and how confusing it must have been for the audience to see him staring down at the floor throughout it, and when I watch things like this, I can suddenly see what the author meant!  In fairness though, we mustn't forget Bono was right in the middle of a hectic U2 tour when he took part in this, so I doubt he had a spare moment to try and memorise the new lyrics they'd written!

Bono's voice sounds pretty great, and I *love* the way he gets so animated yelling "YA WANNA MAKE POVERTAY HIST-OR-EE!". :D

I also like all the bits you mentioned ("Oh yeah!" "Yeah, yeah!" etc - I wonder if they planned that in advance or if it was just a really cool improvisation?). I particularly like "I'm over on the left / I'm over on the right / But we both stand together / Stand together tonight"... sometimes it's the simplest lyrics that are the catchiest!

The funniest bit is the smug grin on Bono's face and the way he nods to himself slightly after he calls the group UJam ("Heh heh... I came up with that!"). *giggle*

The "Scream it from the mountain... scream it everywhere!" bit is majorly awesome, I don't think I've seen Bono sounding quite that fired up since the mid-80s!

And then he skips off again at the end. :D


As for the missing lyrics, errr... the first bit sounds like "(something something something) and making it start"?  I think one of the later lines is "You gotta trust your vision" rather than "choose". The bit Eddie sings after "I hold my little girl" is "I want the same for her as I want for the world". And Bono greets the crowd with a cheeky Aussie "G'day!" :D  I have no idea about the other line he yells near the end.

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